Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The title might not mean much now, but in 1935 Jalna was familiar to readers everywhere as the best-selling first novel by Mazo de La Roche. Set in Canada, the story concerns the many members of the Whiteoak family, with special emphasis on Eden Whiteoak (David Manners). Eden is a writer, who marries his Manhattan publisher (Kay Johnson) and takes her back to meet his family. Alas, Eden has also brought back a few big-city vices, and before long he is attempting to seduce Pheasant (Molly Lamont), the illegitimate daughter of the Whiteoaks' next door neighbor (Nigel Bruce) and the wife of Eden's half brother Piers (Theodore Newton). True to form in soap operas such as these, Eden dies, leaving his widow to find comfort in the arms of another Whiteoak, Renny (Ian Hunter). Since all of this takes place in a crowded 75 minutes, it's no wonder that the film version of Jalna didn't completely satisfy fans of the novel.
big-city, family, publisher, widow/widower, writer