H. M. Pulham, Esq.

Boston businessman Harry Moulton Pulham Jr leads a regimented life. But his meticulous daily routine and his marriage are disrupted when he is tasked with writing his biography for a Harvard class reunion, while at the same time the attractive Marvin Myles, a woman from his past, appears in Boston. Barely touching pen to paper, Harry starts remembering his college days, meeting his later wife, his experiences in World War I, and – above all – working at a New York ad agency, where he met Marvin, a charming, ambitious, emancipated woman with whom he had an affair … In the film, the conservative interpretation of an “unlived life” is juxtaposed with King Vidor’s modern, sometime avant-garde movie-making. In non-linear flashbacks, and Harry’s inner monologues, H. M. Pulham, Esq. reveals all the constraints that guarantee the survival of the Yankee elite. Hedy Lamarr embodies the utopian alternative of individual self-determination beyond those conventions with passion and authenticity – in a clear contrast to the overt sexiness on display in Comrade X.
by King Vidor
with Hedy Lamarr, Robert Young, Ruth Hussey, Charles Coburn, Van Heflin, Fay Holden, Bonita Granville, Douglas Wood, Charles Halton, Leif Erickson
USA 1941 English 120’ Black/White


  • Hedy Lamarr
  • Robert Young
  • Ruth Hussey
  • Charles Coburn
  • Van Heflin
  • Fay Holden
  • Bonita Granville
  • Douglas Wood
  • Charles Halton
  • Leif Erickson


Director King Vidor
Screenplay Elizabeth Hill, King Vidor
Story John P. Marquand H. M. Pulham, Esquire (1941)
Cinematography Ray June
Editing Harold F. Kress, Frank Sullivan
Music Bronislau Kaper
Sound Douglas Shearer
Art Director Cedric Gibbons
Costumes Kalloch, Gile Steele
Assistant Director Walter Strohm

Produced by

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew’s, Inc.)

Additional information

Print: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg