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The Man from Yesterday (1932)

A woman whose husband never came home from World War I finds herself in love with her doctor. She travels with him to Switzerland, and as they check into the hotel there, she is astounded to see her supposedly dead husband.


Berthold Viertel


Nell Blackwell (play), Rowland G. Edwards (play) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Claudette Colbert ... Sylvia Suffolk
Clive Brook ... Captain Tony Clyde
Charles Boyer ... Rene Gaudin
Andy Devine ... Steve Hand
Alan Mowbray ... Dr. Waite (as Allan Mowbray)
Greta Meyer ... Swiss Inn Proprietress
Barbara Leonard ... Steve's Cocotte
Yola d'Avril ... Tony's Cocotte (as Yola D'Avril)
Ronnie Cosby ... Baby Tony (as Ronald Cosbey)
Emile Chautard ... Priest (as Emil Chautard)
George Davis George Davis ... French Taxi Driver
Christian Rub ... Swiss Terrace Waiter


A woman whose husband never came home from World War I finds herself in love with her doctor. She travels with him to Switzerland, and as they check into the hotel there, she is astounded to see her supposedly dead husband.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War






English | French

Release Date:

24 June 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'amore perduto See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Dr. Waite: Speaking of recoveries, do you see that fellow in the cloak? The one just leaving with his friend.
Rene Gaudin: Oh, yes.
Sylvia Suffolk: What is he? Who was it?
Dr. Waite: A patient of mine. Should have been dead long ago but hangs on in the most astonishing way. Absolutely refuses to die. I've never seen such determination. He lives like a mechanical man; always does the same thing at the same minute every day. You could set your watches by the two of them.
Sylvia Suffolk: Two of them?
Dr. Waite: Yes, the American with him. He's quite as amazing as the ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Talk about awkward!!
12 January 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The film begins during WWI. Sylvia (Claudette Colbert) and Captain Tony Clyde (Clive Brook) are getting married in Paris. However, he's soon sent back to the front and soon he is terribly injured and assumed by his fellow soldiers to be dead. However, he's taken prisoner and Sylvia hears nothing from him. She does, however, meet one of his men while she's working as a nurse and he tells her Tony is dead!

During the course of Sylvia's work with the military hospital, she works closely with Dr. Gaudin (Charles Boyer). Gaudin is a lovely man and they eventually fall in love. The war then ends and since she's heard nothing from Tony, she can only assume he's dead. She and her baby (yes, it's Tony's) stay in Europe and she travels with Dr. Gaudin as his assistant. They also plan to marry.

Unfortunately, Tony accidentally bumps into Sylvia and her new love and instead of divulging who he is, he remains hidden--intending to let Sylvia continue believing he's dead. But she does learn he's alive and comes back to Tony with every intention of remaining his wife. But this is easier said than done. The war and his illness has changed Tony significantly and Sylvia still has strong feelings for the Doc. So what's to come of all this?

I think this is an interesting plot because situations like this no doubt did occur following the war. After all, millions and millions of men fought in this pointless conflict and records and communication weren't great back in the day. So the idea certainly isn't far- fetched. However, it also leaves you wondering why the heck didn't Tony try to contact Sylvia sooner to let her know he was alive?! This is a bit of a plot hole if you ask me.

Overall, this is a fairly good film but suffers from some script issues. In fact, I rarely say this but would love to see this film remade--fixing the plot problems and making the ending MUCH better. Instead, the film had a very abrupt ending and several things about the film just didn't make sense but could have with a slight re- write. Still, not a bad film....it had the potential to be so much better.

By the way, Andy Devine is in the film in a supporting role. However, he really seemed out of place here...especially since he's usually in a film for comic relief and the film is anything but funny. Odd to say the least.

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