Age of Consent, The (1932): Gregory La Cava’s Pre-Code Melodrama, Starring Richard Cromwell

Gregory La Cava’s fourth sound feature, The Age of Consent, is a pre-Code melodrama, starring Richard Cromwell as a young man who becomes involved with a waitress of minor age.

The Age of Consent

Mike Harvey (Cromwell) and Betty Cameron (Wilson), college sweethearts at a New York college,  are so eager to consummate their relationship that Mike suggests that they quit college, get married and move to California where a friend has offered a job. Both Mike’s mentor, Professor Matthews, and Betty talk him out of it.

Dora (Judge) is an underage waitress who has had a crush on Mike and suggests that he walk her home after her late shift. The couple get drunk and have sex. The the next morning, her father has Mike arrested for corrupting the morals of a minor.

Spoiler Alert:

After a car accident, Betty is badly wounded and Duke dies from his injuries. Dora realizes that Mike and Betty really love each other. The last scene shows a now married Mike and Betty on the train to California.

Dorothy Wilson as Betty Cameron
Arline Judge as Dora Swale
Richard Cromwell as Michael (Mike) Harvey
Eric Linden as Duke Galloway
John Halliday as Professor David Matthews
Aileen Pringle as Barbara
Reginald Barlow as Mr. Swale


Directed by Gregory La Cava
Produced by Pandro S. Berman, David O. Selznick
Screenplay by Sarah Y. Mason, Francis Cockrell, based on Cross Roads 1929 play by Martin Flavin
Cinematography J. Roy Hunt
Edited by Jack Kitchin
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures

Release date: August 19, 1932

Running time: 63 minutes

Films directed by Gregory La Cava

His Nibs (1921)Restless Wives (1924) Womanhandled (1925)Let’s Get Married (1926)Say It Again (1926)So’s Your Old Man (1926)Paradise for Two (1927)Running Wild (1927)Tell It to Sweeney (1927)The Gay Defender (1927)Feel My Pulse (1928)Half a Bride (1928)

Sound (Talkies)
Big News (1929) Smart Woman (1931) Symphony of Six Million (1932) The Age of Consent (1932) The Half-Naked Truth (1932) Gabriel Over the White House (1933) Bed of Roses (1933) What Every Woman Knows (1934) The Affairs of Cellini (1934)Private Worlds (1935) She Married Her Boss (1935) My Man Godfrey (1936) Stage Door (1937) 5th Ave Girl (1939) Primrose Path (1940) Unfinished Business (1941) Lady in a Jam (1942) Living in a Big Way (1947)

TCM showed the movie on March 10, 2021.