Private Worlds (1935): Claudette Colbert in Oscar-Nominated Performance

One of Hollywood’s first melodrama about mental illness, Gregory La Cava’s “Private Worlds” is rather simple and naïve—by today standards.

Claudette Colbert, at the height of her popularity, having just won Best Actress for “It Happened One Night,” plays a doctor in a mental hospital.

Her colleagues are played by Charles Boyer and Joel McCrea, whose wife (played by Joan Bennett) becomes a patient when she has a nervous breakdown.

Colbert received her second Best Actress nomination, but the winner was Bette Davis for “Dangerous.”

Gregory La cava was more adept in directing comedies, though Charles Boyer always credited him for trusting him with a role that made him an international movie star.


Claudette Colbert Oscar Nominations: 3

1934: Best Actress, It Happened One Night
1935: Best Actress, Private Worlds
1944: Best Actress, Since You Went Away

Paramount (Walter Wanger production)