The Constant Nymph

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's father dies, Lewis contacts her late mother's wealthy family so they'll take care of Tessa and her sisters. Lewis becomes taken with Tessa's haughty cousin Florence and the two soon marry and head off for Florence's estate in England. Meanwhile, Florence sends Tessa and her sister Paula off to finishing school. The girls run away from school and Tessa moves in with Florence and Louis. Florence soon becomes consumed with jealousy over the bond between her husband and Tessa.
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Director(s): Edmund Goulding
Production: Warner Bros.
112 min

I have telephoned

all over Brussels for you.

What kind of a husband are you

to desert your wife like this?

I walked from the office

by way of the park.

And while you walked in the park

I had to send for Dr. Renee.

Because you're ill?

No, Mr. Dodd had a letter from

the papers from London.

A boarder gets a letter,

so, you send for the doctor?

I thought he'd go insane!

He threw his piano

over on the floor.

Tore up his music. All of it.

The work of a year.

Good. We shall not hear it again.

He shouted out loud that he was

no longer a composer.

I would have shouted it to him

long before...

...if boarders were easy to find.

He said he was no longer

a composer, but a mechanic.

A mechanic? Maybe he is.

I'll go up.

Tell me, my dear doctor,

do you know the difference...

...between a consonance

and a dissonance?

I'm a doctor of medicine,

not a doctor of music.

I don't like doctors,

I don't need doctors.

-What do you need, Mr. Dodd?

-Nothing. I have everything.

This is very inconvenient.

I have patients at the hospital.

-Why am I here?

-Why are any of us here, doctor?

I don't know why

we're here now...

...but I know why

you won't be here tomorrow.

Marie and I will require

this room.

Georges, you will consult me

about that.

I've decided!

The house is in my charge!

That is my piano

and this is my chair!

Is there any insanity

in your family, Mr. Dodd?

I have no family, how could I have

any insanity in it?

My dear doctor,

I'd like to pay you,

to thank you and

say good-bye.

It is my opinion that you are

much more than slightly mad.

-Thank you, doctor.



Before you put

that money back,

will you glance at this piano?

It's broken.

Can no one be right but me?

What would calm you, Mr. Dodd?

I don't know.

Brandy will not calm you.

And you're smoking all the time.

-You received something from England.

-Oh, yes, from London.

As you know, my symphony was presented

at Regents Hall in London last week.


-Yes, it was very strange music.

Did you ever tell me it was strange?

You heard it?

-We heard it so many times.

-I see.

And it made you uncomfortable.

-Oh, no, no...

-Yes, why should we be afraid?

Georges is right,

listen to this.

This is the foremost

music critic in London:

"It is inconceivable

to this critic..."

"...that a program as delicately

conceived as this..."

"...should be mire by the rude intrusion

of uncomfortable dissonance."

They were uncomfortable, Georges,

and so were you.

It must be that I was uncomfortable

and I conveyed it through my music.

But, we try to make you

comfortable here.

You worked for

a whole year!

That's right, a year, to become

a mechanic. Listen to this:

"However, it is to be considered

that Mr. Dodd,"

"the brilliant, young,

Belgium modernist,"

has accomplished a series of

tonal mechanics."

Now, you see?

I am a mechanic!

-There was another foreign letter.

-I didn't see it.

Yes, two of them.

One from London and

one from Switzerland.

Switzerland? The Sangers!

-What about dinner, Marie?

-What about dinner, Marie?

Every Christmas,

when you go to the Sanger,

you come back so changed

and so gay.

Well, I've known them

since they were babies.

I've seen them grow up.

Your Dr. Renee should meet them.

There he would find insanity

of the most enchanting kind.

Good place for you to go.

-Oh, Georges, please...

What about dinner, Marie?

Ah, poor Sanger.

-Mr. Dodd.


You remember you wrote a song

for the Sanger children?

-A little song?

-Mm-hmm, but you did not send it.

Oh, that. It was too sad.

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Kathryn Scola

Kathryn Scola (1891–1982) was an American screenwriter. She worked on more than thirty films during the 1930s and 1940s. Scola worked in Hollywood for a multitude of prominent production companies during the studio era, including Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Scola’s career took place during the transition from unregulated Pre-Code films to the implementation of the Motion Picture Production Code, and was frequently involved in writing screenplays that were deemed too controversial by the Motion Picture Association of America. Three of Scola’s films were included in the Forbidden Hollywood film series, including Baby Face, Female and Midnight Mary. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Constant Nymph" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 4 Dec. 2021. <>.

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