Slow, deliberate, dull, and Irving Thalberg's favourite director, Franklin fittingly turned to production after Thalberg's death in 1936. This MGM prestige version of the love of Elizabeth Barrett (Shearer) and Robert Browning (March) is, as one would expect, high on production values and low on atmosphere and excitement. Even Laughton as Elizabeth's demented father does little to raise the spirits. All of which is rather surprising considering Franklin's obvious attachment to the project. In 1957, he returned briefly to directing, after a twenty year absence, with another version, once again with the producer's wife (Jennifer Jones/Selznick this time) as Elizabeth.