The Yellow Ticket

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The Yellow Ticket
Film poster
Directed byRaoul Walsh
Produced byRaoul Walsh
Written byGuy Bolton
Jules Furthman
Michael Morton
StarringElissa Landi
Lionel Barrymore
Laurence Olivier
Music byCarli Elinor
R.H. Bassett
Hugo Friedhofer
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byJack Murray
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • October 30, 1931 (1931-10-30)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Yellow Ticket is a 1931 pre-Code American drama film based on the 1914 play of the same name by Michael Morton, produced by the Fox Film Corporation and directed by Raoul Walsh. The film starred Elissa Landi, Lionel Barrymore and featured Boris Karloff. The film is also noted for its brief glimpse of nudity.

The play was produced in 1914 on Broadway; it starred Lionel's younger brother John Barrymore and Florence Reed. The stage version played between January 20 and June 1914.[1] The play was previously made into an American film The Yellow Passport in 1916 and a German film Der Gelbe Schein in 1918.[2]


When martial law is declared in Russia, all Jews are restricted to their villages. The authorities are unsympathetic to Marya (Elissa Landi) when she wants to travel to see her dying father. Marya learns that a card, called "the yellow ticket", is issued to prostitutes and allows them to travel freely.

Marya gets a yellow ticket. In St. Petersburg, Baron Andrey (Lionel Barrymore), a corrupt police official, prevents his lecherous nephew, Captain Nikolai, from forcing himself on Marya.

She meets Julian (Laurence Olivier), a British journalist, and tells him about injustices the government has kept him from learning about, including the yellow ticket.

When Julian's articles are published, Andrey, a womanizer, guesses that Marya has been giving him information.


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