A boundary‐layer analysis of laminar film condensation on a vertical plate has been carried out to study the effects of superheated vapor and noncondensable gases. For a pure, superheated vapor the effects of superheating on the surface heat transfer are accounted for by a simple modification of previously available results for saturated vapors. For a given temperature difference between the plate surface and the liquid‐vapor interface, superheating increases the heat transfer to the surface, but only to a modest extent for most practical situations. Although free convection was not included in the analysis, its role has been estimated to be small. For noncondensable gases the analysis shows that the presence of a few per cent of noncondensable in the bulk of the vapor causes a great reduction in the surface heat transfer. The fact that the predicted reduction is substantially larger than that found experimentally indicates that free convection, which is not included in the analysis, plays an important role when noncondensables are present.