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Children of Divorce (1927)

A young flapper tricks her childhood sweetheart into marrying her. He really loves another woman, but didn't marry her for fear the marriage would end in divorce, like his parents'. Complications ensue.


, (uncredited)


(titles), (novel) (as Owen McMahon Johnson) | 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kitty Flanders
Jean Waddington
Edward D. 'Ted' Larrabee
Prince Ludovico de Saxe
Duke Henri de Goncourt
Katherine Flanders
Tom Larrabee
Princess De Saxe
The Secretary
Mr. Seymour
Iris Stuart ...
Margaret Campbell ...
Mother Superior
Joyce Coad ...
Little Kitty
Little Jean


A young flapper tricks her childhood sweetheart into marrying her. He really loves another woman, but didn't marry her for fear the marriage would end in divorce, like his parents'. Complications ensue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance




Release Date:

25 April 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Filhos do Divórcio  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


James Hall was originally chosen to play the male lead, but the role was given to Gary Cooper at the insistence of star Clara Bow. The role helped to propel Cooper towards superstardom. See more »


Kitty Flanders: You'd make a marvelous second husband but you are too much of a luxury for a poor girl's first husband.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood: Star Treatment (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

They Had Faces Then
4 April 2017 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Early in the 20th century, divorced ex-pat Americans living in Paris dropped their unwanted children at the local convents and visited them only when their busy schedules permitted. Kitty and Jean were among these lonely children, and the pair quickly become friends. One day, a young boy, Edward, who was also a child of divorced parents, appears, and both girls are smitten with him. Years pass, and the three meet up again in the U.S., where a romantic triangle develops, which expands into a square, when a gold-digging prince enters the scene. "Children of Divorce," which was written by Adela Rogers St. Johns from a novel by Owen McMahon Johnson, is a sudsy melodrama, whose dated appeal lies, not in the story, but in the stars.

The "It" girl herself plays the adult Kitty; vivacious Clara Bow is wonderful as the sexually aggressive woman, who needs to marry well. Jean, Kitty's protector as a child and now described as the richest woman in America, has grown into lovely Esther Ralston. Ralston, who seems to have been largely forgotten, gives a naturalistic performance as a caring understanding woman, who is capable of self sacrifice. However, Jean's money is like catnip to the impoverished Prince Ludovico, played by Einar Hanson, and his uncle, Duke Henri, played by Norman Trevor. But the Prince and his uncle have to compete with tall lanky Gary Cooper of the piercing blue eyes, who captivates both Jean and Kitty. As the adult Edward, Cooper has it all: startling good looks, wealth, education, and lack of ambition. Besides the three stars, Hedda Hopper as Kitty's self-absorbed mother also makes an impression, although the rest of the cast has unfortunately fallen into obscurity.

Besides the melodramatic plot, a few aspects of this silent film may be off putting to general audiences. While the sets are convincing, they are so tall they disappear into the clouds, and the gargantuan doors dwarf the performers. Although a few flourishes of the grand style intrude, the acting is generally natural and underplayed. The film is short, even shorter if the inter-titles are taken into account, and director Frank Lloyd maintains a good pace. However, "Children of Divorce" will likely appeal primarily to silent-film buffs. Already attuned to both the limitations and the pleasures of pre-sound movies, aficionados of silent cinema can overlook the unconvincing drama and relish the luminous stars. Indeed, they had faces then, and Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, and Esther Ralston provide ample evidence herein.

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