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Easy Virtue (1928)

Not Rated | | Romance, Thriller | June 1928 (USA)
A recently divorced woman hides her scandalous past from her new husband and his family.



(adapted from the play by) (as Noel Coward), (scenario)

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Complete credited cast:
Franklin Dyall ...
Eric Bransby Williams ...
Mr. Greene
Robin Irvine ...
Violet Farebrother ...
Dacia Deane ...
Dorothy Boyd ...
Sarah (as Enid Stamp Taylor)


Larita Filton is named as correspondent in a scandalous divorce case. She escapes to France to rebuild her life where she meets John Whittaker. They are later married, but John's well-to-do family finds out Larita's secret. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

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Plot Keywords:

divorce | artist | trial | secret | france | See All (60) »


Romance | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fragile virtù  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (Hypercube restored) | (2012 restoration)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened in London and New York City in 1925. The New York City production began on 7 December 1925 and had 147 performances with Jane Cowl as Larita, Robert Harris as John and Halliwell Hobbes as Colonel Whittaker. See more »


When the three men are talking together at the horse track, the people standing in the background change positions then disappear in subsequent shots. See more »


[first lines]
The Plaintiff's Counsel: Mrs. Filton, do you wish the Jury to believe the co-respondent never kissed you?
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Featured in Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Hitchcock Makes a Coward Play
23 August 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Virtue is its own reward," they say - but "Easy Virtue" is society's reward for a slandered reputation. In the prologue, director Alfred Hitchcock crosscuts courtroom drama with flashbacks... Attractive Isabel Jeans (as Larita) is in divorce court, after a scandalous incident results in the death of a painter for whom she was sitting. Her drunken husband interrupted artist Eric Bransby Williams (as Claude Robson) as he was making play for the modeling Ms. Jeans. The painter wounded brutish rival Franklin Dyall (as Aubrey Filton), before killing himself. Jeans gains nothing but her freedom at trial. But, she was named in the dead painter's will.

Notorious, Jeans goes for a vacation on the Mediterranean, intending to relax and stay away from men. Instead, she finds the latter when well-heeled bachelor Robin Irvine (as John Whittaker) hits her in the head with his ball while playing tennis. After apologizing, Mr. Irvine begins courting Jeans. "It was like a cool breeze sweeping away the ugly memories of the past." The two whirlwind themselves into man and wife. Then, Irvine brings Jeans home to live in the family mansion. There, matriarchal Violet Farebrother senses something lurid in her daughter-in-law's past. Will Jeans' sordid history ruin her chances for happiness?

But, of course.

"Easy Virtue" may be considered rather ordinary, albeit a Noel Coward play directed to film by Alfred Hitchcock. But, as a silent melodrama, it's not only above average, but a little innovative. The location and settings are very nice. Most of the featured players are held over Hitchcock's previous "Downhill" (1927). "Mother-in-law" Farebrother makes the bulk of the film interesting, as she endeavors to rid her son of his bride. Their witty exchanges were written by Eliot Stannard, not Mr. Coward, by the way. Farebrother has a pleasantly sharp tongue, asking, "John, who is this woman you have pitchforked into the family?" She shoots to kill.

****** Easy Virtue (3/5/28) Alfred Hitchcock ~ Isabel Jeans, Robin Irvine, Violet Farebrother, Ian Hunter

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