13 user 9 critic

A Woman of Affairs (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 December 1928 (USA)
When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.



(from a story by), (continuity) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An attractive Russian spy seduces an Austrian officer in order to get some important plans, but when she actually falls in love with him, both of them are placed in a dangerous situation.

Director: Fred Niblo
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Wild Orchids (1929)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A prince in Java tries to seduce his visitor's wife, but he's discovered.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Nils Asther
The Temptress (1926)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An architect tries suppressing his passion for a seductive woman.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, Marc McDermott
Love (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married woman compromises her social standing and family life when she falls for a young officer.

Directors: Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett
Anna Christie I (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Torrent (1926)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After... See full summary »

Director: Monta Bell
Stars: Ricardo Cortez, Greta Garbo, Gertrude Olmstead
The Kiss (1929)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Romance (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Gavin Gordon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

[For 9 minute surviving fragment] Lucian, a soldier in Paris, is to ship out for Algiers at 9 that evening. He stops by for a last meal with his love, Marianne. He may be worried that when ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson, Lowell Sherman
Susan Lenox (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Hersholt
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith


Complete credited cast:
David Furness (as John Mack Brown)


Even when Diana, Neville and David played together as children, Diana knew that she loved Nevs. But Morton, Nevs' father, did not like any Merrick. Since Nevs did not have any money, Morton sent him off to Egypt to work and also talked him out of marrying Diana before he left. Diana waited two years and then married David, who Jeffry thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. While in Paris, David jumps to his death when the cops come after him and Diana lies about the reason for the sake of Jeffry. Of course Jeffry, who has been a drunk all his life, cuts all ties with Diana. While Nevs still loves Diana, she does not return to England for seven years - just 3 days before Nevs' wedding to Constance. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wild Desire! Burning Lips! Racing Hearts! (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express,((Buffalo, NY)) 2 January 1929) See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 December 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine schamlose Frau  »


Box Office


$383,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) | (copyright time) | (video)

Sound Mix:

(musical score and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was based on a notorious novel called "The Green Hat", but the Hays Office wouldn't allow the book to be filmed because it featured the use of heroin and a man kills himself on his wedding night because he's suffering from syphilis, neither of which could be touched on at that time. MGM thought it would be a gold mine once past the censors, but by the time the title and character names had been changed and the story line altered, it bore little resemblance to the book. The bridegroom now kills himself because of his embezzling. While drinking on screen was forbidden because of Prohibition, Jeffry is hardly seen without a whiskey glass in his hand, but the fact that drink finally kills him and that the film was set in England is probably what persuaded the censors to let that by. See more »


When Diana-as-a-little-girl rides her bike into the tree, you can clearly see the cut where the little girl (with short legs and her foot off the pedal) becomes the stunt-double (with long legs and her foot on the pedal). See more »


Diana: If you loved me, Neville - you'd marry me now - before you go.
Neville: There's something more than love, Diana - - there's pride, honor. You're rich - I'm poor. I couldn't live on your money.
Diana: Suppose I said I wouldn't wait - - that I'd marry David Furness? What would you do?
Neville: I'd marry you - - and choke my pride! I'd never let any other man have you!
See more »


Featured in Hollywood: Single Beds and Double Standards (1980) See more »


Garbo Valsen
Music by Henry Southerland
Lyrics by Arne Riesinger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Surprisingly good cinematography, outstanding performances, Garbo in her late 1920s' masterpiece
15 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

"Garbo had something behind the eyes that you couldn't see until you photographed her in close-up. You could see thought. If she had to look at one person with jealousy, and another with love, she didn't have to change the expression. You could see it in her eyes as she looked from one to the other. And nobody else could do that on the screen." (director Clarence Brown in a 1968 interview).

Perhaps, you may consider it strange of me to quote Brown's memorable words about Garbo under the title of the film which is, most definitely, not the top - famous film with Greta Garbo. Yes, it is true that not many people have seen A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS (1928), comparing its popularity to her other films, like FLESH AND THE DEVIL, NINOTCHKA or GRAND HOTEL. Furthermore, it was not released on DVD in September 2005, on the occasion of her birth's 100th anniversary . Yet, it is one of the most unforgettable films where Garbo's silent performance has a soul throughout. But, at the same time, the movie can also boast marvelous cinematography, great performances from all cast, an interesting content, and the original soundtrack which opens it to a new era of the 1920s cinema, something in between silent and sound films with dialogs.

Let's start from the first aspect, CINEMATOGRAPHY. There are shots in this film that leave such a deep trace in the viewer that it is hard to forget them. I was absolutely astonished when I saw the moment where Diana (Greta Garbo) walks down the hill in the garden. The lighting and camera movement make such an effect that you simply admire the whole moment. The light is directed towards Diana's figure walking quickly but desperately after a bitter conversation with Morton Holderness (Howard Bosworth), an honorable father of her beloved Nevs (John Gilbert). Another brilliant scene is the one with flowers. Diana, recovering in hospital from the shock that she went through, keeps flowers by her side which remind her of Nevs. Soon before he comes to visit her, there is a brilliant shot of Diana lying in bed, in the state of delirium, and looking at flowers. She really has a blink in her eyes and the camera is directed towards her as well the flowers that she is staring at... Terrific, brilliant shot!

The CONTENT of the movie is based on controversial novel by Michael Arlen, THE GREEN HAT. However, I am not going to compare these two since the film can be watched without the knowledge of the book whatsoever. Since the novel entailed a lot of controversial things, the code made the producers change much, even names. What is more, the credits of the film had no information except "from the novel by Michael Arlen," skipping the fact which novel it was. Therefore, the content was so much changed that the film becomes quite a different story. But, a very interesting one. Except for many things worth attention, I particularly like three aspects about the content. Firstly, it shows the psychological struggle between honor and love, reason and emotions. This clash is most accurately presented in Diana - Morton's conversation at the tree when the elderly gentleman wants to stop the "silly boy and girl attachment" between Diana and his son, Nevs. Morton's character is expressed in another moment when he says to his son trying to convince him to give up the relationship "Ten generations are watching you!" Secondly, the content perfectly shows what a passionate love really means. It is not the matter of choice where I say "yes" or "no" but has a deep insight into the psyche of a particular person. Although Nevs is happy with his wife Constance (Dorothy Sebastian), he cannot stop thinking about Diana whom he has known since the light hearted days of childhood. Thirdly, humorous moments make the rather sad content brighter. Some of them may seem dated, but they are funny in a different way. For instance, the wit about lip rouge is not found in films nowadays. Nevertheless, such script may still be amusing.

The PERFORMANCES are absolutely outstanding. It is the third film in which Garbo appears with her real-life love interest John Gilbert and they both give marvelous jobs here. Their relationship is not that intimate and sensual as in FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926), but it is more "hearty". Garbo gives her best performance when she is hugging the flowers in hospital. She completely opens herself to a viewer and you can read her mind, similarly like in the final shot of her 1933 masterpiece "Queen Christina". Gilbert is an elegant young person who portrays a man divided into two realities - the one of honor and duties and the one of love and dreams. Lewis Stone, a mainstay of most Garbo films (from this one to many others, including GRAND HOTEL and MATA HARI), does a great job as Dr Hugh Trevelyan, who approved of the relationship. Howard Bosworth is magnificent as cruel but honorable Morton Holderness, who disapproved of their relationship. Yet, Dorothy Sebastian gives a delicate performance of a beautiful young wife of Nevs, attempting to be happy and to make other people happy. So with these great performers, you see all of them in the final 10 minute-long scene at Holderness' house, where Diana comes to talk things over with Morton. I don't know how you will react to this, but I consider the scene a masterpiece of silent performances.

All things considered, A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS is a highly recommended film which stands out in our modern era of cinema, as an example of cinematography, performances and well selected content. But it is also Garbo, one of the greatest stars of cinema, about whom one cannot forget when planning to see the movie. Indeed, you can see thought when you look at her face. Garbo ... eternal in cinema!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

"This Is Us" Star Chris Sullivan and TV to See in 2018

"This Is Us" star Chris Sullivan gets emotional about Season 2. Plus, "The IMDb Show" looks at the most highly-anticipated TV shows of 2018 and talks to Lena Waithe about "The Chi."

Watch the show