A musical revue that basically has Paramount stars and contract-players doing things some had never done on screen, and wouldn't again; such as Ruth Chatteron , in a French-café setting ... See full summary »
The ten year marriage of of Caroline Van Dyke and Greg Grannard is falling apart. A young woman, Allison, plots to become his second wife. Caroline's friend, novelist Julian, has long loved... See full summary »
Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Helen Jerome Eddy
A ne'er-do-well husband, after years of abusing his wife, disappears with their son, and winds up selling him to a wealthy family. Years later, the wife--now a world-famous opera singer--... See full summary »
Fuller Mellish Jr.
... and for good reason! In 1929, the movie camera post dawn of sound was unable to move at all. So Somerset Maugham's play about a philandering husband who wants to have his cake and eat it too was just perfect film material given the limitations of early sound technology. So don't judge this film too harshly.
The philandering husband, Robert Miles (Clive Brook), is having an affair with Anne-Marie Whitley (Mary Nolan), also married. Robert's wife of ten years, Kathryn (Ruth Chatterton), finds out and plans her clever revenge, which, with surgical precision, manages to teach her husband a lesson, give herself a European vacation, and not ruin either her marriage or that of the Whitleys. William Powell plays the suitor that lost out to Robert ten years before and wants another chance, but it's a small part as Powell is not the big star he will be in just a few more years.
I think tragic Mary Nolan as Anne Marie has the most interesting part and she handles it quite skillfully. Anne Marie wants to preserve her marriage, yet she is careless about being seen in public with Robert by people who would have every reason to rat her out. She throws Robert's cigarette case onto her bed and it lands under her husband's pillow. Why??? You could say finances are why she wants to hang on to her marriage, but you can't say the same for her so-called "friendship" with Robert's wife, Kathryn, whom she continually and sincerely calls her best friend even though she is sleeping with her husband. What a puzzling creature she is!
Give it a chance if you ever get the opportunity. The dialogue is very witty since it is the work of a clever playwright, and the acting is quite natural. It is not the stilted stuff of other early talkies where the actors don't seem to know what to do with themselves and the writers are used to writing title cards. Only the lack of motion subtracts from its charm.
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