Up 12,613 this week

The Single Standard (1929)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  29 July 1929 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 315 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 5 critic

The wealthy Arden Stuart is bored in a party; after refusing the wedding proposal of Tommy Hewlett, she drives her car with her driver to a lonely place. She has one night stand with him ... See full summary »



(from the novel by), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: February

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in February.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
a list of 3204 titles
created 05 Jul 2013
a list of 213 titles
created 18 Sep 2013
a list of 27 titles
created 06 Oct 2013
a list of 312 titles
created 01 Feb 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Single Standard (1929)

The Single Standard (1929) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Single Standard.


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Anna Karenina (1935)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew
Ninotchka (1939)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Biff and Eddie are the best of friends. They are college seniors; roommates at the Fraternity; and star teammates on the USC Football team. Then a flapper named Babs enters the picture. ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Elliott Nugent, Robert Montgomery, Cliff Edwards
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Lally is a rich girl whose father writes books and plays Polo. After 23 years of marriage, he decides to divorce his wife, and marry Mrs. Chevers. This sours Lally on all men, while on ... See full summary »

Director: E. Mason Hopper
Stars: Norma Shearer, Belle Bennett, Lewis Stone
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An ambitious lumberjack abandons his saloon girl lover so that he can marry into wealth, but years later becomes infatuated with the woman's daughter.

Directors: Howard Hawks, William Wyler, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Small town girl meets and falls for a playboy type on a train to New York. For him, the fling is over when they arrive, but she continues to carry a torch. She meets and marries his brother... See full summary »

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Irene Dunne, Robert Montgomery, Preston Foster
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Brenda Marshall
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Clark Gable plays a card cheat who has to go on the lam to avoid a pesky cop. He meets a lonely, but slightly wild, librarian, Carole Lombard, while he is hiding out. The two get married ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Dorothy Mackaill
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: John W. Brunius
Stars: Gösta Ekman, Mary Johnson, Axel Ringvall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Ragnar Ring
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
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
Bright Lights (1930)
Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A successful Broadway star ready to retire from her wild career announces her engagement. But her tumultuous past isn't done with her yet.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Frank Fay, Noah Beery


Complete credited cast:
Arden Stuart
Packy Cannon
Tommy Hewlett (as John Mack Brown)
Lane Chandler ...
Ding Stuart
Mahlon Hamilton ...
Mr. Glendenning
Mrs. Glendenning
Zeffie Tilbury ...
Mrs. Handley


The wealthy Arden Stuart is bored in a party; after refusing the wedding proposal of Tommy Hewlett, she drives her car with her driver to a lonely place. She has one night stand with him and returns to the party; then she witnesses the driver being fired by a relative and committing suicide. In a rainy day, Arden goes to an exposition and meets the painter and aspirant boxer Packy Cannon. They sail to the South Seas together in his sailboat and Arden falls in love for him. However, a couple of months later, Packy dumps her and brings her back to her city, traveling to China alone. The heartbroken Arden is proposed again by Tommy and gets married with him. Three years later, Arden meets Packy by chance and becomes divided between her unconditional love for Packy and the love for her son. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

29 July 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den nye moral  »

Box Office


$336,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System) (musical score and sound effects)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.30 (1956) See more »


Music by Frederick Rosse
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Refreshing Content and Nice Performances
19 September 2010 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

Before I will comment on this significant film with Greta Garbo and Nils Asther, let me make a short biographical notion.

Many biographers of Greta Garbo, including Barry Paris and Karen Swenson, note that she came to Hollywood with her mentor Mauritz Stiller in September 1925... Although she was already a trained actress (having made two significant projects in Sweden and Germany), what she found in MGM was very different from what she experienced in Europe. The roles she was given, though being sometimes very successful roles (including the ultra popular Felicitas in FLESH AND THE DEVIL), were in majority the roles of vamps and temptresses. But Garbo...she disliked playing 'bad women.' When, in her prolonged contract, Garbo started to have a word in the roles she played and rejected some unattractive ones, more sophisticated projects appeared...

One of such refreshing projects was, undeniably, THE SINGLE STANDARD. One the one hand, a movie appears to be ignored in many analysis of her film career (it appears to be forgotten by some Garbo fans as well); on the other hand, the movie is strangely an 'oldie' that many modern viewers find entertaining and appealing.

It seems that the reason why this film is, at least, "known" among the fans of silver screen productions, is the pairing of Greta Garbo and Nils Asther. Indeed, both give tremendously convincing performances that still, after those decades, maintain their desirable authenticity. Who can possibly skip their unforgettable moments on the islands of eternal sunshine? How can we ignore their memorable chemistry when experiencing the Philosophy of Love? Who can ignore the perfect tension when the hearts are there but duties elsewhere...? Yes, Nils Asther appears to be one of the best co-stars Greta Garbo could ever play opposite.

Another reason, I think, is Greta Garbo herself and her unforgettable moments throughout the film. Although the close-ups are not that outstanding like in her top productions of the 1930s, there are pretty pearls that should not be skipped at least by Garbo fans. For instance, this is the moment of her walk in rain when she humorously states: "I want to walk alone..." These are her unforgettable facial expressions when 'naughty men' come filled with wit having dated their delicious mistresses. This is, generally, the feeling she put in any kind of portrayal she did before the camera. But, here, let me concentrate more deeply on the role of Ms Stuart that Ms Garbo so beautifully portrays since there is one more rarity about the Swedish Sphynx: the power of THE SINGLE STANDARD lies specifically in the "refreshment" of Garbo's masterful acting.

Arden Stuart is a woman who, on the other hand, wants to be independent from men but, on the other hand, learns to understand what living for others means. Although she wants to walk alone, she does not live her life all alone (though she has some great time on All Alone ship). She does not accept any "half measures" and treats life seriously being very genuine in what she does. As a free woman, Arden opens her heart However, this love will make her stand before the most important decision of her life... Among many scenes that remain in one's memory, including Arden's scenes with her child, I would like to share one moment with you, the moment that truly left a trace in my mind and in my heart. This is the moment when Arden has a trip with a chauffeur and she says that there is no difference whether it's a girl, a man but both have right to... life. It is the viewpoint that very well fixed to Garbo, to her powerful belief in personal freedom and happiness. Although some say that "Garbo plays a normal woman" in THE SINGLE STANDARD, I would say more: "Garbo plays a sophisticated human being" in THE SINGLE STANDARD, a human with her fears, her feelings, her decisions and reflections, her heart.

Other aspects are, perhaps, not greatest merits of the movie (with some exceptions). It is true that the cinematography is not of top quality. The same may be said about some supporting roles. But here, two things may also work well for the film nowadays: firstly, it is the short length of THE SINGLE STANDARD which does not bore people; secondly, it is the tension - the viewers' attention is kept thanks to the wonderfully roused interest.

At the end of my review, I would like to add one thing from me, personally. I would like to ask you not to treat my words as the ones said by a Garbo fan who tries to convince viewers to see yet another "oldie" with the greatest actress of all time. Although I consider myself a great Garbo admirer, I say it with all my heart: you do not have to be very knowledgeable about Greta Garbo and you may still see this film with great pleasure finding something for yourself. That is what I wish you from my heart. I rate the film 8/10

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD now available directly from Warner's webpage! simonhowson
Robert Montgomery donwc1996
Discuss The Single Standard (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: