IMDb > Spite Marriage (1929)
Spite Marriage
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Spite Marriage (1929) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 3 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.2/10   1,239 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Lew Lipton (story)
Ernest Pagano (adaptation)
View company contact information for Spite Marriage on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 April 1929 (USA) See more »
An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Generally funny, but not up to his earlier high standards See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order)

Buster Keaton ... Elmer

Dorothy Sebastian ... Trilby Drew
Edward Earle ... Lionel Benmore

Leila Hyams ... Ethyl Norcrosse
William Bechtel ... Nussbaum
Jack Byron ... Scarzi (as John Byron)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joe Bordeaux ... Rumrunner (uncredited)
Ray Cooke ... The Bellboy (uncredited)
Mike Donlin ... Man in Ship's Engine Room (uncredited)
Pat Harmon ... Ship Captain (uncredited)
Sydney Jarvis ... Man in Audience Next to Elmer (uncredited)
Theodore Lorch ... Actor as 'Union Officer' (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Stage Manager (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Tough Sailor (uncredited)

Directed by
Edward Sedgwick 
Buster Keaton (uncredited)
Writing credits
Lew Lipton (story)

Ernest Pagano (adaptation) (as Ernest S. Pagano)

Richard Schayer (continuity)

Robert E. Hopkins (titles) (as Robert Hopkins)

Produced by
Buster Keaton .... producer (uncredited)
Edward Sedgwick .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Fritz Stahlberg (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Reggie Lanning (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Frank Sullivan (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Makeup Department
Monte Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Edward Brophy .... production manager (uncredited)
Lawrence Weingarten .... production supervisor (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Rose .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
George Gordon Nogle .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
David Cox .... wardrobe
Music Department
William Axt .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Edward Cupero .... composer: additional music (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
76 min (Turner library print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

The names of the three actor-characters are references to the Barrymore family: "Lionel Benmore" for Lionel Barrymore and "Ethyl Norcrosse" for his sister, Ethel Barrymore, with the last name of "Trilby Drew" being a reference to Georgiana Drew Barrymore, the mother of Lionel, Ethyl and John Barrymore, and the future namesake of John's granddaughter, Drew Barrymore.See more »
Continuity: In the dressing-room scene while attempting to trim the hair for his false beard, Elmer accidentally severs the left-hand shoulder strap of his vest and has no time to repair it. When we see him hurriedly changing back into his smart clothes after the performance, both straps are still whole.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Roman Holiday (1953)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Generally funny, but not up to his earlier high standards, 9 September 2007
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This was the last silent film starring Buster Keaton, though the film does have sound effects and music--something MGM did to many film in the period between the silents and the full conversion over to sound films. While it is very watchable (particularly to Keaton fans), it is a far cry from his earlier films mostly due to Keaton's ill-fated decision to abandon an independent career (which had resulted in great films such as THE GENERAL and STEAMBOAT BILL JUNIOR) to sign on with MGM Studios. The resulting MGM films were at first pretty good (though noticeably inferior to the independent films). However, as time passed, the films became god-awful messes that are barely watchable and often make Keaton fans cry.

Fortunately, while this IS an MGM-produced film, it is much better than most. The difference between the quality of this film and his next (FREE AND EASY) is dramatic--mostly because by the time FREE AND EASY came along, Keaton was only an actor and had no say in the creative process. This was insane, but the butt-heads at MGM wanted it this way. This was akin to hiring Picasso but only letting him do clown paintings!! SPITE MARRIAGE consists of three distinct sections and each are quite different in quality. The first consists of Keaton slavishly longing for a stage actress who has no idea that he even exists. While parts of this are very funny, the film oddly relies way too much on pathos compared to Keaton's other works--this was more Chaplin's style but now MGM was pushing Keaton this direction. I'd say this part of the movie would merit a score of 7. The second consists of when Keaton dates and then marries this selfish actress. The film grinds to a comedic halt and the highlight, so to speak, is when he spends what seems like an eternity to stick his drunk wife in bed. This was tedious and terribly unfunny--earning a score of 3. The final segment of the film was when Keaton oddly went out to sea. How this all was arranged was very silly and contrived, but once he was there the film finally showed the earlier Keaton magic--with amazing stunts like you'd expect in a Keaton film. How much of this was actually Keaton is debatable, as MGM was worried he'd get killed doing these dangerous stunts--even though Keaton was a master at this (as seen in STEAMBOAT BILL JUNIOR). Because the film's timing and laughs were impeccable, I'd give the final portion a score of 10--thus ending the movie on a very high note. Overall, averaging it all together, the film earns a 7.

Had Keaton continued to make movies of the quality of SPITE MARRIAGE, his career at MGM would have no-doubt flourished for many years, as the film comes very close to earning a score of 8 and is very watchable.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (20 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Spite Marriage (1929)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
punning reference? rayincumbria
Elmer Gantry...? mjneu59
Some good moments, but... theinnerlight87
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Reckless High Society 17 Again A Good Woman Blond Cheat
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Comedy section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.