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Divorce Among Friends (1930)

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(dialogue), (scenario) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

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George Morris
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Helen Morris
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Paul Wilcox
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Joan Whitley
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Tom
Margaret Seddon ...
Maid
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Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

13 December 1930 (USA)  »

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(Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

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The supporting performers are far more interesting than the leads
29 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

That's mainly because the supporting cast consists of Lew Cody and Natalie Moorhead who comprise the semi-suitors to the feuding leading couple Helen and George Morris, played by Irene Delroy and James Hall. The two leads didn't have careers past the early sound era, and it is probably what caused many a short career during this time. Both had very good voices and looks, but their acting is very wooden. Lew Cody plays Paul, a chronically drunk but tunefully talented friend of the couple and apparently a former beau of Helen who would like to reinterview for that position. Natalie Moorhead plays a femme fatale who meets George Morris at exactly the wrong time and pilfers - with George's complicity - a gift Helen has just given George that morning. He flirts shamelessly with her, thinking he'll never see her again, but boy is he wrong.

Also note that the film seems to be going for an MGM kind of upper crust drawing room style of the period, yet it cannot shake the Warner Brothers working class style. For example, George and Helen are apparently quite wealthy, living in a multi-wing mansion with a maid and a butler. George goes to the athletic club - and the fights. George and Helen should think about replacing their current servants, though, because in spite of their presence, it is apparently Helen that does the cooking and the cleaning. Since George and Helen are very young - obviously in their 20's - you'd assume that all of this money is the result of inherited wealth. However, all during their film there is not one mention of a relative. There is some invasion of life in 1930 into this little comedy though. Paul (Lew Cody) is called a "rotter", a reference to the rot-gut liquor of prohibition. Note that prohibition has not slowed down Paul's - or anyone else's - consumption of alcohol.

This film is actually a pretty good early talkie because the tranquilized performances of the leading actors are compensated for not only by the supporting performers but by the cute gags and turns in the plot of the film itself. Especially humorous is Cody's character backscoring George's excuses to Helen with appropriate piano accompaniment. I'd say give it a try if it ever crosses your path and early talkies are of interest to you. I found it quite amusing.


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