IMDb > The Divorcee (1930)
The Divorcee
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The Divorcee (1930) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   1,578 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Ursula Parrott (based on a novel by)
Nick Grinde (treatment) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Divorcee on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 April 1930 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer All Talking Picture!
Plot:
When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Neglected Landmark, More Often Discussed Than Actually Seen See more (34 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Norma Shearer ... Jerry

Chester Morris ... Ted
Conrad Nagel ... Paul

Robert Montgomery ... Don
Florence Eldridge ... Helen
Helene Millard ... Mary
Robert Elliott ... Bill

Mary Doran ... Janice
Tyler Brooke ... Hank
Zelda Sears ... Hannah

George Irving ... Dr. Bernard
Judith Wood ... Dorothy (as Helen Johnson)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neal Dodd ... Hospital Minister (uncredited)
Charles R. Moore ... First Porter Opening Window (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Party Guest (uncredited)
George Reed ... Second Porter (uncredited)
Carl Stockdale ... Divorce Judge (uncredited)
Jack Trent ... Helen's Bridge Partner (uncredited)
Theodore von Eltz ... Ivan (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Z. Leonard (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Ursula Parrott (based on a novel by)

Nick Grinde (treatment) (as Nick Grindé) and
Zelda Sears (treatment)

John Meehan (continuity and dialogue)

Produced by
Robert Z. Leonard .... producer
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Norbert Brodine (photographed by) (as Norbert Brodin)
 
Film Editing by
Hugh Wynn (film editor)
Truman K. Wood (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
James Brock .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
84 min (copyright length) | USA:82 min (Turner library print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Ontario) (video rating) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ursula Parrott's novel "Ex-Wife" was a runaway bestseller in 1929. MGM was a little wary of being too closely associated with such a racy novel so did not credit the source book directly. Instead the screen credit reads "Based on a novel by Ursula Parrott".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At 30:11, the stole on Jerry's arm moves.See more »
Quotes:
Jerry Bernard Martin:[to Ted] So look for me in the future where the primroses grow and pack your man's pride with the rest. From now on, you're the only man in the world that my door is closed to.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Auld Lang SyneSee more »

FAQ

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39 out of 42 people found the following review useful.
A Neglected Landmark, More Often Discussed Than Actually Seen, 12 April 2005
Author: gftbiloxi (gftbiloxi@yahoo.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi

THE Divorcée was created in the first wave of "all talking pictures," an era in which directors, writers, and actors often struggled to find styles appropriate to the new technology. At the time, it was hailed as a masterpiece of realism; today, however, it is a film more often discussed than actually seen, for there is no escaping the fact that the film is stylistically dated. Even so, it remains a landmark of its era--and given its historical importance it should be seen by any one with a serious interest in the history of American cinema.

The film is "pre-code," which is to say that it was made during a handful of years in the early 1930s when Hollywood's self-censorship was more the subject of jokes than of reality, and THE Divorcée was among the first Hollywood talkies to openly address both female sexuality and the sexual double standard. The story finds Jerry (Norma Shearer) and Ted (Chester Morris) happily married--but on their third anniversary Jerry discovers that Ted has been unfaithful, something that Ted dismisses with the words "it doesn't mean a thing." Angry and hurt, Jerry responds by having a one night stand of her own--and then is astonished by Ted's hypocrisy when he declares that her infidelity "isn't the same thing." The same story has been told so often that today we take it for granted, but in 1930 it was extremely controversial, and the cast plays it out with considerable intensity. Most notable is star Norma Shearer; although changing styles have left her sadly neglected, in her own era she was considered among the finest actresses on the screen and noted for her unusual beauty, memorable speaking voice, and tremendous star quality. In THE Divorcée she gives it everything she has, and her power is such that most viewers will find she quickly transcends the stylistically dated aspects of both the film and her own performance.

Over the years I've seen the film several times--most impressively on the big screen, where the larger than life performances seem considerably less affected--and I've enjoyed it quite a bit every time. If you are interested in exploring early 1930s Hollywood films, you could do considerably worse than to begin with THE Divorcée, which was my own introduction to that film era. If you are already interested in early 1930s film and have never seen it... this one belongs on your shelf, and no excuses.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT

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