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A Notorious Affair (1930)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 4 May 1930 (USA)
A scheming musician seduces a wealthy woman for love and money.



(by), (screen version)
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Complete credited cast:
Patricia Hanley
Paul Gherardi
Countess Olga Balakireff
Dr. Alan Pomeroy (Misspelled Allen in Opening Credits)
Sir Thomas Hanley
Philip Strange ...
Lord Percival Northmore
Malcolm Waite ...
Higgins - the Butler


A scheming musician seduces a wealthy woman for love and money.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

4 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Covardia de Amor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The play originally opened in London, England, in March, 1929. See more »


[last lines]
Paul Gherardi: Imagine my trying to hold you, with pity...
Lady Patricia Hanley Gherardi: ...when love was all that was necessary.
See more »


Second Movement: Andante
(1844) (uncredited)
from "Violin Concerto in E Minor (Op.64)"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played in concert with Basil Rathbone on violin and Gino Corrado on piano
Reprised by Basil Rathbone in the countess's boudoir
See more »

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User Reviews

Your gay Lothario is here -- run to him
24 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Stilted dialogue, melodramatic performances, and a formulaic story are what make "Notorious Affair" from 1930 bad.

It's bad today; it was the style back then. Plays and movies dealt in melodrama and in the upper classes.

The film stars Kay Francis, Billie Dove, and Basil Rathbone, who is woefully miscast as an Italian violinist named Gherardi, mispronounced in the movie as "Gerardi". It's a hard G, Guhrardi. Francis plays a complete slut who goes to bed with every man she meets; she goes after Gherardi, who is married to Dove. He succumbs.

In one hilarious scene, he tells her he's going home. She shuts the curtains to her boudoir, and he stands there, face full of desire, closes his eyes, and sighs.

Both Francis and Dove are stunning and beautifully dressed. Francis has a presence and sophistication. Dove is luminescently beautiful, with huge, expressive eyes and an oval face. It's such a shame nearly every one of her films is lost. She retired very early from films but lived until age 94.

Rathbone, with his outrageously bad accent and overly made up face, is wooden and too big for the screen, having come from the theater. Screen acting with speaking was very new.

The gowns are gorgeous.

This film is a great example of the old acting style and type of film made pre-code. Most of all, it's a chance to see the gorgeous Billie Dove.

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