Strictly Unconventional (1930)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  3 May 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 69 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

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Complete credited cast:
Catherine Dale Owen ...
Tyrell Davis ...
Mary Forbes ...
Wilfred Noy ...
William H. O'Brien ...
Footman (as William O'Brien)


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Plot Keywords:

horse | vase | party | orchestra | nobility | See All (19) »




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Release Date:

3 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Iris  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened in London, England on 3 March 1921. It opened on Broadway in New York City on 12 September 1921 and closed in February 1922 after 175 performances. The opening night cast included John Halliday as Ted, Estelle Winwood as Elizabeth and Walter Soderling as the Butler. There were 2 revivals of the play: in 1938 with Tallulah Bankhead and John Emery, and in 1989, with Stewart Granger, Rex Harrison and Glynis Johns. See more »


Elizabeth: You're awfully nice, Ted.
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Version of The Circle (1925) See more »


An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played as dance music by the orchestra at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

Good, workmanlike drawing-room comic melodrama
16 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film has its weaknesses, starting with its silly title (the original title of the W. Somerset Maugham play it's based on, "The Circle," is better and should have been retained) and some of the ridiculous makeups the actors are forced to wear (Lewis Stone especially — it took me a while to discern his familiar features under all that greasepaint and hair cream), but all in all it's a good drawing room comedy/melodrama. Like Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward, Maugham was a (mostly) Gay writer whose sensibility came out (so to speak) in a jaundiced view of heterosexuality, and there are several unusual aspects to this plot — including the fascinating twist that 30 years after they did the dashingly romantic thing of running off together without first divorcing their spouses, Lord Porteous (Ernest Torrence) and Lady Champion-Cheney (Alison Skipworth) are as miserable as any married couple could possibly be after that length of time. I'd heard so many bad things about Catherine Dale Owen over the years that it was a surprise to see one of her films and actually find her quite good — energetic, high-spirited and fully in command of her role — and of course it's also always a treat to see Alison Skipworth, the one person who ever stole a scene from W. C. Fields and the principal villain (a sex-changed version of the Sydney Greenstreet role) in the otherwise pretty dismal second version of "The Maltese Falcon," called "Satan met a Lady." Her costume — representing an attempt to dress as a youthful coquette, defying her extra years and bulk — is itself a piece of minor film-making genius. David Burton's direction is mostly commonplace but has some inspired moments, notably the animation of the young Lady Champion-Cheney's photo in the album early on. And at only 56 minutes, the film lasts just as long as it needs to for the story it has to tell and isn't padded out to fill extra running time the way so many films are today.

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