6.2/10
152
10 user 2 critic

The Common Law (1931)

Passed | | Romance, Drama | 24 July 1931 (USA)
Young Valerie models for an American painter who tries to make a future in Paris and they fall in love.

Director:

Writers:

(adapted from his novel by), (screen story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rockabye (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Actress Judy Carroll, from the gas-house district has been trained, educated and developed so well by her manager, that not even the publicity-seeking world of the theater has guessed her ... See full summary »

Directors: George Cukor, George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, Paul Lukas
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dowdy Sylvia accepts her boss' marriage proposal, even though he only asked her to avoid marriage to another woman. As a wealthy wife, Sylvia changes from ugly duckling to uninhibited swan ... See full summary »

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Constance Bennett, Kenneth MacKenna, Basil Rathbone
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Constance Bennett, Clark Gable, Stuart Erwin
Lonely Wives (1931)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A lonely husband, whose wife has been away, hires a look-a-like impersonator to fill his place and fool his mother-in-law while he plays around with a pretty coquette. His wife returns that night and confusion prevails.

Director: Russell Mack
Stars: Edward Everett Horton, Esther Ralston, Laura La Plante
Born to Love (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A war officer who is thought dead returns to the woman he loves, only to find she has remarried.

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, Paul Cavanagh
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Events take an unhappy turn for two Bill and Jack, two locomotive engineers, after Bill is attracted to his best friend's wife.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, Alan Mowbray
Parole Girl (1933)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young woman released on parole vows to ruin the life of the man who insisted on sending her to jail.

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Mae Clarke, Ralph Bellamy, Marie Prevost
Safe in Hell (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A wealthy, proper society girl finds that she's much more popular with men when she pretends to be a "bad" girl.

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Constance Bennett, Ben Lyon, David Manners
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman from a very rich family impulsively marries a reporter, but each assumes the other is the one whose lifestyle must change.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jean Harlow, Loretta Young, Robert Williams
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lew Cody ...
Dick Carmedon
Robert Williams ...
Sam
...
Mrs. Claire Collis
Marion Shilling ...
Stephanie Brown
Walter Walker ...
John Neville Sr.
Paul Ellis ...
Querido
...
Fifi
Edit

Storyline

Young Valerie models for an American painter who tries to make a future in Paris and they fall in love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"I don't care what people say...as long as you say you love me!" (print ad)

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 July 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agrafos nomos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

John Neville Sr.: You're getting more like your mother every day.
Mrs. Claire Collis: I should think that would make you very happy.
John Neville Sr.: It does. And a little apprehensive.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Common Law (1923) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A movie with an interesting view of marriage as social convention
10 March 2003 | by (NY, USA) – See all my reviews

This movie has a lot of interesting things to say about marriage. Primarily its message is that marriage is a social convention. Women get married because marriage offers "protection." The emphasis in this movie is on social protection: marriage will protect women from malicious social gossip and from other lecherous males.

John Neville (Joel McCrea) asks live-in girlfriend Valerie West (Constance Bennett) to marry him because he's "in love." She says she wants to wait because she wants to be sure that their love will last. When she marries, she wants it "to be for keeps." As she says, "I'm really quite an old-fashioned girl -- well, with some modern decorations." Valerie soon changes her mind when John's sister (played by Hedda Hopper) arranges a boat cruise inviting his father (played by Walter Walker), her former lover (played by Lew Cody), and another girl interested in John. Unable to stand the social awkwardness, the gossip, and the blatant advances of her former beau, Valerie decides that perhaps getting married even though she's not sure it will last is the best way to go after all.

A critique about society's views of women and marriage, this movie also boasts strong performances by Hedda Hopper as John's sister and Walter Walker as John's father. Hedda is particularly good as the nasty, bitchy hypocrite Claire Collis, who does all she can to break John and Valerie up while feigning ignorance about it. Constance Bennett also gives a strong performance as Valerie.

Being that this was a pre-Code and Constance's character was supposed to be a nude model, I had hoped that they might have snuck in some flashes of skin. Unfortunately, they don't. Even the portraits of Constance nude cover up the private areas. There is some nudity in the film though, a long shot of a group of presumably naked women posing on a float during a raucous French party.

Given the performances and the interesting message the movie has, I'd give it a 7/10.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Common Law (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?