5.5/10
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Friends and Lovers (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 3 October 1931 (USA)
British Army captain Geoff Roberts carries on an affair with Alva, the wife of the cruel Victor Sangrito. Sangrito, however, is well aware of the affair, as he uses his beautiful wife to ... See full summary »

Writers:

(novel) (as Maurice DeKobra), (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Alva Sangrito
...
Lieutenant Ned Nichols
...
Victor Sangrito
...
McNellis
Frederick Kerr ...
General Thomas Armstrong (as Frederic Kerr)
Blanche Friderici ...
Lady Allice
Vadim Uraneff ...
Ivanoff
...
Marquis Henri de Pézanne
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Storyline

British Army captain Geoff Roberts carries on an affair with Alva, the wife of the cruel Victor Sangrito. Sangrito, however, is well aware of the affair, as he uses his beautiful wife to lure men into romance with her, then blackmailing them to save their careers. When Roberts falls into Sangrito's trap, he pays the blackmail and leaves for India, hoping to forget Alva, whom he loved but now believes betrayed him. After some time in India, he is joined by his young friend and bosom companion Lt. Ned Nichols. Nichols, too, is in love with a woman back in England...the same woman. Though the two friends nearly come to blows over Alva, they eventually realize that she has been false to them both and that their friendship far outweighs their feelings for a mendacious woman. But when the two are invalided home, they encounter Alva again, and learn that she may not have betrayed them after all. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wine in the Blood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie lost $260,000 at the box office. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Geoffrey 'Geoff' Roberts: I suppose you will hate me... now.
Mrs. Alva Sangrito: Hate you? I love you more than ever.
[He takes her hand as they gaze into each other's eyes]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Practice: Friends and Ex-Lovers (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Old Badger Game, UK Style
8 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Friends and Lovers was Sir Laurence Olivier's fourth film and first for an American studio in this case RKO. His first wife Jill Esmond was better known and RKO brought her over from the UK for a couple of films and Larry went along for the ride.

He was also appearing on Broadway in Private Lives so his film work in general was an afterthought. Friends and Lovers was something that better been left undone though.

I mean it is terrible, everyone in this drama is overacting completely especially the stage trained Olivier. Olivier was dismissive of all his film work before Wuthering Heights and he was hard on himself in something like Fire Over England. But here he was justified.

The plot has Lili Damita apparently making a living at seducing men of property and then having husband Erich Von Stroheim show up and demand financial remuneration for his cuckolded pride. It's an upper crust English version of what we in the USA call the old badger game. Her latest victim is Captain Adolphe Menjou set to leave for the Indian frontier the next day.

When Menjou arrives he finds out that an old army pal Laurence Olivier is to join him at the post. When Olivier arrives Menjou discovers he also was a victim and the friendship goes on the rocks.

Friends and Lovers goes downhill from there. I suppose its Hollywood's idea about the British upper crust. The whole thing is rather silly from my point of view.

I'm sure Erich Von Stroheim thought so too. He's guilty of the most overacting in the film. I think Von Stroheim thought he was taking advantage of the deficiencies of the script. Still the whole thing is pretty silly.

Hugh Herbert is here also. Oddly enough with a fake Scot's burr, he's at the most restrained I've ever seen him as Menjou's orderly. A little 'woo woo' might enlivened the film a bit.

Friends and Lovers is a curiosity for fans of the late Lord Olivier, anyone else be warned.


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