19 user 4 critic

Kept Husbands (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 22 February 1931 (USA)
Daughter of a wealthy family decides to marry a poor working man.



(by), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Millie (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Millie's life begins to crumble when she finds out her husband is having an affair.

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Helen Twelvetrees, Lilyan Tashman, Robert Ames
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gold-diggers Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman meet susceptible lonely businessmen at conventions in this ribald preproduction code story. The millionaires lavish the girls with expensive ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Kay Francis, Joel McCrea, Lilyan Tashman
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, Lew Cody
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
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A native girl falls for a visitor to her island, but she's chosen to be sacrificed to the volcano god.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Dolores del Rio, Joel McCrea, John Halliday
Gambling Lady (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Lady Lee, gambler's daughter, plies her trade while pondering the proposal of a social-register suitor.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Pat O'Brien
Born to Love (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | 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
Lonely Wives (1931)
    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
Bed of Roses (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lorry and Minnie are ex-hookers who leave prison, determined to find the good life with rich men. Along the way Lorry meets and falls in love with cotton barge owner Dan. She must choose ... See full summary »

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea, John Halliday
Once a Sinner (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Guthrie McClintic
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea, John Halliday
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dorothy Hunter is an heiress of untold wealth. She believes no one will love her for herself and not for her money, so she pretends to be her secretary Sylvia while Sylvia pretends to be ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Joel McCrea, Fay Wray


Complete credited cast:
Richard 'Dick' Brunton
Hughie Hanready
Mrs. Brunton
Mrs. Henrietta Post
Robert McWade ...
Arthur Parker
Charlie Bates
Florence Roberts ...
Mrs. Henrietta Parker
Freeman Wood ...
Llewllyn Post


Blue collar steelworker Richard Brunton (McCrea) saves two of his fellow workers after an accident at a factory. In gratitude, his boss, millionaire Arthur Parker invites Richard for dinner with his family. Arthur's daughter Dot (Mackaill) is instantly impressed and infatuated with Richard She vows to marry him within a month.She does but Richard's seeming good luck is short-lived when he discovers how spoiled and selfish Dot really is, draining his finances dry in her greed, and he becomes Dot's "kept husband." Richard eventually convinces her to settle down and be happy on his humble salary. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every Inch a Man--Bought Body and Soul by His Wife.


Drama | Romance



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 February 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El obrero y la millonaria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Richard 'Dick' Brunton: I enjoy a good time as much as anyone. But I'm working now so I can have fun when I'm older.
Dorothea 'Dot' Parker Brunton: And can't enjoy it.
See more »


The Wedding March
(1842) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played at the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

It has an interesting plot idea but fails to capitalize due to the writing.
20 January 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film begins with a rich guy announcing to his family that he's bringing home a worker from his factory. As his family is made up of spoiled rich folks, they assume this guy would be a bumpkin. However, Dick (Joel McCrea) turns out to be well-mannered, quite humble and an All-American football player! He doesn't tell them about the football--the boss' daughter, Dorothy (Dorothy Mackaill) recognizes him. And, although she sure seemed pretty snobby, now she suddenly is VERY interested in Dick (take that how you might) and later announces to her father that she is going to marry that working man. However, even if she does hook him, can it even work out? After all, they are as unlike as can be--he's a decent, hard-working man and she's just a seemingly vacuous rich girl.

Unfortunately, soon after the marriage, it becomes apparent that Dorothy feels that because she comes from money, she should make all the decisions in the marriage. And, for a while, Dick is emasculated (again, take that how you might). Eventually, however, he gets near the breaking point--he has a great opportunity and she wants him to give it up so he can stay home by her side. Soon, the marriage fizzles. Is there any hope for this couple?

All in all, the best way to describe Dorothy's behavior throughout the film is...well,...IMDb won't let me use language like this! She is too awful, as it makes you wonder how a guy like Dick could put up with her for ANY length of time. I wish her part have been a bit more subtle. Because of this, the film is severely impacted. Had she been likable and less one-dimensional, the film would have been significantly better. As for McCrea and his part, he was quite good and this sort of piffle didn't significantly mar his career. Overall, a decent idea for a film but it was in need of a significant re-write.

By the way, get a load of the Christmas tree (about 20 minutes into the film). It's pretty amazing. And, about three minutes later, watch the ridiculous acting of Dorothy's mother--it made me chuckle. Also, the current image on IMDb seems to imply that this is some sort of saucy Pre-Code film. Well, since it came out before mid-1934, of course it's Pre-Code--but it is NOT a sexy film nor one that would have violated the toughened Production Code. It looks like a case of false advertising.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will air on TCM at 4:00 PM (EDT) on 5/23/2013 michaelhelwick
Discuss Kept Husbands (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: