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Private Lives (1931)

Passed  -  Comedy | Drama  -  12 December 1931 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 617 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 9 critic

Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in ... See full summary »

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(from the play by), (scenario by), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Una Merkel ...
...
Oscar
George Davis ...
Bell Hop
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Storyline

Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in adjoining rooms with adjoining terraces. Things go fine until Amanda sees her former husband Elyot on the adjacent terrace. While they both pretend to be happy, both make plans to leave, but their spouses do not want to leave as it is their respective honeymoons. So the other spouses each go down to the bar. This leaves Elyot and Amanda together and they reminisce. Before long, the sparks again fly and they both decide to leave together to the Mountains of Switzerland. They love, they bicker, they fight, they stop. Then it begins over and over. Then Victor and Sibyl show up at their chalet. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hotel | honeymoon | chalet | fight | church | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Intimitäten  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Montgomery was accidentally knocked unconscious during the fight scene with Norma Shearer. See more »

Goofs

When Elyot, Amanda and Oscar are riding on the gondola, Elyot and Amanda begin to argue. As their argument escalates, the two of them stand up and Oscar, listening quietly, stands up with them. Their is a cut to a medium shot of Oscar which shows him still seated. Then a return to the shot of the three of them which shows Oscar standing again. See more »

Quotes

Amanda: I was brought up to believe it was beyond the pale for a man to strike a woman.
Elyot: A very poor tradition. Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.
See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Television Playhouse: Private Lives (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

A Shady Tree
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Played while Elyot and Amanda are dancing to the phonograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The witty dialog is completely overshadowed by the constant bickering of the characters.
20 December 1998 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

Noel Coward's very witty and often revived play is a mixed bag. On the one hand you have one of the master wits of the century, on par, say, with George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde, and on the other you have characters which I place near the top of my list of people I don't want to meet. Amanda and Elyot are those people. In a very clever premise, they play an ex-married couple, each newly married to another the very same day, each accidentally spending their honeymoon in the same French city, in the same hotel, on the same floor, and in fact in adjoining rooms. They meet on the adjoining terraces, reminisce over old times and decide it was a mistake to divorce. Leaving notes to their spouses (Reginald Denny and Una Merkel) they run off to a St. Moritz, Switzerland chalet, with their mystified spouses swiftly following to find them. My problem with the film is their persistent and maddening bickering - verbal violence - which they recognize they're guily of, and which each try to stem by using the expression "Solomon Isaacs" to remind the other to stop. It doesn't always work, and it sometimes results in physical violence too.

The acting is uniformly good, even by the supporting players, who also get in their share of shouting. The script of the film was changed somewhat, introducing the character of Oscar (Jean Hersholt, in a small role), but omitting what I thought was the funniest line in the play when I saw it two years ago. Amanda says "Darling, do you realize that we're living in sin?" In the film, Elyot responds "We were married in the eyes of heaven and we still are." In the play he says "Not according to the Catholics." The scriptwriters must have felt that might offend too many people.


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