IMDb > Private Lives (1931)
Private Lives
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Private Lives (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.0/10   632 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Noel Coward (from the play by)
Hanns Kräly (scenario) ...
View company contact information for Private Lives on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 December 1931 (USA) See more »
Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(144 articles)
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Chris Colfer To Star As Noel Coward
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User Reviews:
very good adaptation See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Norma Shearer ... Amanda

Robert Montgomery ... Elyot

Reginald Denny ... Victor
Una Merkel ... Sibyl

Jean Hersholt ... Oscar
George Davis ... Bell Hop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herman Bing ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Ferike Boros ... Cook at Chalet (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Hotel Concierge (uncredited)
Wilfrid North ... Sibyl's Wedding Escort (uncredited)

Directed by
Sidney Franklin 
Writing credits
Noel Coward (from the play by)

Hanns Kräly (scenario) (as Hans Kraly) and
Richard Schayer (scenario)

Claudine West (continuity)

Produced by
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Ray Binger (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Conrad A. Nervig (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harold S. Bucquet .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Fred Morgan .... sound (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Robert Montgomery was accidentally knocked unconscious during the fight scene with Norma Shearer.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Elyot Chase:You don't hold any mystery for me darling; do you mind? There isn't a part of you I don't know, remember, and want.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Terrible Lovers (1936)See more »
A Shady TreeSee more »


A favorite line
See more »
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
very good adaptation, 10 September 2005
Author: blanche-2 from United States

I had the pleasure several years ago of seeing Lindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman on Broadway in Noel Coward's durable comedy, "Private Lives," and they were magnificent. I admit I had low expectations for a film version. I was pleasantly surprised that, though scenes were added and changed, the film keeps the tone of the play.

I actually saw part of this movie when I was about nine years old. James Card of the George Eastman House introduced it on a weekly old film program. To a nine-year-old, it seemed very foreign, given its age. Strangely, I have always remembered the line, "We're married in the eyes of heaven" - from that TV showing! And sure enough, my memory was correct - that either says something about Montgomery's line reading, or that I had no understanding of what the line meant, or I have a weird memory. Not sure.

I thought the two stars, Robert Montgomery and Norma Shearer, portrayed the couple excellently. Shearer is so often criticized for her acting, but I'm sorry, I've seen her in some very good performances, although I grant you, she was a movie star first and foremost. The couple also has great chemistry.

I understand the apartment in Paris was changed to attract the German market, which eliminated the great part of the maid.

In the end, the film is very enjoyable and the play, of course, set the stage for many ripoffs. I agree with another of the comments, it would have been fabulous to have Coward and Lawrence preserved on film.

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DVD? bombalurina1
If a new version were made... vegwriter
DVD now available directly from Warner's webpage! simonhowson
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