6.2/10
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6 user 3 critic

A Woman of Experience (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 7 August 1931 (USA)
It is 1915 in Vienna and the Great War has caused many casualties. Elsa decides to answer the patriotic appeals and help by working in the hospital, but her reputation causes her to be ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(adapted from the play: "The Registered Woman"), (screen play & dialogue by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Captain Otto von Lichstein
...
Katie
...
Major Hugh Schmidt
...
Captain Muller
...
Hans - a Sailor
...
...
A General
Bertha Mann ...
Red Cross Nurse
William H. Tooker ...
Colonel
Alfred Hickman ...
Colonel
...
Captain Kurt von Hausen
Max Waizmann ...
Ashley Buck ...
Heinrich - Young Officer
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Storyline

It is 1915 in Vienna and the Great War has caused many casualties. Elsa decides to answer the patriotic appeals and help by working in the hospital, but her reputation causes her to be rejected. Because of her past, military intelligence wants her to find out whether an army major is spying for the allies. She meets the major at a dinner and they agree to meet later, but before she can keep the date, she is courted by a young naval officer named Karl. Falling in love, she ignores her spying assignment, but knows that she can never tell her new love about her life. When Karl has a chance to go on a heroic mission, Elsa sends him away with a dear Karl letter. However, the paths of these three people cross again and she decides what she must do. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Registered Woman  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Equipment)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the movie is based on a play, no production has been found. See more »

Quotes

Hans - a Sailor: Any old port in a storm.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on a round, rolling drum that slowly rotates upward. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Consolation Marriage (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaiserlied (Austrian National Anthem 1795-1918)
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Haydn (from "Kaiserquartett")
Lyrics by Lorenz Leopold Haschka
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In many ways like combining the Garbo films "Mata Hari" and "Camille".
5 November 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The film begins when WWI breaks out. Wanting to be an Austrian patriot, Elsa (Helen Twelvetrees) tries to volunteer. But again and again she is rejected. Now since this is a Pre-Code film, adults watching the film realize it's because she's a prostitute...but it is implied and never explicitly stated. Eventually, the spy folks learn about her willingness and recruit her to do some spying. After all, if she needs to bed the guy, she's likely very good at it! But instead of vamping the guy, she accidentally meets up with a handsome and very, very sweet Lieutenant...and he falls head over heels for her. And, she spends most of the film with the nice guy and not her quarry. However, she IS a patriot and eventually does what must be done...even though she would much rather just run off with the Lieutentant and live happily ever after. So what's next? See the film.

The plot of this film is very much like the Garbo films "Mata Hari" and "Camille" (about a doomed love affair with a prostitute). But, and I know some folks might be surprised I'd say this, but these represent two of Garbo's worst films and "A Woman of Experience" is much more watchable...though I am NOT saying it's a particularly great film as well. I prefer it because Twelvetrees' acting is much more restrained and believable...and her boyfriend, Karl (William Bakewell), is quite good. The twist at the very end, however, is NOT good...not at all.

By the way, throughout the beginning of the film, you keep hearing the song "Deutschland über Alles"....but this is the national anthem of Germany, not Austria. How odd. Maybe they chose it because it was written by Hayden...an Austrian. I would have chosen another song.


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