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A Bill of Divorcement (1932)

Passed  -  Drama  -  30 September 1932 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 863 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 9 critic

A man, Hilary Fairfield returns home after fifteen years in a mental asylum. However, he finds things are not the way they were when he left.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: A Bill of Divorcement (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hilary
...
Margaret
David Manners ...
Kit
...
Sidney
Paul Cavanagh ...
Gray
Henry Stephenson ...
Gayle Evers ...
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Hester
Edit

Storyline

After spending fifteen years in an asylum, Hilary Fairfield escapes from the institution after regaining his sanity. He finds that things at home are different than when he left them. His wife has divorced him and is already planning her next marriage, and his daughter has grown up throughout the years and is planning to marry as well. Written by Pablo Garcia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

party | christmas | divorce | clergy | insanity | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doble sacrificio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ms Hepburn was interviewed at length by Dick Cavett, she told a story. Most of her life, her favourite off-camera outfit was dungarees and whatever sort of comfortable top seemed appropriate. When she was working on this first film, the studio PR department kept trying to get her to wear the elegant costumes from the film off the set, instead of her dungarees and sweaters. (This was a fairly common practise, since photos of the actors at nightclubs and fancy restaurants in the gowns and clothing they would wear in the film made good PR when they appeared in newspapers and screen magazines.) She refused. They said that they'd hide her dungarees while she was on the set, so that she'd have to wear the fancy duds. She said that she said "Oh, I REALLY wouldn't do that." But they did. When Cavett asked "So what did you do?", she said "What else could I do? I walked across the lot to the car waiting for me at the front gate in my underpants." Her dungarees were returned the next day. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end, when Sidney convinces her mother to leave, she reaches for her mother's coat, and someone off-camera hands it to her. The hands of the crew member are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Sydney Fairfield: No, just go... as though you were only going into the next room.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sydney Fairfield is the name of Katharine Hepburn's character in the film, but ner name is spelled Sidney in the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Woman of Substance: Katharine Hepburn Remembered (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Unfinished Sonata
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
Played on piano by Katharine Hepburn and John Barrymore
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shell-shock....
24 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Worth seeing for Katharine Hepburn. The film starts out in a provincially normal household, a mansion complete with servants, and aging auntie (sister of the patient) and a suitor (Canvanagh) for Hepburn.

The story is rather basic, Barrymore wishes to return after his long hospitalization. Of course, life has not stopped (except for him.) A tragic story in any sense, and well portrayed here, if not a bit melodramatic. Billie Burke delivers a dated and frilly performance as a woman re-marrying. For 1932 the topic of psychological disorders being addressed at all is to be commended.

My mother had always loved Barrymore, and he does have the obsessive qualities which would categorize a man who has been traumatized. Billie Burke as the rejecting wife who now wants to re-marry. The topic of mental illness and post traumatic stress is still rarely covered in any semblance of realism, so this film is noteworthy on this issue alone. 8/10.


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