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A Bill of Divorcement (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 30 September 1932 (USA)
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.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Alliot
Gayle Evers ...


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




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doble sacrificio  »


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The opening credit lists Gayle Evers name as Gale Evers, but it was correctly spelled in the final credits. See more »


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. Correction: The maid hands Sidney her mother's coat. You can see the maid's apron when she steps into view. Several scenes earlier the maid told Gray she had the mother's bags packed. See more »


Hilary Fairfield: Do you know what the dead do in Heaven? They sit on their golden chairs and sicken for home.
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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 »


Good King Wenceslas
Traditional Christmas carol
Modern lyrics by John M. Neale (as J.M. Neale) (1853) and Thomas Helmore (uncredited)
Sung by carollers on Christmas Eve
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User Reviews

24 May 2007 | by 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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