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The Rich Are Always with Us (1932)

TV-G | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 21 May 1932 (USA)
The ten year marriage of of Caroline Van Dyke and Greg Grannard is falling apart. A young woman, Allison, plots to become his second wife. Caroline's friend, novelist Julian, has long loved... See full summary »



(based on the novel of the same name by) (as E. Pettit), (adaptation)

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Complete credited cast:
Julian Tierney
Greg Grannard
Allison Adair
Clark Davis
The Doctor
Walter Walker ...
Virginia Hammond ...
Judge Bradshaw (as Burton Churchill)


The ten year marriage of of Caroline Van Dyke and Greg Grannard is falling apart. A young woman, Allison, plots to become his second wife. Caroline's friend, novelist Julian, has long loved her and now sees his chance, but she refuses him and goes to Paris to file for divorce. Julian follows but on hearing that Greg has fallen on financial hardship Caroline returns to help him. Greg tells Caroline that his now-wife Allison is pregnant and Caroline realizes that she loves Julian and to travel to China with him and be married. Allison and Greg have a bitter row in the car, which then smashes into a tree killing Allison and injuring Greg. Caroline tells Julian she will stay with Greg until he is well, but marries Julian in the hospital with a promise to join him as soon as she can. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Witty, Naughty and Gay . . a spectacular story of how the other half lives - and loves - and lies. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance







Release Date:

21 May 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En natt i kärlek  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ruth Chatterton and George Brent married shortly after this film. And divorced two years later. See more »


At the beginning of the film when Caroline and Julian are at the restaurant, the space between them keeps changing between shots. See more »


Featured in Women He's Undressed (2015) See more »


What a Life! (Trying to Live Without You)
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Alter
Lyrics by Charlotte Kent
Played when "1930" is shown and often in the score
Sung by an unidentified female in a nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

The rich are not just with us but everywhere in this film ...
3 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... in which even "the poor writer" (George Brent as Julian Tierney) has posh roomy quarters and a full time servant in the person of Max (Sam McDaniel, Hattie Mc Daniel's brother).

In 1932 Warner's capitalized on their recent raid of Paramount's talent to put one of those stars (Ruth Chatterton) in the kind of drama that she did so well - playing a woman of means in the Great Depression that the average person could relate to and even find likable. Here Ms. Chatterton plays Caroline, born "the richest girl in the world". At age 20 she marries successful stock broker Greg Grannard (John Miljan). Then the film fast forwards to ten years later. Caroline is enjoying a rather robust flirtation with writer Julian. Julian wants it to be more, but you get the feeling that Caroline, although fond of Julian, is just doing this to feed her vanity and assure herself that she is still desirable, that she doesn't really want to upset her life as she has been living it all of these years.

It would never occur to her that her husband might feel the same way. He too is carrying on with someone else - the bratty Allison, who, unlike Julian, is not respecting of her lover's desire to leave things as they are. She lures Greg into an embrace where Caroline is sure to spot them and it leads to Greg being granted the divorce that Allison wants him to get so she can get her hooks into him. Complicating matters is Bette Davis as Malbro (wherever did they get that name???) as a socialite who wants Julian at any price and I mean that literally. One of Malbro's selling points to Julian is that if he married her he wouldn't have to work anymore.

I found the story interesting and the performances superb. Chatterton especially shines in the scene where she, her husband, and Allison are discussing how to go forward - divorce, open marriage, end the affair - after she spots Allison and Greg together. She gives the part and the scene the dignity and the subtlety it requires to be believable. All through the film, even after the divorce, she struggles with her desire for continuity - represented by Greg who is still very much in her life

  • versus her desire for passion, represented by Julian, who wants her

to cut off ties with Greg entirely and marry him.

Even in such a small part you see can see what made Bette Davis great. When she turns into a ball of fire on screen in the few scenes she had center stage you can see how she blew the frost right off the first generation of talking film actresses. An interesting aside - the iconic moment in "Now Voyager" where Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes in his mouth and passes one to Davis was actually done here first. This time it is in a moment shared between George Brent and Ruth Chatterton.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Love Ruth Chatterton, but she was perhaps too old for the role fairweatherfan
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