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Alimony Madness (1933)

A man's wife is put on trial for the murder of his first wife.

Director:

(as Reeves Eason)

Writers:

(adaptation) (as John Thomas Neville), (dialogue) (as John Thomas Neville) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Joan Armstrong
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John Thurman (as Leon Waycoff)
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Joel Mason
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Eloise Thurman
Blanche Friderici ...
Mrs. Van
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Mary
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Dennis O'Shea
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Storyline

A man's wife is put on trial for the murder of his first wife.

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Plot Keywords:

murder | ex wife | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

1 April 1933 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Helen Chandler as the "Tiger Lady"
25 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nifty little low budget film about divorce and more specifically alimony. Leon Ames plays a sap married to a conniving woman (Charlotte Merriam) who wants a divorce after admitting to him that she only married him for his money (he's an architect) and the alimony she' can get out of him.

He's so distraught he agrees to all her greedy requests including $40,000 in bonds and $1,000 in monthly alimony. To get the divorce, the sap also agrees to "get caught" with a woman in his office and naming her correspondent. Enter Helen Chandler as Joan. She's out of work and takes the seedy assignment for a quick $100.

Later, she comes to work for Ames but his business has collapsed because of the bad publicity from the divorce. The ex-wife is gadding about Europe when Ames is brought to court for non-payment of his alimony checks. He's tossed into an "alimony jail" with others who can't pay.

Chandler gets him out and marries him and they have a kid. But it's a constant struggle because the shrew ex-wife never lets up about her late alimony checks, and she has no plans to remarry and lose her meal ticket.

Things get worse and worse and then the kid gets sick. While running out to get a prescription, Ames is hauled back into court for nonpayment. By the time he gets back to his house with the medicine, Chandler has made a plan.

She confronts the ex-wife and the worst happens. But it's the only way to get out from under alimony payments in a legal system that allows an ex-wife to bleed her ex-husband for years, depriving him of any real life.

Chandler is terrific as the frantic young wife. Ames and Merriam are also solid. Alberta Vaughn is the friend, Blanche Friderici is the haughty client. Edward Earle is the sleazy lawyer, and Arthur Loft the nice one.

An interesting topic for a 1933 film, and it pulls out all the stops in the pre-Code drama.


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