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If I Were Free (1933)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 December 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

Gordon Evers, a dignified middle-aged barrister, is depressed and suicidal following an injury suffered during WWI. Sarah Cazenove, an antique dealer, is likewise depressed and suicidal due... See full summary »



(screen play), (play)
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Complete credited cast:
Gordon Evers
Tono Casanove
Henry Stephenson ...
Hector Stribling
Vivian Tobin ...
Jewel Stribling
Laura Hope Crews ...
Dame Evers
Tempe Pigott ...
Lorraine MacLean ...
Catherine Evers


Gordon Evers, a dignified middle-aged barrister, is depressed and suicidal following an injury suffered during WWI. Sarah Cazenove, an antique dealer, is likewise depressed and suicidal due to her husband's dishonesty and unfaithfulness. Gordon and Sarah fall in love. The relationship is healing for both, but society frowns on their liaison as both are still married. Written by Molly Malloy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Behold We Live  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The play, "Behold, We Live", opened in London on 16 August 1932. See more »


[first lines]
Man Selling French Postcards: [scene: a Paris street cafe] Des cartes postales, m'sieur? Des cartes postales, sir?
[Man seated with lady shoos the vendor away]
Man Selling French Postcards: [approaching Gordon and Hector's table] Postal cards, m'sier? *Dirty* postcards?
Hector Stribling: [turning away, disgusted] Uh!
Gordon Evers: Charming.
[taking the cards]
Gordon Evers: Would you like to look at them, Hector?
Hector Stribling: Certainly not!
Gordon Evers: How much are they?
See more »


Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
Traditional Irish Air
Played by the organ grinder
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty good but a bit hard to believe.
10 December 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Warning: Before watching this film, you might want to give your dogs a sedative, as the sound of Irene Dunne singing might otherwise trigger them into howling fits! Yes, I know Dunne sang in such films as SHOWBOAT and ROBERTA, but never was it more piercing and high-pitched as it was here! I warned you. Fortunately, however, she doesn't sing that often.

As for the film, it's a soap opera that would not have been likely to have been made just a year later. In 1934, a tougher Production Code was enacted. It strongly censored films and many topics that were common in the pre-Code days were either forbidden completely or were forced to be so sanitized that it's tough understanding what the film might be implying--as they could not directly address topics such as adultery, abortion, drug addiction and the like. As for IF I WERE FREE, the reason it would have been tough to make just a year later was because the main topic is adultery...AND the film excusing its two leads for cheating on their partners. Even if their spouses were terrible (like they were here), such goings on were strictly taboo least until the 1960s.

As for the romance between Dunne and Clive Brook, it's handled in a very gentle manner. It is NOT some torrid romance or sexcapade, but two sad and lonely people in horrible marriages who gravitate together out of a need for ANY warmth and affection. As a result, you really do feel sorry for the pair--they really are married to terrible spouses and they just want to be loved. What I liked about all this is that the film lacked some of the melodrama such films might usually have--none of the sappy music or overly romantic scenes--just two people enjoying spending time together. Only later in the film does it become a bit sticky...just a bit.

Unfortunately for the pair, there are problems with their relationship. First, Brook's wife had promised to divorce him, but now she capriciously has changed her mind and won't let go. Second, they are from different elements in society--he's from the upper classes and is a barrister while she works in an antiques shop. As a result, his friends pressure him to give her up and soon, a mutual friend (Henry Stephenson) approaches Dunne to tell him how much this is hurting Brook. What happened next came as a genuine surprise--and you'll have to tune in yourself to see what happens next.

Overall, a good but certainly not great romance. Worth seeing, but also a bit tough to believe...particularly when Brook's mother laments to her that she wishes her son were married to Dunne and that she approved of the affair.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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