MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 20,260 this week

Our Betters (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  17 March 1933 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 347 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

Although the British upper class may be thought our betters in society, but they are certainly not our betters, and perhaps our equals, in morality.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Related News

Nigel Davenport obituary
| The Guardian - Film News
Nigel Davenport obituary
| The Guardian - TV News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 2776 titles
created 13 Apr 2012
 
a list of 6 titles
created 27 Jun 2012
 
a list of 5087 titles
created 12 Oct 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 14 May 2013
 
a list of 984 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Our Betters" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Our Betters (1933)

Our Betters (1933) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Our Betters.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Susan and God (1940)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Susan Trexel is a wealthy socialite, who while vacationing in Europe undergoes a religious transformation. On her return to America, Susan takes on the task of spreading her new found ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Joan Crawford, Fredric March, Ruth Hussey
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Affluent Millicent and Oliver Jordan throw a dinner for a handful of wealthy and/or well-born acquaintances, each of whom has much to reveal.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
After Tonight (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

While romancing a beautiful Russian countess, a captain in the Austrian intelligence service is assigned to capture "K-14", a clever spy who has so far managed to remain undetected. What ... See full summary »

Director: George Archainbaud
Stars: Constance Bennett, Gilbert Roland, Edward Ellis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Arnold Boult is determined to make his son a success at all costs. He commits arson, causes two suicides, and bribes people. His wife, unable to leave him, becomes alcoholic and dies. His ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Deborah Kerr, Ian Hunter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sexy Texas gal storms her way through life, brawling and boozing until her luck runs out, forcing her to learn the errors of her ways.

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Clara Bow, Gilbert Roland, Thelma Todd
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

While at a ski lodge, Larry Blake sees instructor Karin Borg and decides to sign up for private lessons. The next thing he knows, she is Mrs. Blake. When he announces that he is going back ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Constance Bennett
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Constance Bennett, Neil Hamilton, Helen Vinson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gold-diggers Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman meet susceptible lonely businessmen at conventions in this ribald preproduction code story. The millionaires lavish the girls with expensive ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Kay Francis, Joel McCrea, Lilyan Tashman
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The telegram that Jim Comway receives states that the woman he was to marry, Laura, could not move to a country she didn't know, and marry a man she felt she no longer knew

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Constance Bennett, Jeffrey Lynn, Regis Toomey
Outcast Lady (1934)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Constance Bennett, Herbert Marshall, Mrs. Patrick Campbell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Small town Kansas girl, Lily James, is the latest model working for the Thomas Callaway Agency in New York City. Despite her small town roots, Lily is street-wise because of her tough ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Lana Turner, Ray Milland, Tom Ewell
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lady Pearl Grayston
Violet Kemble Cooper ...
Duchess (as Violet Kemble-Cooper)
Phoebe Foster ...
Princess
...
Thornton Clay
Charles Starrett ...
...
Bessie
...
Pepi D'Costa
Minor Watson ...
Arthur Fenwick
Hugh Sinclair ...
Lord Bleane
...
Lord George Grayston
Harold Entwistle ...
Pole
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Virginia Howell ...
Mrs. Saunders (scenes deleted)
Walter Walker ...
Mr. Saunders (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

American heiress Pearl Saunders marries Lord George Grayston but later sees him embracing his lover on their wedding day. She has his title and he has her money; thereafter they are rarely seen together. Pearl is accepted by the British aristocracy and is presented at court, but creates a scandal by wearing black. She encourages her younger sister, Bessie, who idolizes her, to respond to the attentions of Lord Harry Bleane despite Bessie preferring American Fleming Harvey. Pearl gives a weekend party at the Grayston estate inviting close friends, including her lover, Arthur Fenwick; her friend, Duchess Minnie and Minnie's gigolo companion, Pepi D'Costa; as well as Bessie, Lord Bleane and Harvey. Pepi, who had been meeting Pearl on the sly, discretely suggests a rendezvous with her in the new teahouse on the property. Both make some pretext to leave but are seen by Minnie entering the teahouse. Vindictive Minnie pretends to have left her purse in the teahouse and sends Bessie to fetch ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wedding | sister | party | heiress | gigolo | See All (25) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Haute société  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 12 March 1917 and closed in June 1917 after 112 performances. It was revived on 20 February 1928 with Ina Claire as Pearl, Constance Collier as the Duchess, Reginald Bach (who also directed) as Thornton Clay, and with Lillian Kemble-Cooper and Madge Evans. The revival ran for 128 performances and closed in June 1928. See more »

Quotes

Minnie, Duchess of Sourae: Marriage is so middle class. It takes away all the romance of love.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the Queen!
(1744) (uncredited)
Music attributed to Henry Carey
Played at the end of the royal court scenes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dandies in Aspic
2 March 2009 | by (Colorado, United States) – See all my reviews

This movie haunts me in a way and fills me with questions. Why did Selznick make this screen version of a 1917 Maugham play right in the middle of the Great Depression in America? I wonder what was on his mind -- to make people angry enough to bring their friends for another look? To let them scoff at the foibles of the impossibly idle rich? This movie primarily is about American expats who've found a place among a jaded British aristocracy (which, at the time of Maugham's stage play, were, with the rest of England, at the height of a bloody world war that would cost Britain almost an entire generation of its young men). But this film version was brought to the screen in 1933, at the height of a crushing Depression that left so many millions jobless and homeless and lucky to have the price of a night at the movies. Contrast that with the sly comic turnings of a very young Gilbert Roland as the Chilean idler Pepi, whose pouty side-glances as he manipulates his very rich and titled benefactress were elegantly applied and flawlessly aimed, no doubt, at enraging most any Depression-oppressed American of the day. I'm sure Roland (no idler himself) and Cukor had a lot of fun filming Pepi. I loved the steady Grant Mitchell, elegantly playing a happy snob who unashamedly admits that he'd come to England from Ohio, and has "lost any trace of an American accent." No apologies from his character, who lends the picture a decorum and good-humored tolerance, all in the cause of maintaining these high-blown dodgy "friendships," deftly working to keep things on a happy note, despite bothersome indiscretions. Others have written here of the remarkable performance of Violet Kemble Cooper as the Duchess, and I heartily agree. And what a happy surprise was the very late entrance in the picture of Tyrell Davis (one of the famous tailors from Wellman's "The Public Enemy" two years earlier) as the unabashedly delightful pouffe Ernest, brought in by Bennett's character to salvage a nearly wrecked country weekend. Ernest was summoned hastily from a busy Sunday schedule in London, still attired in his city-best, flawlessly coiffed, with dark heart-shaped lip rouge, more eye shadow than Bennett, and powdered like a pastry. He carried his look as proudly, happily and effortlessly as did the elegant Bennett in her timelessly smashing Hattie Carnegie gowns. Across the Channel, he'd have been exterminated by the Nazis, but in his place among a protective British aristocracy, Ernest was obviously a most happy man, allowed to act out himself completely and taking his place as a favorite among the ladies. I'm astonished that Davis, whose Ernest hilariously capped the picture and who uttered its naughty closing line, was not credited for this fresh and pleasing (or shocking) performance. Have you ever seen such a face in the movies? Or anywhere else? Such a happy individualist in a society that outlawed some of his assumed after-hours behavior. Without the protection of the aristocracy, Ernest, like Wilde, likely would have spent part of his life in prison. This picture contains some dated stage business and moves a bit too slowly for us today, but I'm so happy that it survives. I still wonder, though, what was the aim of making this movie at this time in the American experience? Hughes and Selznick wanted and expected an audience and a profit, after all. Was a Maugham play burning a hole in their pockets? Were generous eyes-full of Constance Bennett in clingy satin gowns enough to draw 'em in? I suspect there was a social aim here, but I'm not sure what it is.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ernest--'happy individualist' or 'vile gay stereotype'? verbumctf
Forgive me for asking the obvious..... calvinnme
Bad acting Geechee
Discuss Our Betters (1933) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?