Our Betters (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  17 March 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 387 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.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Lady Pearl Grayston
Violet Kemble Cooper ...
Duchess (as Violet Kemble-Cooper)
Phoebe Foster ...
Thornton Clay
Pepi D'Costa
Minor Watson ...
Arthur Fenwick
Hugh Sinclair ...
Lord Bleane
Lord George Grayston
Harold Entwistle ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Virginia Howell ...
Mrs. Saunders (scenes deleted)
Walter Walker ...
Mr. Saunders (scenes deleted)


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) »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Haute société  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When Pepi and Minnie meet the day after his "indescretion", in one shot he's lighting a cigarette and standing to the left of a table between himself and Minnie. In the next closer shot, still lighting the cigarette, he's now standing to the right of the table and next to Minnie. Furthermore, the lighter suddenly changes from Pepi's left hand to his right. See more »


Lady Pearl Saunders Grayston: Men are trivial, foolish creatures. Kind hearts but no heads. And they're so vain, poor dears, they're so vain.
See more »


Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »


Waltz of the Flowers
(1891-2) (uncredited)
from "The Nutcracker Ballet, Op.71"
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
In the score during the royal court scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

Pre-Code behavior meets Wildean epigrams
22 October 2003 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

No, it's not brilliant, although it has the woman-friendly stamp of director George Cukor all over it. If for nothing else, in fact, watch it for Hattie Carnegie's exquisite gowns, worn to perfection by the exquisite Constance Bennett. But if you give it half a chance, you might find yourself quite caught up in this tale of upper-class English morality, and the success it can bring to an early-disillusioned woman. Like "What Price Hollywood?" this is a collaboration of director Cukor, writer Jane Murfin, and star Constance Bennett, and they all shine. Bennett is especially adept at conveying the brittle facade that her character has constructed to hide the pain of an empty life.

The dialogue is as crisp as it gets in the 1930s. Oh, and don't miss that final line. Too fab!

16 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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