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Our Betters (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 March 1933 (USA)
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.

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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Haute société  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Minnie, Duchess of Sourae: Ah, Mr. Harvey. Still enjoying life in London?
Thornton Clay: Well, he should be. I've got him invitations to all of the nicest parties, but he will waste his time in sight-seeing. The other day - Thursday, wasn't it? - I wanted to take him to Hurlingham and he insisted on going to the National Gallery instead!
Lady Pearl Saunders Grayston: What an outrageous proceeding!
Fleming Harvey: Well, I don't see that it was any more outrageous for me than for you. I saw you going in just as I was going out.
Lady Pearl Saunders Grayston: [recovering, after a moment's unease] I had a reason to ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Do I Sound Gay? (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

 
A Connie Bennett gem
13 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Our Betters (1933) Constance Bennett, Violet Kemble Cooper, Anita Louise, Alan Mowbray, Gilbert Rowland. A Somerset Maugham play, directed by George Cukor about the Lords and Ladies of British society, is amusing and biting at the same time. They have parties and weekends at someones estate, and gossip about who is sleeping with who, and learn all the latest dance steps. Lady Greystone has been 'educated' in her betters ways by her titled husband who she learned too late married her only for her money. While he spends all his time with his mistress, she gives lavish parties for her "betters." Soon she is the top hostess among the titled and idle set. Some wicked humor by Maugham, who was an invited guest to many of the same sort of places among the same sort of people. Bennett is dazzling in her wardrobe by Hattie Carnegie and Cooper is too funny trying to keep her gigolo from straying. And the final scene with a rouged and mincing dance instructor is very funny. As in any hard times, the depression era movie goer wanted something light and amusing and not deep and real. They saw 'real' everyday in their homes and on the streets. Kind of like today. 8/10


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