Park Avenue socialite Mary (Norma Shearer) and staid English nobleman, Lord Phillip Rexford (Herbert Marshall) are married as a lark, but she is very happy for several years with her husband and child. But on a trip to the Riviera she meets again an old flame, Tommie Treal (Robert Montgomery), and under the spell of the sea breezes and the Mediterranean moon (a semi-excuse for adultery to keep Queen Norma's image clean, as this was a post-Production Code film), Mary is the "innocent" victim of a romantic escapade that makes the headlines and the scandal sheets. None of Mary's explanations can soothe Lord Phillip, reaping the fallout of marrying "down", and his cold indifference drives Mary, who fights against it (a minor and feeble struggle at best), closer to Tommie. As the two lovers surrender to their ardor, Lord R. learns from his secretary that Mary had been telling the truth, and he calls for her to join him in Cannes with a clean slate. O.K, but as Chief Sky Eagle told John ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
After Mary kisses Pamela for daddy, the book laying on the bed disappears in the next shot. See more »
All I needed was that girl.
Listen, you can write her off your next year's income tax as an unavoidable loss.
She trembled! She fluttered!
I know. But she'll flutter just as well tomorrow.
Oh, no, she won't; not her. She's got 'conscience' written all over her face. At this moment, she is cooling off - like some beautiful volcano that has decided not to wipe out a lot of Italian villages.
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Norma Shearer's emotional range and charm is always a delight. Her costumes in shiny silk charmeuse and deep dark velvet translate so well in vintage black and white, and the topic of a woman's "decency" in the 30's and small minds is dramatic and poignant. I love this decade of movies for the history and social culture they often evoke.
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