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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Snow was trucked in from the Sierra Mountains for use in the Alpine scene. See more »
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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New York socialite Norma Shearer (as Mary) clicks with English Lord Herbert Marshall (as Philip) after they shed the weird costumes donned for a "World of the Future" ball. Though "entirely different people," they fall in love. After five years of wedded bliss, Mr. Marshall is called away on a business trip. Lonely in London, Ms. Shearer succumbs to her old ways, and goes out partying with dotty Stella Patrick Campbell (as Aunt Hetty) and prissy secretary George K. Arthur (as Bertie). In Cannes, Shearer meets boozing Robert Montgomery (Tommie), who once pursued her. A misunderstanding leads husband Marshall to believe Shearer slept with Montgomery, and divorce talk follows. Dejected, Shearer is comforted by Montgomery
As it was released before July 1934, when the Motion Picture Association of America decided to enforce its Production Code regarding appropriate cinematic behavior, "Riptide" was able to show an adulterous woman in a fairly positive light. "The kind of girl who didn't stop at a kiss," as Marshall describes Shearer's character, was successfully replaced by a more ladylike Shearer, after this film. That it's well-produced (by MGM) and "pre-code" doesn't mean "Riptide" is excellent. The story is as silly today as it must have been upon release (when everything was still "pre-code"). Shearer and Montgomery perform well together, but Ms. Campbell (billed as "Mrs. Patrick Campbell") and the rest of the cast are more of a treat.
***** Riptide (3/30/34) Edmund Goulding ~ Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Stella Patrick Campbell, Herbert Marshall
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