Riptide (1934)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  30 March 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 359 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

Park Avenue party-girl Mary (Norma Shearer) and staid English nobleman, Lord Phillip Rexford (Herbert Marshall) are married on a lark, they live happily in London. He must travel to America... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Lord Rexford
Mrs. Patrick Campbell ...
Aunt Hetty
Erskine (as Skeets Gallagher)
Arthur Jarrett ...
Earl Oxford ...
George K. Arthur ...
Marilyn Spinner ...
Pamela (as Baby Marilyn Spinner)
Phyllis Coghlan ...
Nurse (as Phillis Coghlan)
Howard Chaldecott ...
Halliwell Hobbes ...


Park Avenue party-girl Mary (Norma Shearer) and staid English nobleman, Lord Phillip Rexford (Herbert Marshall) are married on a lark, they live happily in London. He must travel to America on business leaving her home alone. Lord Rexford's aunt invites Mary on a trip to the Riviera where she runs into an old flame, Tommie Treal (Robert Montgomery). 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 headlines as well as the scandal sheets. None of Mary's explanations can soothe Lord Phillip, 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 lawyer 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 ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

30 March 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deslices  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Tommie Trent: All I needed was that girl.
Erskine: Listen, you can write her off your next year's income tax as an unavoidable loss.
Tommie Trent: She trembled! She fluttered!
Erskine: I know. But she'll flutter just as well tomorrow.
Tommie Trent: 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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Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »


La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played at the dock as part of the score
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User Reviews

The legendary Mrs Patrick Campbell in a talking movie
12 April 2004 | by (East Coast, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

This movie may come off dull to some when first seeing. But you have to understand movie & theatre history to appreciate a film like Riptide. For me it was seeing a legendary and famous lady actually acting and speaking in one of her very few films. In this case Mrs Patrick Campbell(Stella Beatrice Tanner Campbell). Like Mrs Leslie Carter, another famous Mrs, Mrs Pat, in her youth, was a famed actress from the theatre of the 1890s and 1900s. Her relationship with writer George Bernard Shaw is legendary amongst Shaw or Broadway Theatre fans. Mrs Pat didn't seem to make any silents and for posterities sake made three or four talkies in the 30s as a novelty of which Riptide is the only one I've viewed. Thank goodness! because at least many of us fans, generations down the road, can get to hear and see what she sounded like and perhaps get a glimpse of her acting and appreciate her legend. This is what's great about film. Preserving the performances of a once famous actress like Mrs Patrick Campbell. If only other theatre Greats had done movies like Mrs Pat. Ie: Maude Adams(the original Peter Pan), Julia Marlowe(famed American Shakesperean actress), John Drew(uncle of the three Barrymores).

This story is a typical Norma story of the day. Much like those that she had played in earlier films of the early 30s. She's caught between two men. In this case Herbert Marshall & Robert Montgomery. She marries Marshall, has a daughter with him and then he's gone away much of the time and she starts to take up with the younger Montgomery. The rest of the film is a series of adventures for Norma as Aunt Hetty(Mrs Pat) and others take her to St Moritz, Monte Carlo etc to help her find herself. Marshall was himself an interesting actor. He, like Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone had seen action in WW1. In Marshall's case he lost a leg and even though a suave/textured leading man here, as well as in other films, he's walking around ably on a wooden leg. All in all I quite enjoy the treats this film offers. Norma was a very sexy woman with a nice shape. She wears some nice(and Pre-Code) form fitting gowns and looks fetching. Silent screen star Lilyan Tashman makes her next to last appearance in a supporting role as one of Norma's friends. She died soon after this was made. And of course the ultimate treat of this movie, seeing theatre great Mrs Pat Campbell and hearing her act. Wonderful!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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