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Riptide (1934)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  30 March 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 346 users  
Reviews: 13 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?


Robert Z. Leonard replaced Edmund Goulding as director for the last two-and-a-half weeks of filming. 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.
See more »


Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »


We're Together Again
(1933) (uncredited)
Composed by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Played as part of the score throughout
See more »

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User Reviews

Barely A Ripple These Days
12 August 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Riptide is a film that sad to say has not worn well, especially for its stars Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, and Herbert Marshall. It's so old-fashioned that I can't see how a remake could ever be possible from the material.

Park Avenue socialite Shearer and titled English earl Marshall meet in costume sharing a limousine ride to a costume party. Both are in insect costumes and they're pretty funny. On an impulse they marry. Would the rest of the film have been as hilarious as the beginning.

After five years of marriage in which Marshall and Shearer now have a daughter, they're getting in a rut, especially for Norma. So much so she's easy prey for the attentions of old friend and Broadway playboy Robert Montgomery. I think you see where this is all going.

Edmond Goulding directed Riptide and two years earlier he had given MGM Grand Hotel which still holds up as a cinema classic. Goulding's next greatest hit was for 20th Century Fox with Nightmare Alley where Tyrone Power shed his matinée idol image. But in writing and directing this film, Goulding came up short of the standard set by those other films.

Riptide was the fifth and final film that Robert Montgomery and Norma Shearer did, the most prominent being Private Lives and The Divorcée. Those hold up better than Riptide.

It's a terribly old-fashioned type of story that creaks along. Would that it was as good as it started out.

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