5.6/10
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A Bill of Divorcement (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 31 May 1940 (USA)
Father's return from the insane asylum spells calamity for the Fairfield family.

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In the early 19th century, Congress mulls the idea of re-opening the West Point military training academy that formed officers for the American Revolutionary War.

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Fictionalized account of events leading up the famous nude ride (alas, her hair covers everything) of the militant Saxon lady.

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In Wyoming, Sweetwater town sheriff Stan Blaine finds himself in the middle of a range war between greedy cattle barons and newcomer settlers who compete for public lands and unbranded stray cattle.

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Cast

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Kathryn Collier ...
Bunny Beatty ...
Susan (as Lauri Beatty)
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Storyline

Margaret Fairfield, whose husband Hilary has been in an insane asylum for twenty years, divorces him so she can remarry. But then Hilary, who was thought incurable, recovers and returns home. His return spells disaster for all concerned. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

31 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never to Love  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play by Clemence Dane opened 14 March 1921 in London. See more »

Goofs

Family name of main characters is spoken throughout film as 'Fairfield' but given in end credits as 'Fairchild.' See more »

Quotes

Aunt Hester Fairfield: We Ought to know more about his family, Margaret you owe it to us all.
Sydney Fairfield: Bother with family, he will only be here about two days and we shalln't have any time to waste on family.
Aunt Hester Fairfield: and What may I ask that going to keep you so occupied
Sydney Fairfield: Kissing probably!
See more »

Connections

Version of A Bill of Divorcement (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It Has Moments
16 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Maureen O'Hara, aka the tempestuous queen of technicolor, helpmate and sparring partner for John Wayne, (or is it John Ford?), was still finding her way tentatively after being plucked from obscurity by an astute Charles Laughton. Her introduction to worldwide audiences as the benighted gypsy girl in the masterpiece of Hollywood storytelling, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" brought her fame for her sensitivity and astounding beauty.

Here, hampered by the unimaginative direction of John Farrow and hammy acting of Adolphe Menjou, she attempted to make audiences forget Katharine Hepburn's still moving portrayal of the same character. But then, aside from an intense talent, Hepburn also had George Cukor behind the camera to guide her and a chastened John Barrymore giving one of his better late career moments.

You can glimpse the makings of a thoughtful actress in O'Hara here, who might've shone brighter if she could've had more opportunities to display some of the inner turmoil that made her remarkably beautiful face so haunting long after the technicolor prints of more bombastic films fade. It is worth a look for that alone.


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