One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
Both Dick Powell and Joan Blondell who were married to each other at the time this film was made and had multiple marriages in their lives star in this rather little known Paramount film from 1940 about the tragedy of divorce. No doubt about divorce is a tragedy and the premise of this film seems to be if there were no divorce lawyers there would be no divorces, that married people would just work it out. Both Powell and Blondell had left Warner Brothers where they were stars in the Thirties to freelance.
This film is terribly dated, but certainly in keeping with the Code which frowned on divorce at least in the abstract. Of course it's not so simple. Powell and Blondell meet during the divorce of Blondell's sister Gloria Dickson from Conrad Nagel each testifying at the proceedings under subpoena. Powell is in fact studying for the bar and when he passes it, he goes to work for high price divorce attorney Sidney Blackmer who was Nagel's counsel.
Powell and Blondell go through the usual married people problems and the thrust of the film is that people reach for the divorce lawyers too easily. And that they are a particularly bad group of bottom feeding shysters. Held up as an example of how married folks should deal with things is the 50+ years that Blondell and Dickson's grandparents Harry Davenport and Jessie Ralph have lasted.
The players are all sincere, but married life should only be as simple as I Want A Divorce makes it out. And five years later the Powells went and got one and married other folks.
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