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Children of Divorce (1927)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 25 April 1927 (USA)
A young flapper tricks her childhood sweetheart into marrying her. He really loves another woman, but didn't marry her for fear the marriage would end in divorce, like his parents'. Complications ensue.


Frank Lloyd, Josef von Sternberg (uncredited)


Owen Johnson (novel) (as Owen McMahon Johnson), Adela Rogers St. Johns (story) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clara Bow ... Kitty Flanders
Esther Ralston ... Jean Waddington
Gary Cooper ... Edward D. 'Ted' Larrabee
Einar Hanson ... Prince Ludovico de Saxe
Norman Trevor ... Duke Henri de Goncourt
Hedda Hopper ... Katherine Flanders
Edward Martindel ... Tom Larrabee
Julia Swayne Gordon ... Princess De Saxe
Tom Ricketts ... The Secretary
Albert Gran ... Mr. Seymour
Iris Stuart Iris Stuart ... Mousie
Margaret Campbell Margaret Campbell ... Mother Superior
Percy Williams ... Manning
Joyce Coad Joyce Coad ... Little Kitty
Yvonne Pelletier ... Little Jean


A young flapper tricks her childhood sweetheart into marrying her. He really loves another woman, but didn't marry her for fear the marriage would end in divorce, like his parents'. Complications ensue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Come keep step with the mad and merry pace of the jazz orphans of today! Victims of divorce. Taxicabs their cradles. Thrill-jaded at twenty, sophisticated at sixteen. (Print Ad, Rockingham Post-Dispatch, ((Rockingham, NC)) 12 May 1927) See more »


Drama | Romance




Official Sites:

1st home video release ever



Release Date:

25 April 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Filhos do Divórcio See more »

Filming Locations:

Del Monte, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent | Stereo (New score by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Clara Bow was dating Gary Cooper at the time this film was being made. According to Esther Ralston, Bow scandalized her cast members with disclosures of their nightly sexual escapades. Ralston said she was among the shocked; however, she still enjoyed working with Bow. See more »


Kitty Flanders: You'd make a marvelous second husband but you are too much of a luxury for a poor girl's first husband.
See more »


Referenced in Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girl (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Worth Watching for Bow and Cooper
23 March 2017 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Children of Divorce (1927)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

As the film starts off we're told about special homes where children of divorced parents can go and stay. We then meet Kitty who is dropped off by her mother and can't make friends but soon Jean becomes an older sister to her. Jean meets Edward and the two make a childish joke that one day they will marry. Flash-forward and Kitty (Clara Bow) is a flapper and soon a drunken night leads to her marrying Edward (Gary Cooper), which of course breaks the heart of Jean (Esther Ralston).

CHILDREN OF DIVORCE is the greatest movie that its stars ever made. In fact, I honestly thought there were quite a few problems throughout the picture and it wasn't nearly as good as I was hoping for when I went into it. With that said, both Bow and Cooper are legends of the screen and them alone makes this worth sitting through.

The story itself is pretty melo-dramatic and downright predictable at times. For starters, the story never really makes any sense because as children the Bow character is pretty much a shy and timid girl. Then, when we see the adult version, there she is as this loud, over-the- top party girl. There's just nothing here that's very believable as the first portion just seems over-dramatic and the second portion is just your typical Bow character from this period.

I'm certainly not going to ruin what happens as the movie goes along but there's no question that it's rather unbelievable and I'd argue that the ending is laughably bad and predictable. It's certainly a morality tale but to me it was just a bit overdone for its own good. Director Frank Lloyd (with apparent re-shoots by Josef von Sternberg) does a decent job at keeping the film moving but visually there's not too much here.

I thought Bow was good in the film, delivering the type of performance that you'd expect from her. This certainly wasn't her best role but there's no question that it's hard to take your eyes off of her. Cooper was also good in the part, although it's clear he was still learning his way on the screen. I didn't care too much for Ralston's performance as she was certainly the weak link.

It seems I'm really coming down hard on CHILDREN OF DIVORCE but perhaps it's mainly due to how disappointed I was in it. It's a decent movie and certainly worth watching if you're a fan of the stars but there's no question that they did much better work.

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