Patsy Brand is a chorus girl at the Pleasure Garden music hall. She meets Jill Cheyne who is down on her luck and gets her a job as a dancer. Jill is engaged to adventurer Hugh Fielding and... See full summary »
Larita Filton is named as correspondent in a scandalous divorce case. She escapes to France to rebuild her life where she meets John Whittaker. They are later married, but John's well-to-do family finds out Larita's secret.Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
In Alfred Hitchcock's Easy Virtue, a woman has some explaining to do when the family of her second husband finds out there was a first husband. That's because back in the day, divorced women were considered damaged goods, and upstanding families would steer well clear of such flighty harlots. Easy Virtue's tagline asks "Can she be blamed for a past she didn't create?" And the answer is yes, because she did create her past when she started making eyes at the man painting her portrait. But perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself.
Larita Filton (Isabel Jeans) is married to an unnamed guy. Well, he probably has a name, but the movie doesn't tell us. Anyway, they're rich, and she's having her portrait done by a professional artist. One day the artist notices marks on Larita's wrist, and she mentions that her husband sometimes drinks too much. Thus a relationship is born, at least as far as they went in the 1920s, which meant it's possible Larita and the artist smooched once. Anyway, one fine day the husband comes home to find the two of them in an embrace. A gun is presented, and a shot is fired, and the artist dies. This is all told to us in flashback at the divorce trial, where the jury quite naturally finds in favor of the husband. Larita is shamed and shunned.
She finds herself chillaxing on the Mediterranean, and a chance encounter with a tennis ball leads Larita to meet John Whittaker (Robin Irvine), who's from a well-to-do family himself. They romance, yadda yadda, and soon they're wed. He brings her home to meet his parents and his two sisters for dinner. The stern matriarch is fairly sure she recognizes Larita, and eventually she pieces it together. Haughty hilarity ensues.
This is a silent film, obviously very early in The Master's career, and much more of a melodrama than a thriller with a twist. There's no twist, and because there are few sight gags one must rely on the intermittent title cards to follow the mouthed dialog. That's all well and good, but there was just too much predictability afoot, and the quality of the print did the movie no favors, either. That all makes Easy Virtue a curio in Hitch's long, long career, and little more.
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