7.7/10
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A Woman of Affairs (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 December 1928 (USA)
When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Michael Arlen (from a story by), Bess Meredyth (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Diana Merrick
John Gilbert ... Neville Holderness
Lewis Stone ... Dr. Hugh Trevelyan
Johnny Mack Brown ... David Furness (as John Mack Brown)
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Jeffry Merrick
Hobart Bosworth ... Sir Morton Holderness
Dorothy Sebastian ... Constance
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Storyline

Even when Diana, Neville and David played together as children, Diana knew that she loved Nevs. But Morton, Nevs' father, did not like any Merrick. Since Nevs did not have any money, Morton sent him off to Egypt to work and also talked him out of marrying Diana before he left. Diana waited two years and then married David, who Jeffry thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. While in Paris, David jumps to his death when the cops come after him and Diana lies about the reason for the sake of Jeffry. Of course Jeffry, who has been a drunk all his life, cuts all ties with Diana. While Nevs still loves Diana, she does not return to England for seven years - just 3 days before Nevs' wedding to Constance. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wild Desire! Burning Lips! Racing Hearts! (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express,((Buffalo, NY)) 2 January 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine schamlose Frau See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$383,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$850,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$520,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) | (copyright time) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (musical score and sound effects)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was based on a notorious novel called "The Green Hat", but the Hays Office wouldn't allow the book to be filmed because it featured the use of heroin and a man kills himself on his wedding night because he's suffering from syphilis, neither of which could be touched on at that time. MGM thought it would be a gold mine once past the censors, but by the time the title and character names had been changed and the story line altered, it bore little resemblance to the book. The bridegroom now kills himself because of his embezzling. While drinking on screen was forbidden because of Prohibition, Jeffry is hardly seen without a whiskey glass in his hand, but the fact that drink finally kills him and that the film was set in England is probably what persuaded the censors to let that by. See more »

Goofs

When Diana-as-a-little-girl rides her bike into the tree, you can clearly see the cut where the little girl (with short legs and her foot off the pedal) becomes the stunt-double (with long legs and her foot on the pedal). See more »

Quotes

Neville: Forgive me Constance - I'm a cad!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also released this picture as a totally silent movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in MGM Parade: Episode #1.30 (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Garbo Valsen
Music by Henry Southerland
Lyrics by Arne Riesinger
See more »

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User Reviews

 
10 stars for Garbo
4 February 2015 | by hotangenSee all my reviews

The film's theme is honor in its various guises and how concealing the truth to preserve a dead man's honor brings misery to all concerned. The opening subtitles tell us that Garbo/Diana is a gallant lady. The viewer needs to be told this for otherwise we would conclude that her suffering as well as the suffering caused others was needlessly brought about by her foolish error in judgment.

Garbo is perfection in her shifting moods - first as a young woman in love, playful and happy with her true love, Gilbert, then when she makes that fateful mistake which she thinks brings honor to herself, and so on right up to her death 10 years later after her self-image of an honorable woman has been taken from her.

Gilbert's role is subsidiary, not sympathetic, and of all things, boring. Most surprising, he lacks fire, There's no passion in his scenes with Diana, except in a late scene in his rooms where Diana breaks through his defenses, telling him she never said "I love you" to any of the other men in her life, only to Gilbert, and that makes her virtuous in Gilbert's code of morality. The actor who does exhibit fire is the young Douglas Fairbanks Jr, whose self-loathing is redirected to a passionate hatred of his sister.

I liked Garbo's action in the reconciliation scene where she walks over to Gilbert's father with an unlit cigarette and when he strikes a match she takes out her lighter and lights it herself, thereby emphasizing that she will not bow again to his idea of honor. I also liked the director's choice of showing the widow Diana's 7-year exile in Europe through a series of newspaper photos and their captions. This expedient kept the story focused on the interactions of the main characters. And THE main character, Garbo, is so superb that the script problems make no difference to one's enjoyment of this flawed film.


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