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

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

Party Guest: Dear Constance, one doesn't know Diana these days. She's déclassé - if you know what I mean. But I will say for Diana - once a man loves her - he never forgets her.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Love's First Kiss
(1928)
Music by William Axt and David Mendoza
Lyrics by Raymond Klages
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A badly mistitled but great film
11 July 2015 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Adapted from the novel "The Green Hat", I would have retitled it "Two Gallant Ladies and The Men Who Messed Everything Up". However, even that doesn't do it justice. This is almost a feminist film. Garbo is one of the two of the last "Mad Merricks", not much more is said about the family name except that Diana is independently wealthy and somewhat reckless. In the opening scene she is driving her car wildly through the countryside with her first and only true love, Neville Holderness (John Gilbert), as a passenger. They have been in love since childhood and want to marry. However, Neville's dad, Sir Morton, does not want this marriage. No valid reason is given other than perhaps he does not want the pitter patter of little mad Merricks to end up being his heirs.

Neville has no money in his own name, so his dad uses this fact to get Neville to agree to take a job in Egypt, before he marries Diana, so that he can earn some money and start a career. Dad just wants to separate the pair on the hope that they will forget about one another. Diana sees through the ruse, and Neville doesn't even bother to say a last goodbye -again, dad's idea. Complications, heartache, and tragedy ensue.

The reason I say this is almost a feminist film is because the only two women in the film - Diana and Constance (Dorothy Sebastian) are the only virtuous people in the entire cast. Hugh (Lewis Stone), long time family friend of the Merricks, comes close, but near the end breaks a trust in doing what he thinks is a good deed. Jeffry, Diana's brother, is an alcoholic, Neville is ultimately a coward, his dad is a snob, and David Furness, who has always loved Diana and been Jeffry's hero since childhood, has his problems too. Problems so bad that Diana ruins her reputation in order to keep them secret so that the image that her brother Jeffry has of him can stay intact. In this way, she is a gallant lady. As for Constance, she is the girl of whom Neville's dad approves, so Neville marries her like the obedient son that he is. However, Constance is wise. She can see Neville and Diana are still in love, and does not blame either of them for something they cannot help. Thus she is also a gallant lady.

I'll let you watch and see how this all works out. I think it is Garbo's best silent film. She gives a strong performance in a film with a good plot and a good cast surrounding her, and as always, her chemistry with Gilbert is wonderful. Highly recommended.


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