7 user 1 critic

Half Marriage (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 13 October 1929 (USA)
A young couple marries in secret. Judy's afraid her parents won't approve of Dick and she'll lose her generous allowance. Her parents bring her home from the city where she's been studying ... See full summary »


William J. Cowen


Jane Murfin (screen play), George Kibbe Turner (original story)




Complete credited cast:
Olive Borden ... Judy Paige
Morgan Farley ... Dickie Carroll
Ken Murray ... Charles Turner
Ann Greenway ... Ann Turner
Anderson Lawler ... Tom Stribbling
Sally Blane ... Sally
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Page
Richard Tucker ... Mr. Page
Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra ... Gus Arnheim Orchestra


A young couple marries in secret. Judy's afraid her parents won't approve of Dick and she'll lose her generous allowance. Her parents bring her home from the city where she's been studying art and encourage the attentions of Tom, a persistent suitor. Judy and her jealous husband have an argument that leads her back to the city, a drunken, amorous Tom, and tragedy. Written by David Eickemeyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sealed Lips The Price he Paid For HALF MARRIAGE (Print Ad Gettysburg Times, ((Gettysburg, Penna.)) 6 February 1930) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Dick says he makes $45 per week, but Judy doesn't think that's enough to get married on. That amount would equate to almost $624 per week in 2015. See more »


Dickie Carroll: What's this: have you alone all summer idea? What did she mean by that?
Judy Paige: Now, don't worry, precious. I'll just run along home and pay a little visit.
Dickie Carroll: Yes and Stribbling will be making love to you.
Judy Paige: Oh, don't think about him, darling. He's harmless.
See more »


After the Clouds Roll By
Music by Oscar Levant
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
Sung by Ann Greenway
Variations played as part of the score
See more »

User Reviews

Half memorable, completely worthwhile...
30 December 2018 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... as it is almost a documentary on sexual and society mores of the roaring 20s right before the stock market crash.

The story is a forgettable maudlin melodrama. Two young people in love - Judy Paige (Olive Borden) , the daughter of a wealthy architect, and Dick Carroll (Morgan Farley), an employee of said wealthy architect, want to get married. Judy wants to get married NOW - you get the feeling she wants everything now and is used to getting it - and insists that she and Dick can live off of her generous allowance and in the NYC studio apartment that already has the rent paid up for several months as long as they stay married in secret. Precisely because Dick is the kind of guy you would want to marry, he says no deal. They must stand on their own two feet.

But then impulse kicks in and the two secretly go to an adjoining state and marry in the middle of the night. Afraid to tell her parents, Judy lets her domineering mother drag her back to the family estate from her studio apartment, vowing to tell her parents about the marriage shortly. Days turn to weeks and weeks to months, precisely because she likes the comforts of home, does not want a confrontation, and most of all does not want that generous allowance cut off. And meanwhile the society guy of whom the parents approve, rich Tom Stribbling, is still chasing Judy. He misunderstands a conversation he overhears and believes Judy is "that kind of a girl". Complications ensue.

The real reason to watch this is to see the lifestyle of people who are not just rich in 1929, but young and upper middle class -those who were once called yuppies. You see a real roaring twenties party and a nightclub scene where some of the young people in Judy's "set" have convened for an evening out. That scene is worth the price of admission alone. There is a Jazz Band, a "Jazz Blimp", and great vaudevillian style entertainment from Ken Murray, more than likely the most recognizable member of the cast, who came from vaudeville to try and break into sound pictures. That never worked out, but he became known as an archivist of old Hollywood with his great home movies. Note that everybody drinks, everybody has their own personal "flask", and nobody cares about Prohibition.

The sad story here is the real life tale of lead actress Olive Borden, ironically named "The Joy Girl". She had been a star in the silent era, but just didn't have a real screen presence in talking film, and was scrubbing floors for a living by the time of her death at age 41 while living in a skid row mission.

Also starring Anne Greenway as Judy's friend in her only credited role, Hedda Hopper as Judy's mother, and Richard Tucker as Judy's father who is not nearly as insightful and wise as he thinks, especially after he gives that speech at the end that shows that he has learned nothing from what has happened.

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Release Date:

13 October 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Till hälften gifta See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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