9 user 2 critic

Paris Bound (1929)

Pre-Code early-talkie film version of Philip Barry's Broadway hit chronicles the first five years of marriage between James and Mary Hutton, and the two paramours they deserted who wait patiently - and manipulatively - in the wings.


Edward H. Griffith


Philip Barry (play), Horace Jackson (scenario)
1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Her Private Affair is a 1929 drama film directed by Paul L. Stein and starring Ann Harding. It was produced and distributed by the Pathé Exchange company. It is a sound film using the RCA Photophone sound-on-film sound system.

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Ann Harding, Harry Bannister, John Loder
The Dummy (1929)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Dummy is a 1929 American comedy film directed by Robert Milton and written by Harriet Ford, Harvey J. O'Higgins, Herman J. Mankiewicz and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The film stars Fredric ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Milton, Louis J. Gasnier
Stars: Ruth Chatterton, Fredric March, John Cromwell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Wild girls at a college pay more attention to parties than their classes. But when one party girl, Stella Ames, goes too far at a local bar and gets in trouble, her professor has to rescue ... See full summary »

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Clara Bow, Fredric March, Marceline Day
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman tricks a playboy into marrying her and then tries to make him legitimately fall in love with her.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Ann Harding, William Powell, Lucile Browne
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A musical comedy star named Fifi D'Auray is famed for her Gallic charm, though she is really one Betty Murphy. She won't marry her fiance, Jimmy, until he stops gambling and gets honest ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Colleen Moore, Raymond Hackett, Fredric March
Big News (1929)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A reporter's marriage is jeopardized by his drinking and he finds himself accused of a murder he didn't commit.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Robert Armstrong, Carole Lombard, Louis Payne
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In late 19th century Vienna, Lena Smith, a naive peasant girl from Hungary, has a child by a corrupt young cavalry officer, and goes to work his house as a servant, hiding the truth from ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Esther Ralston, James Hall, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Broadway (1929)
Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A naive young dancer in a Broadway show innocently gets involved in backstage bootlegging and murder.

Director: Pál Fejös
Stars: Glenn Tryon, Evelyn Brent, Merna Kennedy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young heiress runs away from her overprotective grandfather. Penniless on the streets of New York, she manages to find employment, but a reporter knows her true identity.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Fredric March, Virginia Bruce, Patsy Kelly
The Kiss (1929)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jerry Stafford, a businessman, is in love with his secretary but she deserts him for another man. When she realizes her mistake, she goes back to him. Doris Brown is her girlfriend who is in love with a man named Monty Dunn.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Fredric March, Monroe Owsley


Cast overview:
Ann Harding ... Mary Hutton
Fredric March ... Jim Hutton
Carmelita Geraghty ... Noel Farley
Leslie Fenton ... Richard Parrish
George Irving ... James Hutton Sr
Charlotte Walker ... Helen White
Hallam Cooley ... Peter
Juliette Crosby ... Nora Cope
Ilka Chase ... Fanny Shipman
Rose Tapley ... Julie
Douglas Scott ... Jimmy (as Master Douglas Scott)


Pre-Code early-talkie film version of Philip Barry's Broadway hit chronicles the first five years of marriage between James and Mary Hutton, and the two paramours they deserted who wait patiently - and manipulatively - in the wings.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


Matrimony- in the 1929 Manner! (Print Ad-The Daily News, ((Ludington, Mich.)) 24 October 1929)


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

3 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pathé Exchange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Ann Harding. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

the art of rendering controversial subjects harmless
16 October 2016 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

The rediscovered Paris Bound is, as other reviewers have pointed out, something of a disappointment. It might be considered the quintessential talkie in that the characters talk and talk and talk and talk and, frankly, not to much purpose. Philip Barry had a certain reputation as playwright and Paris Bound had a certain success on the stage because it treated a subject that was still regarded as extremely risqué in the US but it is an absolutely dire piece of work. Passages quoted in other reviews give a good idea how "precious" and artificial the dialogue is and comments in other reviews also reveal how ambiguous the treatment is. The fault again lies largely in US society which required such controversial subjects to be couched in fatuous double-talk and to be presented in a totally misleading fashion.

So the controversial nature of the play/film is all a matter of trompe l'oeil. The "liberal" couple are not very liberal at all (even at the outset) but quite extraordinarily uxorious, so that, in a play/film supposedly about adultery, we have in fact an abundance of passionate husband-wife kissing and precious little adultery (talk figures strongly there too) and the conclusion is of course deeply conservative. Adultery, it would seem, is just an illusion; blink twice and it just goes away. The husband's divorced parents (arguably the genuine liberals) are treated rather as aberrant monsters.

Barry shows essentially the same ambiguity in The Philadelphia Story which similarly toys with ideas of divorce and adultery, to end with a predictably conservative conclusion. Divorce, like adultery, is also apparently an illusion. Laugh twice and that goes away too. The Philadelphia Story is also extremely talkative but has the distinct advantage of being funny which Paris Bound is most certainly not.

Virtually the only "American" film-makers who manged to break through this "no sex please, this is the USA" barrier, were Erich von Stroheim and Ernest Lubitsch. Stroheim capitalised on his established wartime reputation as a "German villain" to get away with things(possible because they were heavily marked "villain") which no other director in the US could get away with. Lubitsch, after long years of producing light comedy and musicals to establish a huge if slightly bogus reputation, and by dint of a good deal of skillful mise en scène and a certain low cunning,was able to produce a remarkable film like Design for Living and make light of adultery in A Certain Feeling or To Be or Not To Be. But these remained the exceptions that proved the rule.

The Stroheim logic was peculiar to his own situation and rather ingenious. When a character has been shown, with official approval, raping a nurse and defenestrating a baby in a propaganda film, it is a bit difficult to find grounds on which to then censor the deviant behaviour of a succession of rather similar characters played by the selfsame actor in his fiction films (Blind Husbands or Foolish Wives or Blind Husbands)

But even so Stroheim had to fight hard to maintain his independence and had plenty of problems with censorship, particularly on the part of the snip-happy producers who would eventually succeed in destroying his directing career completely. He was after all at the time only the best director that the US had ever produced (by quite a margin). Who needs such people? Gloria Swanson was probably right in thinking that even Stroheim would not have got away with Queen Kelly as originally filmed - the later scenes, cut from the version eventually shown, are still quite troubling to watch even today. She is wrong in blaming (as she later did) the Hays Code, which did not then exist but, contrary to popular belief, there was plenty of pre-code censorship and the Hays Code merely "codified" rules that very largely already existed.

The difference between "pre-code" and "post-code" is for the most part just wishful thinking. Most censorship, before and afterwards, was in any case, as with Queen Kelly, self-censorship by the producers, constantly terrified of any kind of controversy, which, in those days, still had the power to ruin careers and conceivably even institutions. The Hays Code (in any case their own creation) simply gave producers a convenient alibi. So it is not really the case that the Code prevented directors from doing this, that or the other (particularly the other) but rather that it gave carte blanche to the producers and their henchmen (the so-called "editors", but sometimes more accurately described, even in credits, as "cutters") to chop the films about so as to render them "harmless" in the way they were so fond of doing.

The "Lubitsch touch" was, in the end, a more sustainable method of getting round the rules than "the man you love to hate" method, especially as it was a myth originally created by the production companies themselves. Lubitsch simply broadened the definition.

To return to this film, Fredric March is adequate (the least talkative character, he doesn't really have much to do but kiss) and Ann Harding is, as ever, dazzling, but her two other films made in the year, Her Private Affair - attacked, ironically, by reviewers at that address as being based on a "failed" play - and Condemned are both better films than Paris Bound although this was the film that made Harding a star because of the rather spurious reputation achieved by the play.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed