6.9/10
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The Divorcee (1930)

Passed | | Romance, Drama | 19 April 1930 (USA)
When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(based on a novel by), (treatment) (as Nick Grindé) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Ted
...
...
Don
...
...
...
...
Tyler Brooke ...
Hank
Zelda Sears ...
...
Dr. Bernard
...
Dorothy (as Helen Johnson)
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Storyline

Jerry and Ted are young, in love, and part of the New York 'in-crowd'. Jerry's decision to marry Ted crushes a yearning Paul. Distraught Paul gets drunk and wrecks his car, disfiguring young Dorothy's face in the process. Out of pity, Paul marries Dorothy. Years later, the apparent perfect marriage of Ted and Jerry falls apart from infidelity on both sides. Inwardly unhappy, popular Jerry lives a party life while Ted sinks into a life of alcoholism. Jerry then runs into Paul, who still loves her. After spending time together with Jerry, Paul plans to divorce Dorothy. When Jerry sees Dorothy again, she has second thoughts about where her life is heading. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer All Talking Picture!

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 April 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ex-Wife  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$340,691 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford was outspoken as to how often the roles she coveted at MGM were given to Norma Shearer. When approached for comment by the press, Crawford famously remarked, "What do you expect? She sleeps with the boss" - referring to Shearer's husband, MGM production chief Irving Thalberg. See more »

Goofs

At 36:44, the glass in front of Jerry moves. It also changes how full it is. See more »

Quotes

Theodore 'Ted' Martin: Porter, how long do we stop at the next station? Long enough to telephone?
Second Porter: Yes sir, if you ain't gonna talk to nobody too far. It's supposed to stop there about six minutes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Singin' in the Rain
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Played on the radio
Tyler Brooke also dances and strums an instrument to the music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast, advanced sound and naturalistic acting, and modern themes...terrific!
26 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

The Divorcée (1930)

The start of this is such a busy, overlapping party scene in a country house, you can't help but get swept up in it. And if some of the acting or a few of the quips are not perfect, the best moments are really fun and spirited. The naturalism is really refreshing, and pace fast, and the dialog real. Then it spins out of control--the events, not the movie--and before fifteen minutes are up, there's a brief terrible moment that has two or three of the actors exploring an hysteria that a method actor would be proud of. It's intense, great stuff. Get at least that far in.

The rest of the movie follows suit, through quiet and fast moments, and the drama turns to melodrama and back, all pinned together by the ever convincing Norma Shearer. The themes--fidelity and infidelity, love and friendship, the superficial versus the things that matter--give it all something to chew on or laugh at at ever turn.

It's unnecessary to say that this is just two years after the full advent of sound, and it's a very developed, mature element in the movies. In fact, the density of things going on would never have been possible with intertitles, and it must have been a revelation to audiences and movie makers equally. Fast dialog and overlapping events are a natural extension of the theater, of course, but with the ability to shift scenes and zip down wooded roads with the camera is the essence of cinema.

So, in all, for how it's made, for the acting (the best of it), and for the serious, important themes, this is gem, an amazing movie, whatever its hiccups and flaws here and there. I wouldn't miss it.


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