6.7/10
2,730
50 user 35 critic

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:

Robert Z. Leonard (uncredited)

Writers:

Ursula Parrott (based on a novel by), Nick Grinde (treatment) (as Nick Grindé) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Jerry
Chester Morris ... Ted
Conrad Nagel ... Paul
Robert Montgomery ... Don
Florence Eldridge ... Helen
Helene Millard ... Mary
Robert Elliott ... Bill Baldwin
Mary Doran ... Janice Meredith
Tyler Brooke ... Hank
Zelda Sears ... Hannah
George Irving ... Dr. Bernard
Judith Wood ... 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:

Her sin was no greater than his...BUT SHE WAS A WOMAN! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lindsey Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - May 24, 1930) See more »

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Z. Leonard's credit as producer is actually in lieu of a director's credit. Until the late 1930s, producers were rarely credited on films, and directors were billed as those at the helm (i.e. "A Robert Z. Leonard Production") on the same card as the main title. Leonard's actual function on this film was director, not producer. See more »

Goofs

At 30:11, the stole on Jerry's arm moves. See more »

Quotes

Theodore 'Ted' Martin: Who's the man?
Jerry Bernard Martin: Oh, Ted, don't be conventional!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also released this film in a silent version. No details are available. See more »


Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Played at the wedding party of Helen and Bill Baldwin
See more »

User Reviews

 
Fast, advanced sound and naturalistic acting, and modern themes...terrific!
26 January 2010 | by secondtakeSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 April 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ex-Wife See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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