7 user 3 critic

The Flirting Widow (1930)

Phyllis wants to marry Bobby, but Father won't permit it until older sister Celia weds. So Celia invents a military fiancée in Arabia, unimaginatively christens him John Smith, writes him a... See full summary »


William A. Seiter (uncredited)


A.E.W. Mason (based on the story by)




Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Mackaill ... Celia
Basil Rathbone ... Colonel Smith
Leila Hyams ... Evelyn
William Austin ... James Raleigh
Claude Gillingwater ... Faraday
Emily Fitzroy ... Aunt Ida
Flora Bramley Flora Bramley ... Phyllis
Anthony Bushell ... Bobby
Wilfred Noy Wilfred Noy ... Martin


Phyllis wants to marry Bobby, but Father won't permit it until older sister Celia weds. So Celia invents a military fiancée in Arabia, unimaginatively christens him John Smith, writes him a love letter, and then kills him off. Only there really is a Col. John Smith. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Romance with a Roar -Comedy with a Three-Day Hangover (Print Ad-Sunday Star, ((Washington, DC)) 15 June 1930) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Did You Know?


In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. See more »


When Bobby comes into the room to remind Celia of that night's dinner party, a shadow of the boom microphone can be seen moving back and forth across a tabletop at the bottom of the screen. See more »


Colonel Smith: He bids you wear this, always, on your bosom.
[places watch on chain around her neck]
Colonel Smith: For Smith's sake, whom we both love.
[drops watch down front of her dress. She fishes down her dress as Smith observes from above. The following line has no audio on surviving prints]
Colonel Smith: By Jove! I say, that's ripping of you!
Celia: [turns startled as audio returns] I beg your pardon!
Colonel Smith: [solemnly] I am thanking you in my dead comrade's name.
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Remake of Slightly Used (1927) See more »

User Reviews

Basil Rathbone in his leading-man phase...
11 December 2015 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

...and he's quite dashing, a tall charmer of exquisite phrasing and mellifluous voice. Here he's a military man who, for complicated plot reasons, receives a love letter from a woman he never met. That's Dorothy MacKail, now utterly forgotten, but a quite popular and capable Follies beauty who starred in a number of early talkies. She's an heiress who has had to invent a fiancé so her younger sister can wed, and her total fabrication of a love letter has been delivered to Rathbone. It's a slightly stiff early-talkie drawing room comedy of scant surprise and pedestrian direction, by William A. Seiter, and has a not terribly interesting supporting cast; best is Emily Fitzroy, as a tippling aunt. But MacKail and Rahbone were always worth watching, and they do strike sparks as they spar and deceive one another. An OK hour and a half, and if it makes you hungry for more Dorothy MacKail, that's understandable.

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Release Date:

11 May 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Green Stockings See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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