Second Wife (1930)

Passed | | Drama | 9 February 1930 (USA)
A man's pregnant second wife gets upset when he decides to go overseas to his young son, who may be dying of typhoid fever.

Director:

Russell Mack

Writers:

Hugh Herbert (screen play), Bert Glennon (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Conrad Nagel ... Walter Fairchild
Lila Lee ... Florence Wendell Fairchild
Mary Carr ... Mrs. Rhodes - Housekeeper
Hugh Huntley Hugh Huntley ... Gilbert Gaylord
Freddie Burke Frederick Freddie Burke Frederick ... Walter Fairchild Junior
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Storyline

Florence Wendell decides to marry Walter Fairchild despite warnings from her friend, Gilbert Gaylord, that the spectre of his dead first wife will constantly interfere with their married life. Florence loves Walter, but insists upon moving to a new apartment and refurnishing it to minimize that interference. They marry and live happily, especially when Walter sends his 7-year-old son, Junior, to a school in Switzerland so they can start their marriage by being alone. But some time later Walter gets a cablegram telling him that Junior is deathly ill from typhoid fever, and asking him to come quickly. He decides to do so without consulting Florence, who is now pregnant and expecting her baby any moment. She tells him she won't have him when he comes back, because he did not consider her feelings. The boy survives, and he and Walter return, but Florence considers her marriage over and decides to leave with Gilbert even though she doesn't love him. Gilbert, however, doesn't want her new ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1930 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Second Wife (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied (Brahms' Lullaby), Op. 49, No. 4
(1868) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Johannes Brahms
Sung in German and English by Lila Lee
Played as background music
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User Reviews

 
With its very dated plot, this film seems more of a curio, but some of the acting can still be enjoyed.
18 December 1998 | by Art-22See all my reviews

As with many domestic dramas of the time, the mores and actions of the characters are very dated today. I found it incredulous that Lila Lee considered divorcing Conrad Nagel on a very minor point. He gets a cablegram that his son at a school in Switzerland is deathly ill, but if he goes there he might save him. He decides to go, which starts the trouble. She's hurt, not because she is expecting a child any day now, but because they didn't come to that decision together. She explains that if he had talked it over with her, she would have urged him to go. It's hard to conceive that with his son's life possibly in the balance, she would even think twice about his decision to go, especially since he explained that women have babies now with little risk, and she agreed with him. (Times being what they were, he had to go by ship and would be away a month or so.) So the movie had two strikes against it for me on this point alone.

The acting wasn't too bad. Romantic star Conrad Nagel gave his usual reserved performance. Lovely Lila Lee was believable as the second wife afraid that Nagel's memory of his first wife might hurt their marriage. Hugh Huntley had the best lines and gave the best performance as the heavy, more or less, trying to split the couple up. And I enjoyed Mary Carr as the long-time housekeeper who is not afraid to speak her mind. But the film is a two-set movie and very stage-bound - there's not one exterior shot. Note also that for a woman about to give birth, Lila Lee was as thin as a rail.


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