11 user 2 critic

The Common Law (1931)

Passed | | Romance, Drama | 24 July 1931 (USA)
Young Valerie models for an American painter who tries to make a future in Paris and they fall in love.


Paul L. Stein


Robert W. Chambers (adapted from his novel), John Farrow (screen story) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Constance Bennett ... Valerie West
Joel McCrea ... John Neville
Lew Cody ... Dick Carmedon
Robert Williams ... Sam
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Clare Collis
Marion Shilling ... Stephanie Brown
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... John Neville Sr.
Paul Ellis ... Querido
Yola d'Avril ... Fifi


Young Valerie models for an American painter who tries to make a future in Paris and they fall in love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


NOTED FOR HER BEAUTY--Notorious for Her Indiscretions! (Print Ad- Calgary Daily Herald, ((Calgary, Alberta)) 17 October 1931) See more »


Romance | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Marion Shilling (Stephanie Brown) recalled from her time on set that Constance Bennett had a huge crush on co-star Joel McCrea and spent a lot of time alone with him in her trailer. Nevertheless, five months after production wrapped, Constance Bennett married Henri de la Falaise, the ex-husband of Gloria Swanson. See more »


John Neville Sr.: You're getting more like your mother every day.
Mrs. Claire Collis: I should think that would make you very happy.
John Neville Sr.: It does. And a little apprehensive.
See more »


Version of The Common Law (1916) See more »

User Reviews

pre-code youths in Paris
23 August 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

It was said, possibly by David Niven, that Constance Bennett would walk into a room at night to play cards and emerge the next morning looking exactly the same as when she went in. I can believe it. Her beauty, glamor, and freshness are beautifully showcased in "The Common Law" about living and loving (freely) in Paris.

It seems strange that a movie made in 1931 should seem more modern than later films, but we can thank the Hayes code for that. In The Common Law, Bennett, when she's not shacking up with some guy, is a model for an artist, played by boyish Joel McCrea. The two fall in love, go through a breakup and reconcile. She is reticent about getting married. Then McCrea's conniving sister, having heard all the rumors, lures both she and McCrea back to America.

McCrea and Bennett made several films together, and they are a beautiful couple. He's big and wholesome; she's delicate and sophisticated. And of course, they're both incredibly beautiful.

It's always interesting to catch a pre-code movie, and The Common Law is a good one.

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English | French

Release Date:

24 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Common Law See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Path√© Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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