15 user 3 critic

Consolation Marriage (1931)

Passed | | Drama | 21 November 1931 (USA)
In prohibition-era Manhattan, shopkeeper Mary Brown loses Aubrey, her childhood sweetheart, when he marries a rich woman. Reporter Steve "Rollo" Porter has lost -his- childhood sweetheart, ... See full summary »


Paul Sloane


Bill Cunningham (by), Humphrey Pearson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Mary Brown Porter
Pat O'Brien ... Steve Porter
John Halliday ... Jeff Hunter
Myrna Loy ... Elaine Brandon
Lester Vail ... Aubrey
Matt Moore ... The Colonel


In prohibition-era Manhattan, shopkeeper Mary Brown loses Aubrey, her childhood sweetheart, when he marries a rich woman. Reporter Steve "Rollo" Porter has lost -his- childhood sweetheart, Elaine, who has also married another. Mary and Steve become friends, and make a marriage of convenience, based on a shared sense of whimsical humor as well as their mutual losses. When their old loves re-enter their lives a few years later, Mary and Steve must decide what is really important to them. Written by Molly Malloy

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JILTED! To Yesterday's Girl it Meant Heartbreak, To Today's Girl, Freedom! (Print Ad- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 9 January 1932) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Midway through the film the principals are driving down Broadway, past the RKO Mayfair Theatre, prominent in the background--which just happens to be showing a recent RKO film, A Woman of Experience (1931), amidst an array of neon grandeur. See more »


When Steve returns to the newspaper after being in jail, as he is walking through the newsroom, a shadow of the camera following him falls across a column in the foreground. See more »


References Millie (1931) See more »


Waltz #15 in A flat major: 'Lullaby', Op.39
(1865) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played during opening credits and at fadeout
See more »

User Reviews

An odd one
17 November 2015 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

Pat O'Brien and Irene Dunne seem distinctly not made for each other in this odd romance, where she, a coffee shop proprietress, and he, a sports writer, are jilted by their respective fiances, meet cute, get a nice friendship going, and decide to get married. The open-marriage conceit feels daringly modern for 1931, but the dialog's pat and the plot coincidences are hard to swallow. Their respective true loves, Myrna Loy and Lester Vail, each come back from failed marriages at about the same time, and Dunne and O'Brien each leaves his/her spouse to pick up the pieces. It's hard to see why, when Loy is playing such a vain bore, and Vail such a needy weakling, and Dunne has an uncomfortable speech where she says goodbye to her baby daughter--her baby daughter!--to run off with an old lover. We all know the leads are going to discover they really love each other, but it's done so perfunctorily, with O'Brien just remarking to Loy, "Wouldn't it be funny if we turned out to be just friends?" and bolting upstairs to Dunne just in time for the happy fadeout. That's another thing--she can't make a great deal of money running a coffee shop, and he's unemployed more often than not, yet they have a gorgeous New York townhouse. Dunne's skill is somewhat evident, and O'Brien's fast talk is always entertaining, but he's not an ideal romantic lead, and this is not a credible romance.

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Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Consolation Marriage See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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