6.9/10
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28 user 11 critic

Private Lives (1931)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 12 December 1931 (USA)
Divorced couple unexpectedly meet each other during their honeymoon and rekindle their love.

Director:

Sidney Franklin

Writers:

Noël Coward (from the play by) (as Noel Coward), Hanns Kräly (scenario) (as Hans Kraly) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Amanda Prynne
Robert Montgomery ... Elyot Chase
Reginald Denny ... Victor Prynne
Una Merkel ... Sibyl Chase
Jean Hersholt ... Oscar
George Davis George Davis ... Bell Hop
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Storyline

Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in adjoining rooms with adjoining terraces. Things go fine until Amanda sees her former husband Elyot on the adjacent terrace. While they both pretend to be happy, both make plans to leave, but their spouses do not want to leave as it is their respective honeymoons. So the other spouses each go down to the bar. This leaves Elyot and Amanda together and they reminisce. Before long, the sparks again fly and they both decide to leave together to the Mountains of Switzerland. They love, they bicker, they fight, they stop. Then it begins over and over. Then Victor and Sibyl show up at their chalet. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

12 December 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fufu sensen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Montgomery was accidentally knocked unconscious during the fight scene with Norma Shearer. See more »

Goofs

When Elyot, Amanda and Oscar are riding on the gondola, Elyot and Amanda begin to argue. As their argument escalates, the two of them stand up and Oscar, listening quietly, stands up with them. Their is a cut to a medium shot of Oscar which shows him still seated. Then a return to the shot of the three of them which shows Oscar standing again. See more »

Quotes

Amanda: Making all this fuss because your silly vanity is a little upset.
Elyot: Vanity, vanity! What on earth do you mean, vanity?
Amanda: You simply don't realize there are certain moments when our cosmic thingummys don't fuse properly.
Elyot: Ha! Cosmic thingummy! Would you please, please try and be a little bit more explicit!
Amanda: You know perfectly well what I mean!
See more »

Connections

Version of Les amants terribles (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

A Shady Tree
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Played while Elyot and Amanda are dancing to the phonograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of Shearer's best!
7 May 2011 | by Gypsy1962See all my reviews

I've lost count of the number of times I have seen this first-rate movie, and it makes me laugh every time. The plot and dialog are outstanding, and Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery are excellent. Reginald Denny and Una Merkel are a delight as well. In one of the film's many excellent scenes, Shearer shows off the acting skills she honed during her silent screen days -- hearing the musical strains of a song once dear to her and her ex-husband in happier days, her expression goes from recognition to fond remembrance to regret to resignation, all in the span of a few seconds. Although she is best known for her dramatic gifts, Norma is top-notch throughout this film, displaying an excellent flair for comedy. I've often read her performance being unfavorably compared to that of Gertrude Lawrence, but I thought Shearer was a wonder. It's hard for me to conceive that this movie was released 80 years ago -- it is still fresh, funny, and worth every moment of your time.


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