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The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932)

Sophisticated comedy: a trio of money hungry women who all have sugar daddies who keep them in the lap of luxury, even as they drive the men crazy. Each woman represents a different ... See full summary »


Lowell Sherman


Zoe Akins (play), Sidney Howard (adaptation)

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Complete credited cast:
Joan Blondell ... Schatzi Sutro
Madge Evans ... Polaire Quinn
Ina Claire ... Jean Lawrence
David Manners ... Dey Emery
Lowell Sherman ... Boris Feldman
Phillips Smalley ... Justin Emery
Sidney Bracey ... The Waiter


Sophisticated comedy: a trio of money hungry women who all have sugar daddies who keep them in the lap of luxury, even as they drive the men crazy. Each woman represents a different personality type, from sensitive, to kind-hearted, to difficult and untrustworthy. Set in the age of jazz, the twenties come roaring back with immorality and in-fighting. Written by SindyMac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Here's to our Men; Long may they give! See more »









Release Date:

13 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Greeks Had a Word for It See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Adapted from a Broadway play by Zoe Akins, "The Greeks Had a Word for It". Since it dealt with a group of modern-day courtesans, the title was on the Hays Office banned list. Therefore, the last word in the title was changed to "Them". The original Broadway production opened at the Sam H. Harris Theater on September 25, 1930 Theater and ran for 253 performances. See more »


Schatzi: Look, she doesn't have a man - you'd think she'd be afraid of catching cold.
See more »


Spoofed in The Greeks Had No Word for Them (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

Three women in search of a sugar-daddy.
5 March 2007 | by piccadillyjim-1See all my reviews

THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR THEM has a good cast, a good director, and a good idea for a story, but you would never know it from watching this film. Ina Claire, a renowned actress from Broadway, displays not one ounce of subtlety in her role as the gold-digging, throat-cutting Jean. Joan Blondell tries her best as the warm-hearted Schatzi who attempts to keep order and harmony in her group of three women seeking wealth through marriage with a wealthy man. Given the script she has to work with, her task was next to impossible. Madge Evans, as the nice showgirl, rounds out the trio, but is unfortunately over-shadowed by the antics of Claire who dominates every scene with her over-acting.

David Manners plays Madge's nice and wealthy, though unbelievable boyfriend, while Lowell Sherman, who directed the film, plays a renowned pianist Claire runs after. This film is classic proof of the old adage that a film's principal seldom can step outside of their role to direct the proceedings and do a good job.

This film is so bad, one has to wonder who Sam Goldwyn had in mind when he began this production. The women are the worst stereotypes one could imagine, while the men have absolutely no redeeming qualities. No doubt Goldwyn saw this as some sort of a roaring twenties exercise in loose morality, but he only succeeded in creating a caricature of life in the jet-set.

I rated this a 3 only because of the presence of Joan Blondell and Madge Evans who are worth watching. Evans has been described as a "wooden" actress by another writer. In this film, she is the only one with any fire in her demeanor when standing up against Claire busy demonstrating how to chew up the scenery. Evans projects poise, grace, and class... no easy task in this scenario.

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