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The Divorce of Lady X (1938)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 January 1938 (USA)
Divorce lawyer Everard Logan thinks the woman who spent the night in his hotel room is the erring wife of his new client.


Tim Whelan


Lajos Biró (adaptation) (as Lajos Biro), Ian Dalrymple (scenario & dialogue) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Merle Oberon ... Leslie
Laurence Olivier ... Logan
Binnie Barnes ... Lady Mere
Ralph Richardson ... Lord Mere
Morton Selten ... Lord Steele
J.H. Roberts ... Slade
Gertrude Musgrove Gertrude Musgrove ... Saunders
Gus McNaughton ... Waiter
H.B. Hallam H.B. Hallam ... Jefferies
Eileen Peel ... Mrs. Johnson


Laurence Olivier plays Logan, a barrister who falls in love with Leslie (played by Merle Oberon), the woman he thinks his client will soon be divorcing. Written by H. A. Lakatos <lakatos@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

15 January 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Besuch zur Nacht See more »


Box Office


£99,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording) (Western Electric Noiseless System)


Color (photographed in) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Televised as early as 25 July 1948 on WTMJ (Channel 3) in Milwaukee. See more »


In his chambers, Logan repacks Leslie's fancy dress into the suitcase after Slade had partially removed it. In doing so, he leaves a small part still exposed outside the suitcase when he closes the lid. He then places it on a shelf. Later, when Logan is in a meeting with Lord Mere, the suitcase is still on the shelf, but no part of the dress is now visible. See more »


Lord Mere: What's your opinion of women, Peters?
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Peters, Club Attendant: What, the foreign secretary, sir?
Lord Mere: No, you fool. The Garden of Eden - Adam and Eve. You know the story?
Peters, Club Attendant: Well, yes, I remember... but it was a little bit before my time.
Lord Mere: Well, it's still going on. The woman leads the man up the garden path and ...
See more »


Referenced in Round the Film Studios: No. 2 Denham Part 6 (1937) See more »


Hullambo Balaton Tetejen
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User Reviews

Slight comedy of manners badly needs color restoration...
5 November 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

This DIVORCE OF LADY X is the sort of film about misunderstandings among the upper crust of society that American audiences usually associate with someone like Norman Krasna, who wrote so many romantic comedies where someone assumed a different identity to keep the mistaken identity theme afloat for the duration of the plot. If I hadn't known better, I would have suspected he had a hand in this screenplay.

Here we have an early comedy from the U.K., courtesy of Alexander Korda, making use of three strip Technicolor--very low-key color apparently, at least judging from the rather poor Public Domain prints I've seen.

LAURENCE OLIVIER plays a barrister whose disdain for women is on a level with Professor Henry Higgins--he tolerates them until he falls in love with them. The joke here is that he is mistaken about the identity of MERLE OBERON, who gets even with him after finding out how rudely he treats women, by pretending to be the wife of RALPH RICHARDSON. He's hoodwinked by her until the very end when she realizes they share a mutual attraction.

It's amusing to watch Olivier and Oberon tackle these lightweight roles only a year before joining forces again for WUTHERING HEIGHTS. He has some very scathing comments to make about the opposite sex and plays his role with gusto. She's a bit more restrained in her role but together they show the kind of chemistry they would also get to display in the William Wyler film the following year.

This would have been more watchable if the color wasn't so badly in need of restoration.

Summing up: Amusing comedy of manners among British aristocracy.

P.S. - This is an update on my review of the film. Saw it today in brightly restored Technicolor which at least adds to the film's entertainment value, though the script is the main trouble. But TCM featured it in pristine condition in color that was extremely washed out and primitive looking before. It's now seen to advantage and adds a great deal of interest to viewing it as it was originally intended.

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