11 user 6 critic

Stronger Than Desire (1939)

Passed | | Drama | 30 June 1939 (USA)
Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Flagg is courted by persistent Michael McLain, despite her protests that she is a married woman. McLain is just charming enough to attract Elizabeth into a ... See full summary »


Leslie Fenton


David Hertz (screen play), William Ludwig (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Virginia Bruce ... Elizabeth Flagg
Walter Pidgeon ... Tyler Flagg
Lee Bowman ... Michael McLain
Ann Dvorak ... Eva McLain
Ilka Chase ... Jo Brennan
Rita Johnson ... Barbara Winter
Richard Lane ... Jerry Brody
Ann E. Todd ... Susan Flagg (as Ann Todd)
Paul Stanton ... Assistant D.A. Galway
Ferike Boros ... Mrs. D'Amoro


Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Flagg is courted by persistent Michael McLain, despite her protests that she is a married woman. McLain is just charming enough to attract Elizabeth into a series of harmless dalliances. But when he tries to extort money from her, they quarrel violently and she shoots at him with his own gun. McLain's wife Eva is arrested for his murder. With strong circumstantial evidence against her, Eva seems sure to be convicted... until the guilt-ridden Elizabeth persuades her own husband, defense attorney Tyler Flagg, to take the woman's case. He does so, but without knowing of his wife's involvement. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE STORY OF LONELY WIVES (original 6-sheet poster- all caps) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Both Virginia Bruce and Ann Dvorak started out in films as chorus dancers in early musicals. See more »


When McLain goes to look up Flagg's number in the phone book, entries in the column on the right are out of alphabetical order and are repeated two or three times. See more »


Version of Evelyn Prentice (1934) See more »


Lullaby (Cradle Song)
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played on piano offscreen by Ann E. Todd
Reprised as background music near the end
See more »

User Reviews

Strong performances bolster melodramatic programmer...
23 September 2011 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

WALTER PIDGEON stars as a man famous for being a defense lawyer who gets women cleared of murder charges in circumstantial cases.

Little does he know that he's soon going to be taking a case where a woman (ANN DVORAK) is charged with murdering her husband--and that his own wife (VIRGINIA BRUCE) was involved with the murdered man (LEE BOWMAN). In fact, his wife thinks she murdered Bowman in an accidental struggle over a gun. All of this leads to a courtroom scene where a plot twist reveals what really happened.

What distinguishes this little programmer from most B-films produced by MGM are the performances. Particularly effective are Virginia Bruce who manages to overcome a tendency to be bland by giving a very earnest performance as the woman who finds herself in difficult circumstances after realizing her friendship with Lee Bowman is really a set-up for blackmail.

And ANN DVORAK, never one of my favorite actresses, is really outstanding here as Bowman's long suffering wife who doesn't know that her lawyer's wife is "the other woman" involved with her husband. Not only is she photographed attractively, but she makes the most of a meaty supporting role.

RICHARD LANE does his usual competent job in a supporting role but it's the ladies who stand out in performances worthy of a better script. ILKA CHASE does her usual "best friend of the leading lady" bit, the sort of role she was relegated to throughout most of her career. Little ANN TODD is tolerable as the child who wishes her father could spend more time with her.

While Pidgeon is solid as the lawyer, it's Virginia Bruce and Ann Dvorak who have the most rewarding roles and take most of the spotlight.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

30 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Acuso Minha Mulher See more »


Box Office


$258,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed