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Divorce (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 August 1945 (USA)
A woman who has been married and divorced five times comes back to her small hometown, where she proceeds to complicate, and potentially destroy, the marriage of her childhood boyfriend.


William Nigh


Harvey Gates (screenplay) (as Harvey H. Gates), Sidney Sutherland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kay Francis ... Dianne Carter
Bruce Cabot ... Bob Phillips
Helen Mack ... Martha Phillips
Jerome Cowan ... Jim Driscoll
Craig Reynolds ... Bill Endicott
Ruth Lee Ruth Lee ... Liz Smith
Jean Fenwick ... June Endicott
Mary Gordon ... Ellen
Larry Olsen ... Michael Phillips
Johnny Calkins ... Robby Phillips
Jonathan Hale ... Judge Conlon
Addison Richards ... Plummer
Leonard Mudie ... Harvey Hicks
Reid Kilpatrick ... Dr. Andy Cole
Virginia Wave Virginia Wave ... Secretary


A woman who has been married and divorced five times comes back to her small hometown, where she proceeds to complicate, and potentially destroy, the marriage of her childhood boyfriend.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT...she steals men's hearts!




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 August 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Divorcio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film took place in Los Angeles Saturday 17 December 1949 on KNBH (Channel 4), and in New York City Wednesday 17 May 1950 on WATV (Channel 13). See more »


In the newspaper headline closeup, only the headline ("Phillips and Carter in Police Raid") has a correct first paragraph. The remainder of the story, as well as the other stories ("Meteorite Falls Near Baby" and "Cop Gets Medal") consist entirely of text from a textbook on economics. See more »

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User Reviews

This film comes across as a sermon against divorce. It is incredibly preachy and completely lacking in dramatic interest.
13 March 2000 | by Michael-110See all my reviews

"Divorce" opens with a crawl condemning divorce as certain to produce misery. It follows with a scene in family court in which a judge refuses to grant one divorce (thus forcing a couple who hate each other to stay together). He reluctantly grants a second despite the obvious collusion involved. The judge preaches against divorce as purely a product of selfishness and bitterness. In the second case, the wife is the oft-married Diane Carter who is a pure gold digger. She isn't present to hear the judge's opinion of her character.

Diane then returns to her home town where she quickly establishes herself as a world class home wrecker. With little effort, she breaks up the happy marriage of Bob and Martha. Diane offers Bob unlimited investment money for his struggling business and a lot more excitement than Martha and their two loving kids. When she catches on, Martha insists on a divorce and rejects all support, taking a humble job in a department store to support herself and the children. The children suffer badly from their dad's absence. Meanwhile, Bob discovers that Diane is no bed of roses.

Viewers of this film must understand that divorce was one of those forbidden subjects under the Hays Code. Filmmakers simply were not allowed to make a serious, balanced film about divorce. The Hays Code was written by a priest and a prominent Catholic layman (Daniel Lord and Martin Quigley). From 1934 on, the Code was firmly administered by a prominent Catholic layman (Joseph I. Breen). One of the reasons the industry accepted self censorship was to ward off boycott threats from the Catholic church. So it is no surprise that the Hays Code firmly embodied Catholic moral teachings--especially including absolute opposition to divorce. Broadly speaking, the only kind of divorce movies that got made during this period were romantic comedies (like "The Awful Truth") in which couples get divorced early in the picture but remarry in the end.

"Divorce" is a serious movie on the subject of divorce that could easily have been produced by the Catholic church to impress teenagers or young married couples at weekend retreats. It puts divorce on the level of genocide in the moral firmament. Its preachiness is incredible and its dramatic value is nil. Needless to say, Breen approved of this film without any reservations. (The censorship files are preserved at the Motion Picture Academy's Herrick library in Beverly Hills).

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