Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THE DIVORCEE (1930)- Pre-Code.

The Divorcee (1930). Drama. Based on the novel Ex-Wife by Ursula Parrott. Director: Robert Z. Leonard. Cast: Chester Morris, Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Conrad Nagel, and Florence Eldridge. Other movies with the same title were released in 1917, 1919 and 1969.

Shearer was not first choice for the lead role in The Divorcee, because it was believed that she didn't have enough sex appeal. It was only after Shearer arranged a photo session with George Hurrell and her husband saw the result, that he gave her the role. The original choice was Joan Crawford, who never forgave Shearer for winning the role.

Norma Shearer's character is very strong willed and is the one to propose marriage to her boyfriend at the beginning of the film. On their third wedding anniversary, Jerry learns that Ted has been having an affair with another woman. Brokenhearted, she turns to Don, her husband's best friend, for comfort. Ted refuses to accept her affairs with other men, so they divorce. After several affairs, Jerry meets Paul and goes on vacation with him on his yacht. When she realizes she does not love him, she returns to Paris, on New Year's Eve. Will she find Ted and will they get back together?


I really enjoyed watching The Divorcee which takes a look at the double standard. So far, This is one of my personal favorite films of the Pre-Code Era because it's exactly the kind of film that the Code was against.

Florence Eldridge (September 5, 1901-August 1, 1988), she was married to fellow performer Fredric March from 1927 until his death in 1975, and often appeared alongside him on stage and in films.

She died of a heart attack aged 86. She was buried alongside her husband at the March Estate in New Milford, Connecticut.

The Divorcee, is part of the Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume Two. The other films included in the box set:
The Divorcee
A Free Soul
Night Nurse


  1. Good post Dawn. I've never seen this movie and I believe TCM just aired it the other day too. Dang it. Oh well they will show it again hopefully.

  2. One of the first pre-code classics I saw. Shearer is great as a woman fighting against the double standard of marriage infedility.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.