Easy Virtue (1928 film)

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Easy Virtue
Easy Virtue movie poster
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Uncredited:
Michael Balcon
C. M. Woolf
Written by Eliot Stannard
Based on Easy Virtue 
by Noël Coward
Starring Isabel Jeans
Franklin Dyall
Eric Bransby Williams
Ian Hunter
Cinematography Claude L. McDonnell
Edited by Ivor Montagu
Distributed by Woolf & Freedman Film Service (UK)
Sono Art-World Wide Pictures (US)
Release dates
  • 5 March 1928 (1928-03-05)
Running time
70 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language Silent film
English intertitles

Easy Virtue is a 1928 British silent romance film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Isabel Jeans, Franklin Dyall and Ian Hunter.

The movie is loosely based on the 1924 play Easy Virtue by Noël Coward. It was made at the Islington Studios in London. The film's art direction is by Clifford Pember.


Larita Filton (Isabel Jeans) is on the witness stand testifying regarding a decanter. In a flashback, her husband, a drunken brute named Aubrey (Franklin Dyall), is drinking from that decanter. His drunkenness prevents her portrait from being painted. Meanwhile, the painter, Claude (Eric Bransby Williams), is smitten with Larita and attempts to seduce her when her husband leaves. She rejects Claude's advances, but Aubrey walks in on them and Claude and Claude dies. Aubrey files for divorce on the grounds of adultery, which is why Larita is court this day. The juries decides in Aubrey's favor, considering the proof that Claude left Larita his entire fortune.

Since she is now a disgraced woman of "easy virtue", Larita leaves for the French Riviera to avoid attention. During a tennis match, she meets a rich younger man, John Whittaker (Robin Irvine), and soon marries him. Even though they are madly in love, she does not tell him about her past, and they return to England to meet his family. While friends and family seem to like Larita, his mother strongly disapproves of her, having recognized Larita's face from the papers. She questions John about where Larita comes from, but he does not have any answers.

John's mother remains suspicious about Larita, and makes her life miserable. Larita begs John to go back to the south of France, but he does not understand why she is so unhappy in England. She feels his family hates her and they are teaching him to hate her, too. Later that day, John admits to his family that he made a mistake marrying Larita.

Then, John's mother sees Larita's face in the papers, and Larita's past comes to light. The family confronts Laurita, with his mother telling her that, "In our world, we do not understand this code of easy virtue." During a party the family hosts, the family tries to keep Larita upstairs, but she comes down anyway. She realizes how unwanted she is and decides to allow John to divorce her so he can marry Sarah (Enid Stamp Taylor), a local girl whom his mother had in mind as a suitable match.


Alfred Hitchcock's cameo is a signature occurrence in almost all of Hitchcock's films. About 21 minutes into the film he can be seen walking past a tennis court carrying a walking stick.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EASY VIRTUE (U)". British Board of Film Classification. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 

External links[edit]