Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Z. Leonard|
|Produced by||Robert Z. Leonard|
|Written by||Nick Grinde
by Ursula Parrott
|Editing by||Hugh Wynn|
|Running time||84 mins.|
The Divorcee is a 1930 American Pre-Code drama film written by Nick Grindé, John Meehan and Zelda Sears, based on the novel Ex-Wife by Ursula Parrott. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and won Best Actress for its star Norma Shearer.
Ted (Chester Morris), Jerry (Norma Shearer), Paul (Conrad Nagel) and Dorothy (Helen Johnson) are part of the New York in-crowd. Jerry's decision to marry Ted crushes Paul. He gets drunk and is involved in an accident that leaves Dorothy's face disfigured. Out of pity, Paul marries Dorothy. Ted and Jerry have been married three years when she discovers he had a brief affair with another woman — and when she confronts him on their third anniversary, he tells her it didn't "mean a thing". Lonely and upset, and with Ted out on a business trip, Jerry has an affair with his best friend, Don. She shares the truth with Ted upon his return, withholding Don's name, and they argue ending with Ted leaving her and the couple filing for a divorce. While Jerry turns to partying to drown her sorrows, Ted becomes an alcoholic. Paul and Jerry run into each other and she discovers he still loves her and is willing to leave Dorothy to be with her. It is only after she meets Dorothy that Jerry is forced to evaluate her decision.
- Norma Shearer as Jerry Martin
- Chester Morris as Ted Martin
- Conrad Nagel as Paul
- Robert Montgomery as Don
- Florence Eldridge as Helen Baldwin
- Helene Millard as Mary
- Robert Elliott as Bill Baldwin
- Mary Doran as Janice Meredith
- Tyler Brooke as Hank
- Zelda Sears as Hannah
- George Irving as Dr Bernard
- Helen Johnson as Dorothy (Dot)
Norma Shearer, Thalberg's wife, was originally never in the running 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 special photo session with studio portrait photographer George Hurrell and Thalberg saw the result, that he relented and gave her the role.
The Divorcee was released on DVD by Warner Home Video on March 8, 2008 (along with A Free Soul, also starring Norma Shearer), as one of five Pre-Code films in the "TCM Archives - Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 2" DVD box set. Other movies with the same title were released in 1917, 1919 and 1969.
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