The Matrimonial Bed

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The Matrimonial Bed
Matrimonialbed19302.jpg
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Written by Harvey F. Thew
Seymour Hicks (based on the play by André Mouézy-Éon and Yves Mirande)
Starring Frank Fay
Lilyan Tashman
Florence Eldridge
Beryl Mercer
Arthur Edmund Carewe
Vivien Oakland
James Gleason
Music by Louis Silvers
Cinematography Devereaux Jennings
Editing by Jack Killifer
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates August 2, 1930
Running time 69 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Matrimonial Bed is a 1930 American Pre-Code comedy film produced and released by Warner Bros.. It was based on the French play by André Mouézy-Éon and Yves Mirande. The English version of the play, by Seymour Hicks, opened in New York on October 12, 1927 and had 13 performances.

Synopsis[edit]

Frank Fay is a man who was in a train wreck five years earlier and was taken for dead by his wife, who is played by Florence Eldridge. Fay and Eldridge have both remarried. Fay, who remembers nothing that occurred before the train wreck, is the father of two sets of twins by his new wife, who is played by Lilyan Tashman. Eldridge has recently had a child with her new husband, played by James Gleason. Fay is a very popular hairdresser and some of Eldridge's friends urge her to try him. When Fay shows up at the house, he shocks the servants and his ex-wife. A doctor, played by Arthur Edmund Carewe, manages to restore Fay's memory through the use of hypnosis but in the process makes him forget what has happened in the last five years. When Fay awakes from hypnosis, he thinks he has only been unconscious for a short while. He assumes he is still Eldridge´s husband. The doctor warns everyone not to tell him the truth because the shock could kill him. Just at this crucial moment, Eldridge's current husband arrives home who is shocked to find him in his own bed. Later on, Eldridge's current wife arrives only to find her husband in bed with Gleason. Eventually, Fay finds out what has happened and asks the doctor to pretend to take back his memory so that his former wife, whom he deeply loves, can continue to live with her new husband.

Pre-Code Sequences[edit]

  • Frank Fay is discovered in bed with James Gleason and Lilyan Tashman assumes they are having an affair and shockingly exclaims: "What kind of a house is this?"
  • When Dr. Beaudine (Arthur Edmund Carewe) attempts to examine Frank Fay, Frank assumes he is gay and refuses to take off his shirt. When Dr. Beaudine closes the light in order to hypnotize him Frank Fay exclaims that he was right in his suspicions about him.
  • The movie has numerous gay jokes as the hairdresser/husband played by Frank Fay camps up the hairdresser persona to differentiate himself from the personality of the husband. There are lines like - "I may be a hairdresser but that doesn't mean I hold men's hands" And when he asks what manner of person was he as the hairdresser, he is told, "You were gay, a bit dandified."

Songs[edit]

  • "Fleur D'Amour"

Miscellany[edit]

  • Dickie Moore makes an uncredited cameo appearance in this film.

Preservation[edit]

The film survives intact and has been broadcast on television and cable.

External links[edit]