Faithless (1932 film)

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Poster - Faithless 01.jpg
Lobby card
Directed by Harry Beaumont
Written by Carey Wilson
Based on Tinfoil
by Mildred Cram
Starring Tallulah Bankhead
Robert Montgomery
Cinematography Oliver T. Marsh
Edited by Hugh Wynn
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 15, 1932 (1932-10-15)
Running time
74-77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Faithless is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic drama film about a spoiled socialite who learns a sharp lesson when she loses all her money during the Great Depression. The film stars Tallulah Bankhead and Robert Montgomery, and was based on Mildred Cram's novel Tinfoil, which was the film's working title.


Spoiled socialite Carol Morgan (Bankhead), romping through the Depression with her lavish lifestyle, breaks off her engagement with Bill Wade (Montgomery) over her refusal to live by his comparatively modest salary rather than her own wealth. To make matters worse, she expresses scorn for his career. An unplanned sexual encounter seems to resolve their differences until Carol refuses Bill's offer for an expedited City Hall wedding, and again they are unable to come to terms. The impasse ends with Bill leaving town.

When Carol loses everything, she tentatively reconciles with Bill only to find that he has lost his job on the same day. This breaks the engagement again, much to the disgust of Bill's younger brother Tony, who condemns her as a "courtesan" and predicts that she will wind up "in the streets". The forgiving and tolerant Bill responds that she is a good person who just doesn't know it yet.

Carol finds herself living off wealthy social climbers and borrowing money from them, until the prestige formerly associated with her name is dissipated. She then becomes the mistress of a man whose wife had tried to evict her as a disgraced house guest, thus fulfilling part of Tony's cynical prediction. Bill traces Carol to the house and finds her in this humiliating position before being asked to leave. Carol then leaves voluntarily, telling her former patron that if she can't win Bill's forgiveness, she can at least seek her own.

Carol starves and narrowly avoids homelessness as she looks unsuccessfully for work, and is near collapse when Bill finds her again and asks her once more to marry him, telling her that the past is done and the slate is clean between them. Bill is now a truck driver, but the company that employs him folds, leaving him jobless again.

The newlyweds struggle through more hard times until Bill is offered a driving job as a strikebreaker. He is threatened by strikers when he shows up for work, and his truck is ambushed and wrecked by them as he attempts to begin work on his first day.

With Bill severely injured, Carol is forced into prostitution in order to pay medical bills and nurse him back to health. She accidentally solicits Tony as he arrives in town, much to his disgust and Carol's humiliation. A policeman arrests her but takes pity on her and helps her into a job as a waitress by strong-arming the owner of a small diner.

Bill is just on his feet again when his brother Tony arrives for a visit, with news that his prediction for Carol had been fulfilled, which he delivers with great contempt before learning to his shock that Carol has indeed become his sister-in-law. Carol arrives in the aftermath of this revelation, and tells Bill that she had intended to confess and then leave as soon as he was well again, adding that she would do it all again. After a moment of sadness, Bill embraces Carol and thanks her for saving his life, wiping the slate clean again.

Cast (in credits order)[edit]


Mordaunt Hall, in his The New York Times review, called the film a "lumbering species of drama", though he appreciated the "capable performances" of the two leads.[1]


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