The Divorcée (1930)

83 mins | Romance | 19 April 1930

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Cinematographer:

Norbert Brodine

Editors:

Hugh Wynn, T. K. Wood

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The 10 Oct 1929 FD announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) had acquired screen rights to Katherine Ursula Parrott’s suggestive 1929 novel Ex-Wife.
       The 23 Oct 1929 Var reported that both Greta Garbo and Claudette Colbert were in consideration for the lead role.
       According to the 13 Nov 1929 Var, Universal Pictures was attempting to capitalize on the popularity of Parrott’s novel, and announced plans to make an original feature titled Ex-Husband, written by C. Jerome Horwin, and starring Joseph Schildkraut. Fearing competition, M-G-M “registered the husband title with the Hay’s office” two months earlier, after purchasing the rights to the novel. In addition, a sequel to Ex-Wife was currently being written for M-G-M. However, the following year, the 19 Jul 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that M-G-M had recently acquired screen rights to Parrott’s forthcoming novel, Strangers May Kiss, which was published in 1931. The film adaptation of the same name was also released that year, starring Norma Shearer (see entry). Although technically billed as a sequel to Ex-Wife, Shearer played an altogether different character.
       The 13 Nov 1929 Var stated that John Meehan and Nick Grinde would be co-directing Ex-Wife, but both men only received credit for their writing contributions.
       On 10 Jan 1930, FD reported that M-G-M had “dropped” Ex-Wife from its production schedule. However, three weeks later, the 28 Jan 1930 FD announced that production was soon to begin on The Divorcée, with Norma Shearer set to star, and Robert Z. Leonard directing. A 29 Jan 1930 ...

More Less

The 10 Oct 1929 FD announced that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) had acquired screen rights to Katherine Ursula Parrott’s suggestive 1929 novel Ex-Wife.
       The 23 Oct 1929 Var reported that both Greta Garbo and Claudette Colbert were in consideration for the lead role.
       According to the 13 Nov 1929 Var, Universal Pictures was attempting to capitalize on the popularity of Parrott’s novel, and announced plans to make an original feature titled Ex-Husband, written by C. Jerome Horwin, and starring Joseph Schildkraut. Fearing competition, M-G-M “registered the husband title with the Hay’s office” two months earlier, after purchasing the rights to the novel. In addition, a sequel to Ex-Wife was currently being written for M-G-M. However, the following year, the 19 Jul 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that M-G-M had recently acquired screen rights to Parrott’s forthcoming novel, Strangers May Kiss, which was published in 1931. The film adaptation of the same name was also released that year, starring Norma Shearer (see entry). Although technically billed as a sequel to Ex-Wife, Shearer played an altogether different character.
       The 13 Nov 1929 Var stated that John Meehan and Nick Grinde would be co-directing Ex-Wife, but both men only received credit for their writing contributions.
       On 10 Jan 1930, FD reported that M-G-M had “dropped” Ex-Wife from its production schedule. However, three weeks later, the 28 Jan 1930 FD announced that production was soon to begin on The Divorcée, with Norma Shearer set to star, and Robert Z. Leonard directing. A 29 Jan 1930 Var news item referred to the new name as a “white-washed title.”
       On 1 Feb 1930, Exhibitors Herald-World announced that principal photography had begun, and noted that the picture boasted the “first all stage” supporting cast, including William Doran.
       M-G-M was also in pre-production on French and German versions of The Divorcée, as indicated in a 26 Mar 1930 Var news item, which reported that screen tests were currently underway to cast the female leads.
       The 20 Apr 1930 FD reviewed the film positively as a “corking drama,” and praised its “clever dialogue.” Leonard’s direction was noted as having a “lively whoopee tempo,” and the performances of Norma Shearer and Chester Morris received special mention.
       Norma Shearer received a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of "Jerry." AMPAS sources note that when Shearer was nominated, her performance in both this film and Their Own Desire (1929, see entry), was under consideration. At the awards ceremony, however, only her performance in The Divorcée was acknowledged. The film also received Academy Award nominations in the Directing and Outstanding Production categories.

Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
24 May 1930
p. 11
Exhibitors Herald-World
1 Feb 1930
p. 33
Exhibitors Herald-World
19 Jul 1930
p. 36
Film Daily
10 Oct 1929
p. 11
Film Daily
10 Jan 1930
p. 2
Film Daily
28 Jan 1930
p. 7
Film Daily
20 Apr 1930
p. 10
Los Angeles Times
11 May 1930
p. B9
New York Times
10 May 1930
p. 25
Variety
23 Oct 1929
p. 66
Variety
13 Nov 1929
p. 6, 8, 68
Variety
29 Jan 1930
p. 77
Variety
26 Mar 1930
p. 72
Variety
14 May 1930
p. 19
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Truman K. Wood
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
J. K. Brock
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Ex-Wife by Katherine Ursula Parrott (New York, 1929).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Ex-Wife
Release Date:
19 April 1930
Production Date:
began 1 Feb 1930
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
23 April 1930
LP1244
Physical Properties:
Sound
Movietone
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Also si.
Duration(in mins):
83
Length(in feet):
7,533
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Jerry marries Ted, a newspaperman, and they settle down to three years of marital bliss. On their third wedding anniversary, when he is leaving for Chicago, she learns that Ted has been having an affair with another woman. Although she had agreed before their marriage to uphold a liberal attitude, Jerry becomes disillusioned, and turns to Don, her husband's best friend, for comfort. When Ted refuses to accept her extramarital affairs, the couple obtain a divorce and go their separate ways. After numerous love affairs, Jerry meets Paul, who loved her long before her marriage to Ted. She vacations on his yacht, and decides to accompany him to Japan as his wife. However, his current wife, Helen, makes a plea for her husband. Realizing she does not love Paul, Jerry returns to Paris. There, on New Year's Eve, she is reconciled with ...

More Less

Jerry marries Ted, a newspaperman, and they settle down to three years of marital bliss. On their third wedding anniversary, when he is leaving for Chicago, she learns that Ted has been having an affair with another woman. Although she had agreed before their marriage to uphold a liberal attitude, Jerry becomes disillusioned, and turns to Don, her husband's best friend, for comfort. When Ted refuses to accept her extramarital affairs, the couple obtain a divorce and go their separate ways. After numerous love affairs, Jerry meets Paul, who loved her long before her marriage to Ted. She vacations on his yacht, and decides to accompany him to Japan as his wife. However, his current wife, Helen, makes a plea for her husband. Realizing she does not love Paul, Jerry returns to Paris. There, on New Year's Eve, she is reconciled with Ted.

Less

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

King of Jazz

The 4 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that the production starting date was 4 Nov 1929.
       The main title credits Paul Whiteman and his Band as "Exclusive ... >>

The Unsuspected

Charlotte Armstrong's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post between 11 Aug 1945 and 29 Sep 1945. This was the first film made for Michael Curtiz' ... >>

The Cocoanuts

The 12 Jan 1929 Motion Picture News announced production was expected to begin on 1 Feb 1929 on Paramount Pictures’ The Cocoanuts, based on the ... >>

The White Tower

Contemporary news items add the following information about the production: RKO purchased James Ramsey Ullman's novel in Mar 1946 for $150,000. At that time, Edward Dmytryk was assigned to ... >>

The Wizard of Oz

The following dedication appears in the opening credits: “For nearly forty years this story has given faithful service to the Young in Heart; and Time has been powerless to ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.