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.
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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. More 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
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Ex-Wife by Katherine Ursula Parrott (New York, 1929).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Ex-Wife
Release Date:
19 April 1930
Production Date:
began 1 February 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 April 1930
Copyright Number:
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
Passed by NBR:
No
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 ... +


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. +

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

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