Divorce (1945)

70-71 mins | Melodrama | 18 August 1945

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HISTORY

The film begins with the following written foreword: "MARRIAGE--entered into with such high hopes--such promise of happiness. Then--too often--DIVORCE--which solves no problems--merely creating new ones--And--in its wake, leaves disillusionment, heartbreak, despair--Of such is our story..." Actor Johnny Calkins' name was incorrectly spelled "Johny" in the onscreen credits. According to the Var review, this was the first independent film produced by Jeffrey Bernerd and Kay Francis' unit at Monogram.
       A HR news item reported in Sep 1944 that Alfred Zeisler had been signed by Monogram to direct the film, and Paul Kelly was to co-star with Francis. Zeisler, however, was replaced by William Nigh, and Bruce Cabot was cast in the male lead. According to a Jul 1944 LAEx news item, the inspiration for this film was provided by a newspaper cartoon by Percy Crosby, entitled "Break Up", which showed "an unhappy child torn between his father and mother." Crosby, however, received no writing or story credit. HR production charts include Clarence Muse and Barbara Woodell in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been ... More Less

The film begins with the following written foreword: "MARRIAGE--entered into with such high hopes--such promise of happiness. Then--too often--DIVORCE--which solves no problems--merely creating new ones--And--in its wake, leaves disillusionment, heartbreak, despair--Of such is our story..." Actor Johnny Calkins' name was incorrectly spelled "Johny" in the onscreen credits. According to the Var review, this was the first independent film produced by Jeffrey Bernerd and Kay Francis' unit at Monogram.
       A HR news item reported in Sep 1944 that Alfred Zeisler had been signed by Monogram to direct the film, and Paul Kelly was to co-star with Francis. Zeisler, however, was replaced by William Nigh, and Bruce Cabot was cast in the male lead. According to a Jul 1944 LAEx news item, the inspiration for this film was provided by a newspaper cartoon by Percy Crosby, entitled "Break Up", which showed "an unhappy child torn between his father and mother." Crosby, however, received no writing or story credit. HR production charts include Clarence Muse and Barbara Woodell in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 May 1945.
---
Daily Variety
18 May 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 May 45
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Sep 1944.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1945.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 45
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 45
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
14 Jul 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Mar 45
p. 2353.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 May 45
p. 2465.
Variety
17 Oct 45
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Supv ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Miss Francis' gowns by
Miss Francis' hats by
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Re-rec and eff mixer
PRODUCTION MISC
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 August 1945
Production Date:
19 February--early March 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
2 June 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13695
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70-71
Length(in feet):
6,374
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After being granted her fourth divorce, socialite Diane Carter decides to leave Chicago and return to her hometown of Hillsboro, Illinois. She soon sets her sights on her childhood boyfriend, Bob Phillips, despite the fact that he has been happily married to his wife Martha for ten years and has two young sons, Bobby and Michael. Her arrival in Hillsboro coincides with Bob and Martha's wedding anniversary, and though Bob does not recognize her at first, Diane quickly acquires the recently returned veteran's total attention. Diane then decides to settle in Hillsboro, and retains Bob's services as a real estate agent to find her an apartment. In order insinuate herself further into Bob's household, Diane asks Martha to help furnish her new apartment. Later, Bob and Diane form a highly successful partnership in real estate development and speculation. While their good friends, Jim Driscoll and Liz Smith, finally announce their long-awaited engagement, Martha begins to realize that she is losing her husband to Diane. Later, Bob and Diane take his two sons on a picnic, and, while his father's attention is on Diane, Bobby is hit by a car as he rides his new bicycle. Afterward, Martha forces Bob to admit his feelings for Diane, so she announces her intentions to seek a divorce. Though her friends try to convince her to change her mind, Martha proceeds with the divorce. Bob is granted only a single Saturday each month to visit with his sons, but he spends the first one in Chicago, gambling with Diane. The two are caught in a police raid, however, and the resulting local scandal jeopardizes their real estate development. ... +


After being granted her fourth divorce, socialite Diane Carter decides to leave Chicago and return to her hometown of Hillsboro, Illinois. She soon sets her sights on her childhood boyfriend, Bob Phillips, despite the fact that he has been happily married to his wife Martha for ten years and has two young sons, Bobby and Michael. Her arrival in Hillsboro coincides with Bob and Martha's wedding anniversary, and though Bob does not recognize her at first, Diane quickly acquires the recently returned veteran's total attention. Diane then decides to settle in Hillsboro, and retains Bob's services as a real estate agent to find her an apartment. In order insinuate herself further into Bob's household, Diane asks Martha to help furnish her new apartment. Later, Bob and Diane form a highly successful partnership in real estate development and speculation. While their good friends, Jim Driscoll and Liz Smith, finally announce their long-awaited engagement, Martha begins to realize that she is losing her husband to Diane. Later, Bob and Diane take his two sons on a picnic, and, while his father's attention is on Diane, Bobby is hit by a car as he rides his new bicycle. Afterward, Martha forces Bob to admit his feelings for Diane, so she announces her intentions to seek a divorce. Though her friends try to convince her to change her mind, Martha proceeds with the divorce. Bob is granted only a single Saturday each month to visit with his sons, but he spends the first one in Chicago, gambling with Diane. The two are caught in a police raid, however, and the resulting local scandal jeopardizes their real estate development. In the meantime, Martha rejects Bob's alimony checks, taking instead a job as a clerk in a Hillsboro department store. With the real estate deal going sour, Diane arranges her own financing for the project, over Bob's objections. Bob's investors are then forced to sell out to Diane's people, and despite their significant profits, they voice their disapproval. Bob and Diane make plans to leave Hillsboro, but when he fails to return to her on time from his visitation with Bobby and Michael, Diane rushes to the Phillips home, where she overhears Bob being "court-martialed" by his sons for "desertion." Realizing that she has lost Bob to his family, Diane tells Martha that she is leaving town on the next train. On the way back to Chicago, Diane finally comes to realize the unpleasant type of person she has become. +

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

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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.