Lonely Wives (1931)

85 or 87 mins | Comedy | 22 February 1931

Director:

Russell Mack

Writer:

Walter De Leon

Producer:

E. B. Derr

Cinematographer:

Edward Snyder

Editor:

Joseph I. Kane

Production Designer:

Carroll Clark

Production Company:

Pathé Exchange, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although onscreen credits list A. H. Woods as the author of the source work, reviews of the stage production credit him as producer and list Walter De Leon and Mark Swan as adaptors. According to an Aug 1922 article in NYT , the play was scheduled to open in New York in late Aug 1922 with well-known female impersonator Julian Eltinge as its star, but was "shooed away" from there because it was deemed "meretricious." The article adds that the play was "to be in a home for fallen dramas, undergoing reformation, a somewhat pathetic victim of our suspected, sudden change in appetite." In spite of the film's onscreen reference to Woods's "stage success," no evidence that the play ever opened in a major venue has been found. The Var review noted that "at the Mayfair the picture in 8,167 feet, unless later cut for that house, ran 85 minutes. At the customary running time of eleven minutes for one thousand feet, the picture should have taken around 90 minutes. However, it did not appear from the running that extra speed was on." RKO acquired this film from Pathé Exchange when Pathé was bought out by RKO in Jan ... More Less

Although onscreen credits list A. H. Woods as the author of the source work, reviews of the stage production credit him as producer and list Walter De Leon and Mark Swan as adaptors. According to an Aug 1922 article in NYT , the play was scheduled to open in New York in late Aug 1922 with well-known female impersonator Julian Eltinge as its star, but was "shooed away" from there because it was deemed "meretricious." The article adds that the play was "to be in a home for fallen dramas, undergoing reformation, a somewhat pathetic victim of our suspected, sudden change in appetite." In spite of the film's onscreen reference to Woods's "stage success," no evidence that the play ever opened in a major venue has been found. The Var review noted that "at the Mayfair the picture in 8,167 feet, unless later cut for that house, ran 85 minutes. At the customary running time of eleven minutes for one thousand feet, the picture should have taken around 90 minutes. However, it did not appear from the running that extra speed was on." RKO acquired this film from Pathé Exchange when Pathé was bought out by RKO in Jan 1931. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
11 Dec 30
p. 6.
Film Daily
15 Feb 31
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 30
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jan 31
p. 51.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Mar 31
p. 11.
New York Times
16 Mar 31
p. 25.
Variety
18 Mar 31
p. 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
Story and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the vaudeville act Tanzanwaltz by Pordes Milo, Walter Schütt and Dr. Eric Urban (Berlin, 7 Oct 1912) and the English-language adaptation, Lonely Wives , by Walter De Leon and Mark Swan, as produced by A. H. Woods. (Stamford, CT, 11 Aug 1922).
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 February 1931
Production Date:
began mid December 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 February 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2039
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85 or 87
Length(in feet):
8,120 , 8,167
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

When Miss Minter, Richard Smith's new secretary, learns from butler Andrews that Richard, a stern and proper attorney, turns into a weak-kneed womanizer every night at eight o'clock, she immediately telephones her friend, actress Diane O'Dare. Diane is seeking a cheap divorce from her husband, a vaudeville impersonater named Felix, the Great Zero, and Miss Minter predicts that she can flirt her way into Richard's good graces and receive a discount for his legal services. In spite of carefully timed interruptions by Mrs. Mantel, his suspicious but loving mother-in-law, Richard, whose wife Madeline is vacationing in the mountains, makes a ten-o'clock dinner date with both Miss Minter and Diane. Soon after, Felix arrives at Richard's seeking permission to impersonate the famous trial lawyer in his next vaudeville act. Immediately impressed by Felix's abilities, Richard suggests that if Felix can fool Mrs. Mantel for one evening, he can impersonate him on the stage. Felix agrees to the arrangement, but shortly after Richard leaves for his date, Madeline arrives, overflowing with wifely passion. Unable to summon Richard, Felix gives in to his desires and kisses the attractive Madeline, who then insists that they retire for the night. The next morning, Richard arrives home, unaware that his wife has spent the night in their adjoining bedrooms with Felix. At the same time, a very drunk Diane, who has been riding in a taxicab all night out of fear of her jealous husband, shows up at Richard's to borrow money for the cab fare. While Richard tries to hide Diane from Mrs. Mantel, a desperate Felix tries to get his jacket from a very confused, drunk Andrews. Finally, ... +


When Miss Minter, Richard Smith's new secretary, learns from butler Andrews that Richard, a stern and proper attorney, turns into a weak-kneed womanizer every night at eight o'clock, she immediately telephones her friend, actress Diane O'Dare. Diane is seeking a cheap divorce from her husband, a vaudeville impersonater named Felix, the Great Zero, and Miss Minter predicts that she can flirt her way into Richard's good graces and receive a discount for his legal services. In spite of carefully timed interruptions by Mrs. Mantel, his suspicious but loving mother-in-law, Richard, whose wife Madeline is vacationing in the mountains, makes a ten-o'clock dinner date with both Miss Minter and Diane. Soon after, Felix arrives at Richard's seeking permission to impersonate the famous trial lawyer in his next vaudeville act. Immediately impressed by Felix's abilities, Richard suggests that if Felix can fool Mrs. Mantel for one evening, he can impersonate him on the stage. Felix agrees to the arrangement, but shortly after Richard leaves for his date, Madeline arrives, overflowing with wifely passion. Unable to summon Richard, Felix gives in to his desires and kisses the attractive Madeline, who then insists that they retire for the night. The next morning, Richard arrives home, unaware that his wife has spent the night in their adjoining bedrooms with Felix. At the same time, a very drunk Diane, who has been riding in a taxicab all night out of fear of her jealous husband, shows up at Richard's to borrow money for the cab fare. While Richard tries to hide Diane from Mrs. Mantel, a desperate Felix tries to get his jacket from a very confused, drunk Andrews. Finally, Richard sees Madeline, who reminds him of the unusually passionate night they enjoyed together. Sick with jealousy, Richard threatens Felix, who presents himself out of costume just as Diane is attempting to sneak away. Completely exposed, Richard chases Felix around the house, brandishing a pistol, until his wife confesses that she knew from the first kiss that Felix was an imposter and reassures Richard that nothing "improper" occurred in the bedrooms. Cured of his nightly "blooming," Richard embraces Madeline, while Felix, relieved to learn that his wife had spent the night in a cab, embraces Diane. +

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

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