The Divorcée (1930) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Divorcée (1930)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Norma Shearer earned an Academy Award for playing the not so gay divorcée in this pre-Code offering based, loosely, on Ex-Wife, a 1929 Ursula Parrott novel. Shearer is Jerry, a socialite who marries handsome Ted (Chester Morris) after a whirlwind courtship. But Ted is not exactly the faithful type and after three years of what she in her naïveté considered marital bliss, Jerry learns of his affair with Janice (Mary Doran). "It meant nothing," Ted assures her but Jerry is devastated and decides to investigate adultery for herself by sleeping with Ted's best friend, Don (Robert Montgomery). When she discovers that the old double-standard still applies, Jerry announces that henceforth Ted, and only Ted, is no longer welcome in her bed. After a string of lovers who mean little or nothing to her, Jerry falls for an old flame, Paul (Conrad Nagel), but when she understands the effect their affair has on Paul's poor disfigured wife, Dorothy (Helen Johnson, aka Judith Wood), Jerry returns to Ted, who still loves her despite it all. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: John Meehan, Ursula Parrott, John Meehan, John Meehan, Jr., Nick Grinde
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 4, 2008


Norma Shearer
as Jerry Martin
Chester Morris
as Ted Martin
Robert Elliott
as Bill Baldwin
Mary Doran
as Janice
Zelda Sears
as Hannah, Jerry's Maid
George Irving
as Dr. Bernard
Judith Wood
as Dorothy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Divorcée

Critic Reviews for The Divorcée

All Critics (8)

A movie about, essentially, the perils of revenge sex (for women, at least).

Full Review… | June 23, 2014
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Hysterical early talkie melodrama.

Full Review… | March 3, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's doubtful that this melodrama, in which Norma Shearer challenges society's double standards about sexual mores by flirting with several men, could have been made after 1934 due to strictures of the Production Code.

Full Review… | February 16, 2008

Mesmo que supostamente denuncie o machismo da época, o próprio filme é machista, moralista e repleto de personagens desprezíveis, sendo verdadeiramente repugnante.

September 20, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Refreshingly excited about female sexuality for a Hollywood movie, though pretty tame stuff all in all.

June 20, 2004
Nick's Flick Picks

Surpisingly strong, effective early talkie from usually tepid MGM

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Divorcée

This movie is okay, it's just like a lot of other movies with similar plots about divorced couples, and the predictable happy ending, of course. Not bad, but not good either.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Creaky antique, considering the difference in acting styles between now and then Shearer is good not great and its interesting to see the frankness which the subject is dealt with in this pre-code drama but its hard to understand her decision since her husband is a infantile louse.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A good early vehicle for Norma Shearer. She normally played good girls, but she talked her husband, movie mogul Irving Thalberg, into letting her play this saucy role. It won her an Oscar. On their 3rd anniversary, a woman finds out that her husband has been unfaithful. He says it "meant nothing", but when she evens the score by sleeping with his best friend, the husband calls her a tramp and leaves her (double standard, anyone?) She then takes on a number of lovers while all the time wanting her husband back. Kinda of a sappy ending, but a well-done movie, with a racy theme in the years before the Production Code was enforced.

Cindy I

Super Reviewer

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