The Divorcée

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Total Count: 8


Audience Score

User Ratings: 808
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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, Rovi


Critic Reviews for The Divorcée

All Critics (8) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Divorcée

  • Oct 23, 2016
    I have to say, it's fun to watch the partying and horseplay 1930 style, and it's always nice to see Norma Shearer. The film clearly exposes the double standard, with Shearer's husband in the film (Chester Morris) explaining that "it doesn't mean a thing" when he's caught having an affair, but then seeing red when Shearer "balances the account". How nice that she stands up to him after he rebuffs her efforts to reconcile, how telling (and somewhat sad) that she's then shown bouncing around from man to man, as if she must necessarily have swung from a prim and proper housewife to a woman with questionable morals, fitting into one of two defined roles for woman. What is in one sense 'liberated' is in another melodramatic, and a bit lost. I didn't like how it played out, and hated the ending. The Academy Award nominations (and win for best actress) are surprising, but from what I've seen, 1930 was not a great year for movies. Regardless, a much better Shearer vehicle is 1931's "A Free Soul" - I'd recommend watching that instead.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 01, 2013
    An okay and slightly interesting 30s pic that displays some taboos that you don't see later on after Hollywood decides to be more "moral" in its portrayals. That's about it though. It doesn't stand a chance when compared to modern films about womens' sexuality.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 16, 2010
    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
  • Nov 02, 2008
    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 n Super Reviewer

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