50 user 34 critic

The Divorcee (1930)

Passed | | Romance, Drama | 19 April 1930 (USA)
When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.


Robert Z. Leonard (uncredited)


Ursula Parrott (based on a novel by), Nick Grinde (treatment) (as Nick Grindé) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Norma Shearer ... Jerry
Chester Morris ... Ted
Conrad Nagel ... Paul
Robert Montgomery ... Don
Florence Eldridge ... Helen
Helene Millard ... Mary
Robert Elliott ... Bill Baldwin
Mary Doran ... Janice Meredith
Tyler Brooke ... Hank
Zelda Sears ... Hannah
George Irving ... Dr. Bernard
Judith Wood ... Dorothy (as Helen Johnson)


Jerry and Ted are young, in love, and part of the New York 'in-crowd'. Jerry's decision to marry Ted crushes a yearning Paul. Distraught Paul gets drunk and wrecks his car, disfiguring young Dorothy's face in the process. Out of pity, Paul marries Dorothy. Years later, the apparent perfect marriage of Ted and Jerry falls apart from infidelity on both sides. Inwardly unhappy, popular Jerry lives a party life while Ted sinks into a life of alcoholism. Jerry then runs into Paul, who still loves her. After spending time together with Jerry, Paul plans to divorce Dorothy. When Jerry sees Dorothy again, she has second thoughts about where her life is heading. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer All Talking Picture! See more »


Romance | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in New Haven CT Monday 19 August 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), followed by Memphis Thursday 22 August 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13); it first aired in Norfolk VA 29 November 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Portland OR 6 January 1958 on KGW (Channel 8), in both Philadelphia and in Honolulu 16 February 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6) and on KHVH (Channel 13), in Indianapolis 21 May 1958 on WLW-I (Channel 13), in Baltimore 6 June 1958 on WJZ (Channel 13), in Portland ME 29 June 1958 on WMTW (Channel 8), in Greenville SC 18 July 1958 on WFBC (Channel 4), in Windsor ON (serving Detroit) 23 July 1958 on CKLW (Channel 9), in Kalamazoo 26 July 1958 on WKZO (Channel 3), in Cincinnati 13 August 1958 on WLW-T (Channel 5), in Miami 29 December 1958 on WCKT (Channel 7), and, finally in San Francisco 7 September 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). Although its age and notoriously pre-code point of view caused New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago sponsors to give it their seal of disapproval, it obviously found favor the less predominant markets, and has since become a favorite with an entire new generation on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies where it currently enjoys frequent flyer status. See more »


The beginning of the movie is 1925 shortly before Jerry's marriage, yet, "Singing in the Rain" is playing on the radio. The song was composed for Hollywood Music Box Revue in 1927 and really popularized in MGM's Hollywood Revue of 1929. See more »


Jerry Bernard Martin: Ted, let me understand something. When you say that being unfaithful doesn't mean anything, you mean just that, don't you?
Theodore 'Ted' Martin: Well, what I said was...
Jerry Bernard Martin: Yes, I remember what you said. It doesn't mean a thing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also released this film in a silent version. No details are available. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Norma Shearer (1962) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played at the New Year's Eve party at the end
See more »

User Reviews

Witty, heartbreaking, and surprising
10 April 2007 | by agent-tooSee all my reviews

The Divorcée has much more to offer than the melodramatic plot may insinuate. Sparkling performances aside (including Norma Shearer's Oscar-winning turn), the film is full of witty dialogue, risqué subject matter, and a serious, adult look at divorce, not seen again for decades. The film not only showcases the largely-forgotten Shearer beautifully, an actress who continually pushed subject matter and fought for strong roles, but proves itself as a pivotal 1930's Hollywood product. The Divorcée is appreciable as a pre-code, and worth seeing for its unusually bold themes alone, but its surprising and often heartbreaking plot makes it an unusual gem.

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English | French

Release Date:

19 April 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ex-Wife See more »


Box Office


$340,691 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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