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Virtuous Husband (1931)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 12 April 1931 (USA)
When a rich young man marries, he lets the books and letters left him by his dead mother guide his life.


Vin Moore


Dorrance Davis (play), Edward Ludwig (adaptation) (as Edward Luddy) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview:
Elliott Nugent ... Daniel Curtis
Betty Compson ... Inez Wakefield
Jean Arthur ... Barbara Olwell
Tully Marshall ... Ezra Hunniwell
J.C. Nugent J.C. Nugent ... Mr. Olwell
Alison Skipworth ... Mrs. Olwell
Eva McKenzie Eva McKenzie ... Hester
Willie Best ... Luftus


Daniel Curtis (Elliott Nugent), a meek,unimaginative young man is bequeathed, by his late author/mother, a stack of written instructions on how he should conduct the rest of his life. His fiancee, Barbara Orwell (Jean Arthur) , is more-than-somewhat irritated by her prospective husband's dogged and faithful reliance on his late mother's "advice" and walks out on him. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HOW TO MAKE LOVE; OH BABY; Hilarious lowdown on up-and-up married life. ICE WAS HOT STUFF compared to this fella!...with the dope on how to change an icicle husband into a raging he-man...It's spicy too! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


(1930). Stage Play: Apron Strings. Comedy. Written by Dorrance Davis. Directed by Earle Boothe. Bijou Theatre: 17 Feb 1930- Sep 1930 (closing date unknown/224 performances). Cast: Audray Dale (as "Barbara Olwell"), Jefferson De Angelis (as "Ezra Hunniwell"), Ethel Intropidi (as "Inez Wakefield"), Josie Intropodi (as "Hester"), Frank Monroe (as "John Olwell"), Roger Pryor (as "Daniel Curtis"), Maidel Turner (as "Mrs. Olwell"). Produced by Forrest C. Haring. Note: Filmed by Universal Pictures as Virtuous Husband (1931). See more »

User Reviews

Comedy of Manners a la Noel Coward
15 August 2010 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

Here is one the clueless folks at Universal could dust off and market, if they weren't content to let their movie vault turn to dust. "The Virtuous Husband" is a very funny comedy in a very subtle sort of way. It was adapted to the screen by its playwright after a successful Broadway run. It stars Jean Arthur and Elliot Nugent as a betrothed couple - he a mama's boy and she a free swinger. It gets funnier as the film progresses, especially after he meets her parents, played by J.C. Nugent and the delightful Allison Skipworth. Willie Best is on hand in one of his shuffling, pop-eyed butler roles, which set race relations back about 50 years.

This movie is so old Walter Brennan plays a bellhop! But age shouldn't deter anyone from watching this picture. Even after 80 years the dialogue still sparkles and the premise is still hilarious. If it ever comes available do yourself a favor and watch it or rent it - unless you're into digital special effects-type entertainment. You have to pay attention to this one or you will miss the full humorous effects of the script.

It could be some time before - or even if - it is available. I caught it on a 35mm master restored by the Library of Congress and shown at Capitolfest in Rome, N.Y., 8/10.

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Release Date:

12 April 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apron Strings See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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