Watch The Divorcee
- 1 hr 24 min
In 1930, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released a film titled The Divorcee that would go on to receive critical acclaim and commercial success alike. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard, the movie boasted a talented ensemble cast featuring the likes of Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, and Chester Morris. The Divorcee opens with a young couple, Jerry (Shearer) and Ted (Montgomery), getting married in a lavish ceremony. The pair are hopelessly in love and eager to start their new life together. However, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that Jerry is much more progressive-minded than her husband. She's a modern woman who doesn't shy away from enjoying all of life's pleasures, including alcohol, parties, and flings with men other than her husband. Ted, on the other hand, is more traditional and wants his wife to live more conservatively.
Their conflicting outlooks on life come to a head one evening when Ted returns home from a business trip and is horrified to learn that his wife has been unfaithful to him. Jerry confesses that she slept with her friend Paul (Morris) after he made a move on her while they were out together. Ted is enraged and humiliates her by flying into a jealous rage in front of their friends.
Jerry is shocked and hurt to learn that Ted has been unfaithful to her as well, but has never made it public. After long discussions, they decide to separate and divorce. Jerry quickly adapts to her new life as a single woman and begins indulging in all the pleasures that life has to offer. Ted, on the other hand, struggles with the separation and tries to win Jerry back.
The rest of the movie follows the ups and downs of their tumultuous relationship. Though they both have other romantic flings, they never forget their love for each other. When they eventually reconcile, it is a bittersweet moment, as they realize their love is not enough to repair the damage that has been done.
The Divorcee is a finely crafted film that explores the complexities of relationships, both between couples and among friends. The performances from the lead trio are pitch-perfect, with Shearer giving an especially strong and nuanced portrayal of a woman struggling to assert her independence in a male-dominated world. The movie also features some notable musical numbers, including a jazz dance routine that captures the frenetic energy of the era.
Speaking of the era, The Divorcee is also notable for its frank portrayal of sexuality and female empowerment. At a time when movies were still subject to strict censorship rules, The Divorcee dared to take on taboo subjects like infidelity and divorce head-on. The film was both a reflection of changing social mores and a catalyst for further changes in how movies portrayed women and relationships.
Overall, The Divorcee is a must-see for anyone interested in classic Hollywood cinema or the history of women's rights. It is a film that has stood the test of time and still resonates with audiences today.
The Divorcee is a 1930 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 24 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.