The Divorcee (1930, Robert Z. Leonard)

Norma Shearer won best actress for this part, beating out Garbo and Swanson.

Conrad “Paul” Nagel is an overly-made-up stagy-acting dude, later starred in Tod Browning’s The Thirteenth Chair. Paul broods lamely for Norma the night she gets engaged then drunkenly crashes his car disfiguring Dot, whom he’s coerced into marrying.

Chester Morris, later to star in The She Creature, with black hair slicked down to his skull, is Norma’s new husband Ted, cheating on her with his ex. Norma finds out, Ted tells her it doesn’t mean a thing. So she cheats also. Doesn’t mean a thing, right Ted? They divorce, but Norma learns her lesson and restrains herself from breaking up Paul’s marriage, getting back together with Ted in a new-years-eve finale.

Robert Montgomery, later to star in Lady in the Lake and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, is their comic-relief friend.

Pre-code raciness: divorces and married couples kissing, ooooh. Promiscuity! “From now on, you’re the only man in the world who my door is closed to.” Only reason this movie wouldn’t be rated G today is the car crash scene when Dot’s sister sees Dot’s disfigured face and screams “oh, I hope she dies, I hope she dies!” Terrible!

The sound quality wasn’t too great. Movie is pretty okay, but I expect to have forgotten it by the middle of next week. Ten minutes later the TCM documentary on the Hays code showed all the good scenes from this movie in a quick montage… could’ve saved me some time.