Review: ‘Private Lives’

Sidney Franklin has followed the Noel Coward play closely with the addition of a number of interpolated scenes and the changing of the final locale from a Paris apartment to a Swiss chalet. Both Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery capably handle themselves as the divorced couple who again run away together the night of their honeymoons with their newly-acquired better halves. Both having tempestuous natures, their love making and quarreling is equally violent and the warfare is apt to start any time.

Sidney Franklin has followed the Noel Coward play closely with the addition of a number of interpolated scenes and the changing of the final locale from a Paris apartment to a Swiss chalet. Both Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery capably handle themselves as the divorced couple who again run away together the night of their honeymoons with their newly-acquired better halves. Both having tempestuous natures, their love making and quarreling is equally violent and the warfare is apt to start any time.

As the somewhat neurotic man in the case, Montgomery plays deftly and well. So does Shearer, but the medium of the screen has lost many of the laugh lines which did much to sustain the play. However, Franklin establishes and maintains a good pace after a rather slow start.

Private Lives

Production

M-G-M. Director Sidney Franklin; Screenplay Hans Kraly, Richard Schayer, Claudine West; Camera Ray Binger; Editor Conrad A. Nervig

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Norma Shearer Robert Montgomery Reginald Denny Una Merkel Jean Hersholt
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