Review: ‘A Bill of Divorcement’

Standout here is the smash impression made by Katharine Hepburn in her first picture assignment. She has a vital something that sets her apart from the picture galaxy.

Standout here is the smash impression made by Katharine Hepburn in her first picture assignment. She has a vital something that sets her apart from the picture galaxy.

The play [of the same name by Clemence Dane] has lost none of its tremendous grip in translation to celluloid. Ten years after its stage success, this peculiarly British version of the Ibsen Ghosts theme still has power to grip and hold.

John Barrymore distinguishes himself anew in the role of the unhappy Hilary, a part far from his accustomed range. For Billie Burke, the role of the distracted wife holds out small promise of flourish and histrionic parade, but she looks miraculously fresh and young, giving much charm to the character of the secondary femme character. David Manners as the heroine’s young sweetheart is another happy choice.

A Bill of Divorcement

Production

Radio. Director George Cukor; Screenplay Howard Estabrook, Harry Wagstaff Gribble; Camera Sid Hickox; Editor Arthur Roberts; Music Max Steiner; Art Director Carroll Clark

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1932. Running time: 75 MIN.

With

John Barrymore Billie Burke Katharine Hepburn David Manners Bramwell Fletcher

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