Review: ‘The Divorce of Lady X’

Alexander Korda's Technicolored comedy is rich, smart entertainment, a comedy built around several situations and a wrong-identity hoax.

Alexander Korda’s Technicolored comedy is rich, smart entertainment, a comedy built around several situations and a wrong-identity hoax.

Robert E. Sherwood’s deft writing is apparent in the screenplay job he did along with Lajos Biro, author of the play [Counsel’s Opinion] from which the pic was evolved. Comedy lines have that Sherwood sting.

Merle Oberon attends a costume ball in a London hotel and after the manager can’t persuade an annoyed young lawyer (Laurence Olivier) to part with some space in his suite, Oberon maneuvers in and wheedles him out of his bed.

Next day girl vamooses before chap can find out much about her; he’s convinced she’s married. On arrival at his office, he is plagued by a college classmate to get the latter a divorce. He claims his wife spent the night with an unknown man in the same hotel, after attending the same dance. Girl continues to interest the chap and when she knows the sort he believes her to be maintains the ruse.

Oberon impresses. Olivier does his role pretty well, retarded somewhat by an annoying bit of pouting business. Two key performances which sparkle are those of Ralph Richarson and Morton Selten.

The Divorce of Lady X

UK

Production

London Films. Director Tim Whelan; Producer Alexander Korda; Screenplay Ian Dalrymple, Arthur Wimperis, Lajos Biro; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor L.J.W. Stockviss, William Hornbeck; Music Miklos Rozsa; Art Director Lazare Meerson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Merle Oberon Laurence Olivier Binnie Barnes Ralph Richardson Morton Selten Gus McNaughton
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