6.2/10
794
5 user 2 critic

The Cardboard Lover (1928)

A ditzy American girl visiting Monte Carlo is hired by a tennis champ to be his "cardboard lover"--to pretend to be in love with him so he can teach his two-timing fiancé a lesson and win ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Jacques Deval (play), F. Hugh Herbert (continuity) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Patsy (1928)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An awkward teenager hopelessly in love with her elder sister's boyfriend tries to make him notice her.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Marion Davies, Orville Caldwell, Marie Dressler
Show People (1928)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young lady from Georgia goes to Hollywood in the hopes of becoming an actress.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Marion Davies, William Haines, Dell Henderson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Marion goes to college to pursue a handsome young man and discovers that he is coach of a women's basketball team.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Marion Davies, Johnny Mack Brown, Jane Winton
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A fresh young beauty becomes an old maid waiting for her suitor to return from the Napoleonic wars. When he returns, clearly disappointed, she disguises herself as her own niece in order to test his loyalty.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Marion Davies, Conrad Nagel, Helen Jerome Eddy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lecherous bosses make it difficult for an attractive secretary to keep jobs, so she decides to appear considerably more homely in hopes of holding onto work.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Frank McHugh
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An Irish girl comes to America disguised as a boy to claim a fortune left to her brother who has died.

Director: Sidney Olcott
Stars: Marion Davies, Stephen Carr, J.M. Kerrigan
The Red Mill (1927)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A tavern worker and the daughter of a burgomaster enter into elaborate masquerades in order to win the hearts of the men they love.

Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Marion Davies, Owen Moore, Louise Fazenda
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Tillie the Toiler is a 1927 silent film comedy produced by Cosmopolitan Productions and released through Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios. It is based on Russ Westover's popular comic strip ... See full summary »

Director: Hobart Henley
Stars: Marion Davies, Matt Moore, Harry Crocker
April Folly (1920)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

April Folly is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and written by Adrian Johnson and Cynthia Stockley. The film stars Marion Davies, Madeline Marshall, Hattie ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, Madeline Marshall, Hattie Delaro
Marianne I (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During World War I, a young French woman struggles to choose between two suitors: a blind soldier to whom she is engaged and an American serviceman.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, George Baxter, Lawrence Gray
Five and Ten (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After her businessman father moves her family from Kansas City to New York, a woman falls in love with an engaged man.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, Leslie Howard, Richard Bennett
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Young Mary feels like a prisoner in the New York apartments of her step-father John Bussard but everything changes when her heartless guardian dies in an accident. Mary is left a fortune ... See full synopsis »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Marion Davies, Norman Kerry, Matt Moore
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Marion Davies ... Sally
Jetta Goudal ... Simone
Nils Asther ... Andre
Andrés de Segurola Andrés de Segurola ... The Baritone
Tenen Holtz ... Argine
Pepi Lederer Pepi Lederer ... Flapper
Edit

Storyline

A ditzy American girl visiting Monte Carlo is hired by a tennis champ to be his "cardboard lover"--to pretend to be in love with him so he can teach his two-timing fiancé a lesson and win her back. What he doesn't realize is that the girl isn't pretending--she actually is in love with him, and she sets out to win him for herself. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Marion is here again as delightful as ever. She gambles at Monte Carlo thinking she has plenty of money only to find she didn't and complications follow in a amusing way. (Print Ad- Rock Rapids Review ((Rock Rapids Iowa)) 30 August 1928) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Her Cardboard Lover See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although based on the play "Her Cardboard Lover," this version has virtually nothing to do with the play. It uses the characters of Andre, Simone, and Albine but Marion Davies's character of Sally Baxter is not in the play at all. This is one reason why the title was changed to The Cardboard Lover (1928). See more »

Connections

Version of The Passionate Plumber (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The best of the cardboard lovers
30 August 2011 | by briantavesSee all my reviews

As you watch this film, you may find yourself thinking, "I've seen this before, haven't I?" And you'll be right.

If you're a follower of TCM you may have seen the 1942 movie, HER CARDBOARD LOVER. Despite the impressive lineup of Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, and George Sanders, the results are more awkward than comedic, leaving a sense of disappointment that prompted HER CARDBOARD LOVER to become Shearer's last movie.

As I outline in my book, P.G. Wodehouse and Hollywood, the film was derived originally from a 1926 French stage play by Jacques Deval. The initial adaptation for English-speaking audiences failed in its try-out, and P.G. Wodehouse was brought in to quickly revamp the play. At the time, Wodehouse was best-known as a musical comedy librettist, who also adapted foreign theatrical farces — only in later years would he be remembered more as a novelist and short story writer.

After his work on Her Cardboard Lover, Wodehouse was so confident it would succeed that he bought out a one-third share for $10,000 — and was soon pocketing $2500 a week. Her Cardboard Lover opened on Broadway in March 1927, running 152 performances with Jeanne Eagels and Leslie Howard.

Such a popular property was instantly bought for the screen, although for contractual reasons only the Deval original, not the adaptation, was noted in the credits. In the movie, the gender base was switched; instead of two men fighting over a woman susceptible to the charms of each, it is two women dueling for a champion tennis player. Probably this was the reason for the title modification from Her Cardboard Lover to THE CARDBOARD LOVER.

In the male role is Nils Asther, a Dane who had arrived from Europe only a year before — where, by coincidence, he had just finished starring in an Austrian movie of a Wodehouse short story, DER GOLDENE SCHMETTERLING. And, by further coincidence, Asther would star in another film of a Wodehouse stage play, By Candlelight, in 1933, just before Asther's own career began a precipitous decline.

Marion Davies, as a flapper on tour in Monte Carlo, turns in a riotous performance that fully justifies her reputation as a skilled comedienne. Dutch-born Jetta Goudal is a "vamp," in one of her last movies. When Cecil DeMille accused her of delaying a production, she sued and won her case, earning a reputation as a pioneer of the rights of performers against producers. Yet the struggle also helped end her career.

With the coming of sound, studios were looking for dialog writers. Given Wodehouse's theatrical experience, and the success of THE CARDBOARD LOVER, he was hired by MGM at $2000 a week and headed to Hollywood. The salary seemed commensurate with his worth: by this time, 22 short and feature films had been based on Wodehouse stories or plays, and cinematic rights to his work had advanced from $1500 for a novel in 1918 to $15,000 a decade later.

At MGM, his luck would turn. Laboring over a musical for Davies, Rosalie, it was canceled. Wodehouse's adaptation of By Candlelight was sold to Universal. Although he was involved with scripting many other films over a year, ultimately he earned only two on-screen credits.

At the termination of Wodehouse's contract, he joked to a reporter that he had been generously paid for accomplishing little. The next day his so-called admission of guilt was a widely reprinted headline. His time in Hollywood would prompt Wodehouse to begin a series of satirical stories of the studio system, that he would continue writing almost until his death in 1975.

The most absurd outcome of Wodehouse's tenure at MGM was the 1932 sound remake of Her Cardboard Lover. Retitled THE PASSIONATE PLUMBER, it is among those films that TCM is not quite too embarrassed to show. The gender roles revert to the original pattern, with the single feminine lead opposite Buster Keaton as the cardboard lover, saving her from a cad played by Gilbert Roland. Jimmy Durante is added for further antics. Keaton was well aware that he was miscast, but he had to also star in a separate French language version that was produced simultaneously.

Meanwhile, in the 1928 British stage presentation of Her Cardboard Lover, the lead role opposite Leslie Howard had been taken by Tallulah Bankhead. A scene from the play, of Bankhead undressing while talking on the telephone, was made into five minute short film in 1929 — which in fact was the first sound version of Her Cardboard Lover.

In 1941, Bankhead returned to the role in a popular summer stock revival of the play in the United States. Recalling it owned the property, MGM decided to film it again, with Norma Shearer. And that returns us to the most widely-seen version.

Yes, you may have seen cardboard lovers before. This, however, is the best cardboard lover.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed