6 user 2 critic

Strictly Unconventional (1930)

Passed | | Drama | 3 May 1930 (USA)
A young woman married into an aristocratic English family finds life with her husband dull and decides to elope with a Canadian. However her mother-in-law, who did something similar thirty years before, tries to prevent her.


David Burton


W. Somerset Maugham (play), Sylvia Thalberg (talking version) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Catherine Dale Owen ... Elizabeth
Paul Cavanagh ... Ted
Tyrell Davis ... Arnold Champion-Cheney - M.P.
Lewis Stone ... Clive Champion-Cheney
Ernest Torrence ... Lord Porteous
Alison Skipworth ... Lady Catherine Champion-Chene
Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Anna Shenstone
Wilfred Noy Wilfred Noy ... Butler
William H. O'Brien ... Footman (as William O'Brien)


A young woman married into an aristocratic English family finds life with her husband dull and decides to elope with a Canadian. However her mother-in-law, who did something similar thirty years before, tries to prevent her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

horse | vase | party | orchestra | nobility | See All (19) »


The Most Daring and Absorbing Picture of Romance v. Marriage that has come to the Talking Screen. (Print Ad- Hutt News,((Lower Hutt, N.Z.)) 29 January 1931)




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 May 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Circle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its initial television showing in Minneapolis Saturday 13 April 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), followed by Tucson 29 June 1957 on KVOA (Channel 4), by New York City 29 July 1957 on the Late, Late Show on WCBS (Channel 2), by both Durham NC and Norfolk VA 4 November 1957 on WTVD (Channel 11) and on WTAR (Channel 3) , by Green Bay WI 5 June 1958 on WFRV (Channel 5), by Phoenix 6 July 1958 on KPHO (Channel 5, by both Kalamazoo and San Antonio 25 July 1958 on WKZO (Channel 3) and on WOAI (Channel 4), by Greenville SC 8 September 1958 on WFBC (Channel 4), by Miami 8 October 1958 on WCKT (Channel 7), by Philadelphia 28 November 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6) and by San Francisco 22 February 1959 on Channel 7 (KGO); no reliable documentation has yet been found that it was ever shown on television in Los Angeles at this time. See more »


Elizabeth: You're awfully nice, Ted.
See more »


Version of The Circle (1925) See more »


Kunstlerleben (Artist's Life), Op. 316
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played as dance music by the orchestra at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

okay drama from S. Maugham
24 July 2014 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

Well, it's a somerset maugham story, so we know its going to be a drama, with lots of pain for someone at some point. The story opens with Arnold Champion Cheney (Tyrell Davis) fawning over a chippendale chair he just received. We see signs of trouble, as his wife Elizabeth (Catherine Owen) complains that he likes his belongings more than he likes her. Then it is announced that Champion's mother (Alison Skipworth) is coming for an unexpected visit. LOVE Alison Skipworth, so fun to see her as Lady Champion, stirring things up. Elizabeth starts spending time alone with Ted the Canadian, so we can see there is trouble in paradise. At one point, we see Tyrell Davis with an "alfalfa" type hairdo... not sure what the point of that was ? The main story is about the friction between Elizabeth and Arnold, and with Arnold's parents as well. Lots of dinner party scenes, lots of talking, but you can tell we are missing some of the story, with 20 minutes cut from the film. No big deal really. Not Alison Skipworth's best work. This was her first talkie.... she was SO much better in her later films. See her in one of the W.C. Fields films instead. Lewis Stone (from Grand Hotel) is in here as well.

Owen stopped acting in 1931, so she doesn't seem to have done well in the talkies. Directed by David Burton, who only directed about 15 films, mostly in the 1930s. He doesn't seem to have stuck around long. Screenplay by Sylvia Thalberg, the sister of big-time producer Irving Thalberg.

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