6.5/10
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14 user 7 critic

Smart Woman (1931)

A wife turns the tables on her cheating husband.

Director:

Gregory La Cava

Writers:

Myron C. Fagan (play), Salisbury Field (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mary Astor ... Mrs. Nancy Gibson
Robert Ames ... Donald 'Don' / 'Donnie' Gibson
John Halliday ... Sir Guy Harrington
Edward Everett Horton ... Billy Ross
Noel Francis ... Miss Peggy Preston
Ruth Weston ... Mrs. Sally Gibson Ross
Gladys Gale Gladys Gale ... Mrs. Preston - Peggy's Mother
Alfred Cross ... Brooks, Gibson's butler
Lillian Harmer ... Mrs. Windleweaver
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Storyline

After an extended stay in Paris to care for her ailing mother, wealthy Nancy Gibson is happy to be heading back to her Long Island home to be reunited with her husband, Don Gibson, who she dearly loves. Upon her arrival at the house, Don is not there. Nancy learns from husband and wife Billy and Sally Ross - Don's business partner and Don's sister - that Don is with his mistress, Peggy Preston, who he intends to marry if Nancy will grant him a divorce. Apparently, everyone is aware of the situation and most, including Billy and Sally and the household servants, are on Nancy's side. After composing herself following receiving this devastating news, Nancy, who still loves Don and wants to be with him, decides that there are better ways of getting him back than to be the devastated wife. Acting the modern woman, Nancy pretends that she too has fallen in love with another man she met in Europe. As the other man, she uses the unwitting help of Brit, Sir Guy Harrington, a man she met on the... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On the telephone..across the bridge table. Everywhere they're re-talking about SMART WOMAN See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nancy's Private Affair See more »

Filming Locations:

San Marino, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film played at the famous Roxy Theater in New York City. See more »

Goofs

The unopened letters from Nancy to Don from Paris all have the same date on the cancellation postmark. See more »

Quotes

Billy Ross: Believe me, she's bad medicine. One of those blondes - with a mother. They hunt together. What the gal shoots down, Mama drags home.
See more »

Soundtracks

Three Little Words
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Hummed by Mary Astor
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User Reviews

 
Delightful
14 March 2005 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

The great Mary Astor never looked better and rarely had such a juicy role. She had an incredibly long career, with nary a dud, and it spanned movies like this, the poignant "Dodsworth," the justly famous "Malteste Falcon," "Meet Me in St. Louis." Its highlight was the magnificently over-the-top "Great Lie," for which she won of the most richly deserved Oscars in that award's history.

Here she is a loving wife who returns from a trip to Europe only to learn that her husband plans to ditch her. She learns from his sister and his business partner, who become her partners in thwarting him.

He invites his old-digging girlfriend and her bossy mother for a weekend at their country home. So she invites a very eligible nobleman she met on shipboard and she and her cohorts collaborate to make it seem hat she is in love with him and more than glad her husband has found someone else.

The girlfriend is treated humorously, not cruelly. (An example of a cruelty in a comedy is the Gail Patrick character in "My Favorite Wife." Nor is the happy ending forced. Everything works out. The bad are dispatched, the good reunited.

Gregory La Cava directed and boy! This makes clear how different a fine director can make a relatively routine movie look from the way it would like if handled by a routine Doctor.


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