THE DIVORCE OF LADY X
(director: Tim Whelan; screenwriters: from Gilbert Wakefield’s play Counsel’s Opinion /Ian Dalrymple/Robert E. Sherwood/Arthur Wimperis/Lajos Biro; cinematographer: Harry Stradling; editors: L.J.W. Stockviss/William Hornbeck; music: Miklos Rozsa; cast: Merle Oberon (Leslie Steele), Laurence Olivier (Everard Logan), Binnie Barnes (Lady Mere), Ralph Richardson (Lord Mere), Morton Selten (Lord Steele), Gus McNaughton (Waiter), J. H. Roberts (Slade), Michael Rennie (Bit), Patricia Roc (Bit); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Alexander Korda; United Artists; 1938-UK)
“A satisfying lightweight British screwball comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A satisfying lightweight British screwball comedy in three-strip Technicolor directed by the American Tim Whelan (“Rage at Dawn”/”Texas Lady”/”Utopia”). It’s a remake of the 1933 Counsel’s Opinion. Itwas lavishly produced by Alender Korda, the star Merle Oberon’s future husband. It’s adapted by writers Robert E. Sherwood, Ian Dalrymple, Arthur Wimperis and Lajos Biro, from Gilbert Wakefield’s play Counsel’s Opinion.
Party-goer noblewoman Leslie Steele (Merle Oberon), attending a costume charity ball, must remain overnight in a London hotel because of the fog, but the hotel has no vacancies. Everard Logan (Laurence Olivier), an arrogant, woman-hating divorce lawyer is approached by the hotel manager and asked if he could share his room with Leslie. He refuses. When Leslie tries to convince the lawyer afterwards, she succeeds. They spend an innocent night togrther, with him on the couch. In the morning, she vanishes.
During the day Lord Mere (Ralph Richardson) comes to the lawyer’s office to retain his services filing for a divorce from Lady Meer (Binny Barnes). The lawyer jumps to the wrong conclusion that he is married to Leslie. The comedy is derived from this case of mistaken identity and the ensuing daffy romance between Oberon and Olivier.
REVIEWED ON 5/27/2015 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/