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The Divorce Of Lady X [DVD] [1938]

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, Binnie Barnes, Ralph Richardson, Morton Selten
  • Directors: Tim Whelan
  • Producers: Alexander Korda
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 5 April 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036QV874
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,859 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Logan (Laurence Olivier) is a young lawyer who allows a stranded stranger (Merle Oberon) to spend the night in his apartment. She leaves him a card reading 'Goodbye, Madame X'. When his old friend Lord Mere (Ralph Richardson) contacts him the next day, wishing to sue for divorce because he's convinced his wife spent the night with another man - in that same block of flats - Logan presumes it is he who will be branded 'the other man'. A British farce of mistaken identities.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When a thick London fog prevents guests at a fancy dress ball from leaving the hotel, a young woman (Merle Oberon) is forced to spend the night with a young attorney (Laurence Olivier) in his hotel suite. They find themselves attracted to each other but in a case of mistaken identities, he mistakes her for the four time married wife of a client (Ralph Richardson). She plays along with his erroneous conclusions. This bright Technicolored attempt at screwball comedy looks like it was filmed inside a candy box. It goes into overdrive at being bubbly and witty and it occasionally succeeds but one can see the wheels spinning and the actors trying too hard. Olivier, looking quite handsome, still hadn't learned to relax in front of the camera yet (he credits William Wyler for teaching him to act on film the following year in WUTHERING HEIGHTS) and Merle Oberon was never very good at a light touch. Oscar winning Harry Stradling (MY FAIR LADY) did the lensing and if you didn't see his name in the credits, you'd never guess the innocuous score was by Miklos Rozsa. Directed by Tim Whelan (THIEF OF BAGDAD). With Binnie Barnes and Morton Selten.

The Network DVD gives a vivid Technicolor transfer but a bit on the soft side.
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 30 April 2012
Format: DVD
The Divorce of Lady X is a British take on those sparkling Hollywood romantic comedies of manners and mistaken identity in Britain with all the lavish production values Alexander Korda could muster but, like many of Korda's films, it's never quite the sum of its parts. A remake of Korda's 1933 Counsel's opinion, with Binnie Barnes swapping roles from the object of the hero's affections to the much-married `woman in question,' the producer pulled out all the stops to make what is essentially a drawing room comedy into something much more glamorous: as if filming in Technicolor wasn't enough, there are elaborate model shots of London for the opening, part of a ship built on gimbals for a brief scene at the end of the film and colourful fancy dress balls, night clubs and fox hunts thrown in along the way to make sure the audience knows it's getting it's money's worth. Even the credits are top-notch for their day: director Tim Whelan, co-writer Lajos Biro, composer Miklos Rozsa, cinematographer Harry Stradling and editor William Hornbeck all add to the no expense spared feel. You can even spot future Bond film director Lewis Gilbert as Olivier's office junior.

Stranded overnight in London by a pea-souper fog, Laurence Olivier's divorce lawyer who can dissolve a marriage faster than an aspirin finds his hotel suite invaded by Merle Oberon's wilful young woman and takes such an instant dislike to her that it's obvious they'll fall head over heels. Unaware of her identity, when Ralph Richardson's aristocrat appears in his office desperate to divorce his wife after she spent the night in another feller's room at the same hotel, he naturally puts two and two together to make 49, and Oberon, amused by the whole thing, does nothing to dissuade him.
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Because it comes from the Old Good Times and I love the retro films and TV Series, since they combine Romance-Luxury-Wealth-Beautiful-Luxurious Places and Beautiful-Elegant People as well as Wonderful Landscapes and stories with pleasant and interesting plot. They are my "Cup of Tea".
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Format: VHS Tape
In the tradition of classic Hollywood comedies, this British movie delights with its deft script, witty dialogue, charismatic actors, and a plot with mistaken identities and comic twists and turns. Olivier, in top form without the affected brooding demeanor of some of his later works, provides a wonderful balance to the ethereal charms of Oberon, and powerful comic chemistry ensues. A satisfying experience for the lover of classic comedy.
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While the situations in the film may be dated in today's world it was entertaining and a clear reminder of how social mores have changed since it was made. For me the film indicated that Laurence Olivier had a sadly undeveloped talent for light comedy which was enjoyable to watch.
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This film is a delight! I found it thoroughly enjoyable and frequently found myself giggling at a plot device or snappy line of dialogue. True, the sound quality is rather poor but if you enjoy films of this era you will already know that you simply cannot expect modern-day technical quality from every 30s film. Some have fared better than others over the years! The sound quality did not lessen my enjoyment of the film. It is rather lovely to see a film of this period in technicolour and it certainly adds something to the experience.

The plot reminded me a little of The Lady Eve (a superb film and well worth watching!) and was really quite sweet.

Merle Oberon's performance seems somehow young and a little naive, and I was surprised when I realised that this was not one of her earlier films, but she is of course supposed to be playing a young "slip of a girl" and she does this admirably. Oliver is a pleasure to watch, as always.
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