Illicit

  • 1931
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A surprisingly risque film for 1931, ILLICIT details the romantic relationship between Rennie, a wealthy young businessman, and Stanwyck, an independent woman who fears that marriage will ruin their love for each other. To solve this dilemma, the couple live together on the weekends, much to the dismay of Rennie's father. After months of ardent persuasion,...read more

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A surprisingly risque film for 1931, ILLICIT details the romantic relationship between Rennie, a wealthy young businessman, and Stanwyck, an independent woman who fears that marriage will ruin their love for each other. To solve this dilemma, the couple live together on the weekends, much

to the dismay of Rennie's father. After months of ardent persuasion, Rennie finally convinces Stanwyck to marry him. Two years go by and Stanwyck's worst fears are realized; they have grown apart and begin seeking excitement elsewhere. Stanwyck hits the town with her zany friends Blondell and

Butterworth. Learning that she has the wanderlust, Stanwyck's old flame Cortez zeros in on her. Meanwhile, Rennie takes up with his old girl friend Moorhead. After much soul-searching and emotional upheaval Rennie and Stanwyck reunite and save their marriage. Though ILLICIT tears down a surprising

number of conservative moral conventions by having the Stanwyck character, a woman, opposing a wedding in favor of cohabiting without benefit of marriage, its ending embraces traditional attitudes, thus relieving the audience of having to seriously consider questions the film has raised.

Unfortunately, this leads one to believe that the whole issue was just being exploited by the filmmakers for some sensational box office. Social and moral questions aside, ILLICIT fails as interesting drama because the characters are weakly developed and the plot suffers from the usual inane

melodramatics that plagued romance films of the 1930s. Warner Bros. exploited the material again two years later in EX-LADY, a virtual remake of ILLICIT starring Bette Davis.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A surprisingly risque film for 1931, ILLICIT details the romantic relationship between Rennie, a wealthy young businessman, and Stanwyck, an independent woman who fears that marriage will ruin their love for each other. To solve this dilemma, the couple li… (more)

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