A Bill Of Divorcement

  • 1932
  • 1 HR 10 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

This was the second, definitive version of three filmings of the Clemence Dane play. (The first was a British silent of 1922, and RKO made a second worthy sound version with Adolphe Menjou and Maureen O'Hara in 1940.) John Barrymore was at the top of his profession with this performance, and a radiant Katharine Hepburn made her screen debut. Barrymore plays...read more

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This was the second, definitive version of three filmings of the Clemence Dane play. (The first was a British silent of 1922, and RKO made a second worthy sound version with Adolphe Menjou and Maureen O'Hara in 1940.) John Barrymore was at the top of his profession with this performance,

and a radiant Katharine Hepburn made her screen debut. Barrymore plays a man who has been living in a mental hospital for many years and who escapes on the day his wife (Burke) is divorcing him. His daughter's (Hepburn) rediscovery of her father, her reaction to the taint of hereditary mental

illness in the family, and the wife's desire to remarry make for a compact and compelling drama.

Barrymore is simply superb, director George Cukor eliciting a lost, sensitive and caring man from beneath the occasional bravado. Hepburn, who was to work with Cukor nine more times in films and TV, was only 24 at the time. Her appearance was electric and sent critics reaching for new

superlatives.

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