Payment On Demand

  • 1951
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

PAYMENT ON DEMAND was made before Davis' much flashier performance in ALL ABOUT EVE and was held back until after that was released. After 18 years at Warner Bros., this was her first outside assignment, and while it doesn't come close to some of her more memorable roles, it's still a fine movie. The original title, THE STORY OF A DIVORCE, might have been...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

PAYMENT ON DEMAND was made before Davis' much flashier performance in ALL ABOUT EVE and was held back until after that was released. After 18 years at Warner Bros., this was her first outside assignment, and while it doesn't come close to some of her more memorable roles, it's still a fine

movie. The original title, THE STORY OF A DIVORCE, might have been more apt; bypassing all the usual soapy stuff, this film offers an adult look at some of the reasons why people part company. Davis is married to Sullivan, who is a lawyer and a top executive in a large steelmaking firm. They've

been a duo for 20 years, and she thinks everything is swell. When he tells her he wants a divorce, she is stunned. Davis is a tough cookie in her own right and a woman who spends much of her time scaling the social ladder, something that has annoyed Sullivan through the years. He moves to his

club, and Davis reveals the situation to their daughters, Lynn and Castle. Then she flashes back in reverie, reviews the incidents leading up to this split, and begins to understand what it is about her that caused the rift. It is now that she learns Sullivan has taken up with comely Dee, a

schoolteacher. In anger, she threatens to countersue on the grounds of adultery and name Dee in the case. The only thing that will mollify her is if Sullivan settles a huge sum on her and their daughters. Sullivan, seeking to avoid a scandal, tells his lawyer, Olsen, to give her whatever she

wants, anything to get her out of his hair. While awaiting the final papers to be signed, Davis gets on a cruise ship to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she visits Cowl, an aging and somewhat sad divorcee who has now settled into a life of rum and gigolos. Watching Cowl's behavior, Davis is aware of

what life is going to be like for her as an over-the-hill unmarried woman. On the ship, Davis has an affair with Sutton, a handsome businessman traveling alone, who admits that he is married with a family. Davis gets a cablegram that Lynn is about to get married and uses the message to extricate

herself from Sutton and race back home. The only advice she can give her daughter is to be flexible and not too aggressive in marriage--or the daughter might lose her husband as Davis lost Sullivan. The wedding ends, the honeymooners go off happily, and Sullivan, who was also there, offers to

drive Davis home. While driving, Davis tells Sullivan how terribly alone she's been without him and how she can't bear to be parted from the one man she's ever loved. Sullivan still adores her, Davis realizes, but he felt forced to make his move because of her lack of respect for his wishes.

Sullivan admits he loves her and would like to reconcile. The picture ends leaving no doubt that they will try to make their marriage work again. An honest story with good acting and direction, PAYMENT ON DEMAND moves over familiar ground, but laughs are in very short supply here and would have

helped considerably.

Coming Soon

Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Rating: NR
  • Review: PAYMENT ON DEMAND was made before Davis' much flashier performance in ALL ABOUT EVE and was held back until after that was released. After 18 years at Warner Bros., this was her first outside assignment, and while it doesn't come close to some of her more… (more)

Show More »