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Age of Indiscretion

Age of Indiscretion(1935)

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When book publisher Robert Lenhart is forced to pay $23,000 in overdue debts to his creditors, he begins to economize both at the office and at home. Bob loves his extravagent wife Eve and is unhappy that he must ask her to cut down on her lavish purchases. Before breaking the news to his wife, the good-natured Bob consults with his secretary, Maxine Bennett, who confirms his fears that Eve may not accept his demands gladly. Maxine's predictions prove true when Eve explodes at her husband, accusing him of not doing what is necessary to maintain high profits at the publishing house. Eve knows that Bob is proud of the company he spent ten years to build and that he refuses to publish novels of lesser quality and higher popularity, such as those written by the ever-popular Jean Oliver. The hard-nosed Eve, having lost her patience with her husband's romantic literary notions, leaves Bob and their son Bill for the wealthy Felix Shaw, with whom she has been having an affair. Spurred on by his wife's departure, Bob decides to consider publishing the novels of Jean Oliver, and arranges a meeting with her. It is the brash and pretentious Oliver who, after flitting around the publisher's office, informs him that the day's papers are carrying the story of Eve's Reno divorce and her marriage to Shaw. Depressed and broken-hearted, Bob then is forced to explain the meaning of divorce to his son, young Bill. When Maxine, a kind woman who secretly loves her boss, takes Bill for an ice skating outing, Bob decides to join them, and the three share a lovely evening together. Meanwhile, Felix's matronly mother Emma, who longs for a grandson, orders her son to convince his new wife that Bill's proper place is with his mother. After a lengthy quarrel with Felix, Eve grudgingly agrees to fetch her son. However, when she asks Bob for custody of Bill, she is met with resistance, and both agree to let Bill decide. The boy chooses to spend time with his mother as soon as he returns with his father from their planned Christmas vacation in the Adirondack mountains. While vacationing, Bill's sled accidentally runs into Emma, who admonishes the boy for coming onto her property. The next morning, Emma brings Bill a gift and discovers Maxine, who has come to the cabin to bring business-related news, involved in a bedroom pillow fight with Bob and his son. Emma immediately instructs her attorney to bring a suit against Bob based on the scene she had witnessed, and a bitter trial ensues. Bob, genuinely afraid of losing his son, explodes with anger at the insinuations that he and Maxine were indiscreet in front of the boy, and is held in contempt of court. Just as the judge is about to rule in favor of custody for Eve, little Bill, unable to stand any more of the angry proceedings, tells Emma that he despises her, thus prompting her to confess her selfish desire to possess a grandchild at any cost. After Emma admits that she lied and deceived people in order to get Bill, the judge awards Bob custody of his son. Bill, in an act of good will, forgives Emma and invites her to lunch with his father and Maxine. All ends happily as Bob and Maxine face the future together with Bill.