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If I Were Free

If I Were Free(1933)

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In Paris, English lawyer Hector Stribling convinces his countryman, Gordon Evers, also a lawyer, to forget his impending divorce and join him and his wife Jewel for dinner with Tono Casanove and his American wife Sarah. When Gordon and the Striblings arrive at the Casanoves', however, they discover that Tono, who is having an affair, is packing to go to Cannes. After Tono's abrupt departure, Sarah contemplates shooting herself but is stopped by Gordon, who fully understands her marital despair. At the end of a long evening, Gordon suggests to Sarah that she go to London with him and divorce Tono. She agrees and, after a short time in London, opens a modest antique store, which Gordon frequently visits. Eventually, Gordon confesses his love to Sarah and asks her if she would marry him if he "were free." Sarah's affirmative reply encourages Gordon to invite her to meet his mother, Dame Evers, at her annual charity ball. Although Sarah favorably impresses Dame Evers, she becomes aware of the gossip that is spreading about her relationship with Gordon. Jealous of Sarah, Gordon's wife Catherine then announces that she has changed her mind about divorcing. In spite of Gordon's pleas that they end their affair, Sarah pledges her continued love to him. Soon after, however, Tono drops by her shop and insinuates that unless Gordon buys some of his expensive antiques, he will talk to reporters about the romance. At the same time, Hector, who is concerned over Gordon's failing health and judicial career, convinces Sarah to end their relationship. Unknown to Sarah and Hector, Gordon, who has a war-wound bullet lodged near his heart, has just learned that, unless he survives a risky operation, he has only a year to live. When Gordon receives Sarah's "goodbye" note, he tells Hector about his condition, which causes Hector to confess his part in Sarah's rejection. Revitalized by Hector's revelation, Gordon chooses to chance the operation but asks Hector not to tell Sarah. Just before the operation, however, Dame Evers confides in Sarah, who rushes to the hospital to be by Gordon's side. The operation proves successful, and Catherine, seeing the enormity of Gordon's love, finally gives in and grants him a divorce. Truly free, Gordon marries Sarah.