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Lonely Wives

Lonely Wives(1931)

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When Miss Minter, Richard Smith's new secretary, learns from butler Andrews that Richard, a stern and proper attorney, turns into a weak-kneed womanizer every night at eight o'clock, she immediately telephones her friend, actress Diane O'Dare. Diane is seeking a cheap divorce from her husband, a vaudeville impersonater named Felix, the Great Zero, and Miss Minter predicts that she can flirt her way into Richard's good graces and receive a discount for his legal services. In spite of carefully timed interruptions by Mrs. Mantel, his suspicious but loving mother-in-law, Richard, whose wife Madeline is vacationing in the mountains, makes a ten-o'clock dinner date with both Miss Minter and Diane. Soon after, Felix arrives at Richard's seeking permission to impersonate the famous trial lawyer in his next vaudeville act. Immediately impressed by Felix's abilities, Richard suggests that if Felix can fool Mrs. Mantel for one evening, he can impersonate him on the stage. Felix agrees to the arrangement, but shortly after Richard leaves for his date, Madeline arrives, overflowing with wifely passion. Unable to summon Richard, Felix gives in to his desires and kisses the attractive Madeline, who then insists that they retire for the night. The next morning, Richard arrives home, unaware that his wife has spent the night in their adjoining bedrooms with Felix. At the same time, a very drunk Diane, who has been riding in a taxicab all night out of fear of her jealous husband, shows up at Richard's to borrow money for the cab fare. While Richard tries to hide Diane from Mrs. Mantel, a desperate Felix tries to get his jacket from a very confused, drunk Andrews. Finally, Richard sees Madeline, who reminds him of the unusually passionate night they enjoyed together. Sick with jealousy, Richard threatens Felix, who presents himself out of costume just as Diane is attempting to sneak away. Completely exposed, Richard chases Felix around the house, brandishing a pistol, until his wife confesses that she knew from the first kiss that Felix was an imposter and reassures Richard that nothing "improper" occurred in the bedrooms. Cured of his nightly "blooming," Richard embraces Madeline, while Felix, relieved to learn that his wife had spent the night in a cab, embraces Diane.