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The Night Before the Divorce

The Night Before the Divorce(1942)


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Chemical engineer George Nordyke grows increasingly irritated by the incredible efficiency of his lovely wife Lynn. One day, George's ego is further assaulted when Lynn, who has just learned to play golf, easily bests him in a game. George storms off, and is involved in a minor traffic accident with Lola May, a blonde schemer whose helpless act charms George. Over the next three months, George comes to believe that he is in love with Lola May, and he decides to ask Lynn for a divorce on the night of their wedding anniversary. As usual, Lynn has anticipated his desires and serves him with divorce papers, which will be finalized at a hearing to be held in thirty days. After the couple separate, Lynn dates band leader Victor Roselle, much to the dismay of her and George's friend, police detective Bruce Campbell. Bruce believes that George and Lynn belong together, and so, just before the divorce is to become final, tells Lynn that George and Lola May will be spending their honeymoon at one of George and Lynn's favorite places. Inspired by happy memories, Lynn invites George to dinner on the night before the hearing, but he is cold and unresponsive to her wish to spend one last evening together on their yacht, the Tippy Tim . Lynn then visits Victor and goes home, but early the next morning, Bruce arrives at her home and tells her that Victor has been murdered. Bruce holds her as a material witness, thereby preventing her from attending the hearing. Lola May is infuriated when the judge will not grant the divorce, and becomes even more angry when Lynn, who has "escaped" from Bruce, goes to George for help. Worried that Lynn is guilty, George helps her sneak off to the Tippy Tim and plans to take her to Canada. Lola May follows them aboard, and George locks her below with Lynn to prevent her from calling the police. They cannot sail until the next day, however, due to an engine malfunction, and in the morning, Lola May and Lynn compete for George's attention. Lynn's act of selflessness wins George over, and Lola May finally gives up and swims ashore. Bruce then appears and accuses George of being Victor's killer, but Lynn helps him escape before Bruce can arrest him. The couple are eventually apprehended but by then their love has been re-kindled. Bruce reveals that Victor's ex-wife confessed to the murder, and that his persecution of Lynn and George was a ruse to get them to realize how much they need each other. Upon learning that their divorce was granted the day before, George and Lynn decide to re-marry immediately.