The film Hearts Divided had been made once before in 1928 with Dolores Costello and Conrad Nagel. It was adapted from a stage play called Glorious Betty. But the actual plot of Hearts Divided is based on a true story. Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon and officer in the French Navy, was sent by his brother to the US as a good will ambassador in 1803. While in America, Jerome met and fell in love with the daughter of a Baltimore banker, Elizabeth Patterson. Jerome married Elizabeth against the wishes of his brother, only to have Napoleon annul the marriage three years later. Despite his having a child from the marriage to Elizabeth, Napoleon then forced Jerome to marry Katharina of Wurtemberg, making Jerome king of the conquered German territory of Westphalia.
Luckily, Hollywood treats the lovers Betsy and Jerome with a little more compassion. The couple is even granted a second chance at happiness by Claude Rains' Napoleon. And in real life, Davies and Powell's friendship would continue with Powell making a third film for Hearst's company (without Marion), the popular Shipmates Forever (1935).
Director: Frank Borzage
Producer: Harry Joe Brown, Marion Davies
Screenplay: Laird Doyle, Casey Robinson, Rida Johnson Young (play)
Cinematography: George J. Folsey
Music: Al Dubin, Harry Warren
Art Direction: Robert M. Hass
Cast: Marion Davies (Betsy Patterson), Dick Powell (Captain Jerome Bonaparte), Charles Ruggles (Senator Henry Ruggles), Claude Rains (Napoleon Bonaparte), Edward Everett Horton (Senator John Hathaway), Arthur Treacher (Sir Harry).
by Stephanie Thames