A Woman of Affairs


1h 30m 1928
A Woman of Affairs

Brief Synopsis

Prejudice keeps a free spirit from the man she loves, triggering a series of tragedies.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Silent
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Dec 15, 1928
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Green Hat by Michael Arlen (New York, c1924).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono (musical score and sound effects)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
8,319ft

Synopsis

Sleek, elegant Diana Merrick falls in love with aristocratic Neville Holderness, but owing to his father's disapproval of her family's way of life, she and Neville are forbidden to marry. Living with a reckless enthusiasm, Diana finally marries her brother's friend, David Furness, unaware that he is a thief. On their honeymoon in France, learning that the police are after him, David kills himself, and Diana sets out to repay the victims of her husband's crimes. Returning after some years to England, she is too late to save her brother from his fatal alcoholism; and when Neville attempts to return to her, Diana turns him away, influenced by his father's attitude and the fact that he is married. Diana then drives her car into the tree beneath which she and Neville first declared their love, and dies.

Videos

Movie Clip

Woman Of Affairs, A (1928) - Your Father Planned It New characters introduced at the regatta, Trevelyan (Lewis Stone) and Sir Morton (Hobart Bosworth), who frowns upon son Neville (John Gilbert) and girlfriend Diana (Greta Garbo), her brother (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), promoting another suitor, on the crew, in MGM's A Woman Of Affairs, 1928.
Woman Of Affairs, A (1928) - I'm His Only Sister Awaiting the arrival of free spirit Diana (Greta Garbo) are her angry, boozy brother Jeffry (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and his idol, whom he believes has earned her affection, David (Johnny Mack Brown), early in A Woman Of Affairs, 1928, directed by Clarence Brown, also starring John Gilbert.
Woman Of Affairs, A (1928) - My Kind Of Love Ethereal scene from director Clarence Brown, Diana (Greta Garbo) retreats to the woods and the tree that represents her love for Neville (John Gilbert, not seen) and is confronted by his father (Hobart Bosworth), who admits having arranged their separation, in A Woman Of Affairs, 1928.
Woman Of Affairs, A (1928) - Constant Companions A nameless newsman and editor act on the "affairs" of now-notorious Mrs. Furness (Greta Garbo), who herself rushes to true-love Neville (John Gilbert), hosted by Dr. Trevelyan (Lewis Stone), as his snarky fiancee` (Dorothy Sebastian) is introduced, in A Woman Of Affairs, 1928.
Woman Of Affairs, A (1928) - I Want To Make You Happy Lovelorn Diana (Greta Garbo) with her rebound husband David (Johnny Mack Brown), caught unawares as he is confronted with evidence of financial misdeeds, taut scene by director Clarence Brown, in A Woman Of Affairs, 1928.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Silent
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Dec 15, 1928
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Green Hat by Michael Arlen (New York, c1924).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono (musical score and sound effects)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
8,319ft

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1930

Articles

A Woman of Affairs


By the late 1920s, author Michael Arlen's successful but controversial novel The Green Hat had already been turned into a hit stage play. But the novel faced a difficult battle before it made it to the big screen. According to Leatrice Gilbert Fountain in Dark Star, "At first, the Hays Office blocked production of a movie based on The Green Hat because of its explicit references to venereal disease and its overall "immorality." The studio answered by changing the names of the characters, deleting any references to venereal disease, and changing the title to A Woman of Affairs."

The Hays Office, which was the motion picture industry's censoring board, had very strict guidelines. The Green Hat had to be cleaned up before it would pass approval. Even after MGM changed the names of all the characters and removed objectionable material, the Hays Office still would not allow the film's credits or any advertisements to refer to the novel by name. They could only say "from the story by Michael Arlen."

In A Woman of Affairs, Greta Garbo stars as Diana Merrick, a woman in love with Neville Holderness, played by Garbo's real-life love interest, John Gilbert. Neville's father opposes a marriage between the two, so Diana eventually marries another man. But her new husband commits suicide on their wedding night when he is exposed as an embezzler. Soon after his death, Diana's brother, Geoffrey (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), also dies. Diana eventually meets Neville again, but by this time he is married.

Many of the same events happen in both the novel and the film, but character motivations are often different. In the novel, the main character's husband commits suicide because he had syphilis. Some critics thought the switch to embezzlement in the film made later plot points seem contrived. In the film, Diana's affair with her former lover is downplayed. According to Frank Miller in Censored Hollywood, "Garbo's one night of illicit passion with former lover John Gilbert is played in such a way that less aware audience members might think they spent the evening talking." Additionally, the reason for her character's later hospitalization is also changed. In the novel the main character is hospitalized after giving birth to an illegitimate child. In the film, however, Diana's illness is more mysterious. She becomes ill with grief after her brother's death and the loss of Neville. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in his autobiography, The Salad Days, commented on another difference between the novel and the film: "The United States still had prohibition and so even though my character was supposed to die of drink, no bottle label was ever allowed to show."

Greta Garbo and her co-star John Gilbert had an on-again, off-again romance that spanned two years and three films. After Rudolph Valentino's death in 1926, Gilbert had become the most popular romantic lead in silent films. Audiences couldn't get enough of his real-life romance with Garbo, and MGM made the most of it. They even changed the name of a film based on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina so the ads could read, "Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in Love."

While filming A Woman of Affairs, Garbo and Gilbert often quarreled. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. recalls that when the couple argued, Gilbert asked him "to be a go-between, carrying his scribbled note to her and, he hoped, returning with her loving reply. The offstage atmosphere seemed quite chilly for days. Then all would be well again - until the next time." Garbo and Gilbert split for good shortly after A Woman of Affairs and in 1929 Gilbert married the actress Ina Claire. Garbo never married.

Director: Clarence Brown
Screenplay: Marian Ainslee, Ruth Cummings (titles), Bess Meredyth. Based on the novel by Michael Arlen.
Cinematography: William H. Daniels
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Music: William Axt, David Mendoza
Principal Cast: Greta Garbo (Diana Merrick), John Gilbert (Neville Holderness), Lewis Stone (Dr. Hugh Trevelyan), Johnny Mack Brown (David Furness), Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (Geoffrey Merrick), Hobart Bosworth (Sir Morton Holderness).
BW-91m.

by Deborah Looney
A Woman Of Affairs

A Woman of Affairs

By the late 1920s, author Michael Arlen's successful but controversial novel The Green Hat had already been turned into a hit stage play. But the novel faced a difficult battle before it made it to the big screen. According to Leatrice Gilbert Fountain in Dark Star, "At first, the Hays Office blocked production of a movie based on The Green Hat because of its explicit references to venereal disease and its overall "immorality." The studio answered by changing the names of the characters, deleting any references to venereal disease, and changing the title to A Woman of Affairs." The Hays Office, which was the motion picture industry's censoring board, had very strict guidelines. The Green Hat had to be cleaned up before it would pass approval. Even after MGM changed the names of all the characters and removed objectionable material, the Hays Office still would not allow the film's credits or any advertisements to refer to the novel by name. They could only say "from the story by Michael Arlen." In A Woman of Affairs, Greta Garbo stars as Diana Merrick, a woman in love with Neville Holderness, played by Garbo's real-life love interest, John Gilbert. Neville's father opposes a marriage between the two, so Diana eventually marries another man. But her new husband commits suicide on their wedding night when he is exposed as an embezzler. Soon after his death, Diana's brother, Geoffrey (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), also dies. Diana eventually meets Neville again, but by this time he is married. Many of the same events happen in both the novel and the film, but character motivations are often different. In the novel, the main character's husband commits suicide because he had syphilis. Some critics thought the switch to embezzlement in the film made later plot points seem contrived. In the film, Diana's affair with her former lover is downplayed. According to Frank Miller in Censored Hollywood, "Garbo's one night of illicit passion with former lover John Gilbert is played in such a way that less aware audience members might think they spent the evening talking." Additionally, the reason for her character's later hospitalization is also changed. In the novel the main character is hospitalized after giving birth to an illegitimate child. In the film, however, Diana's illness is more mysterious. She becomes ill with grief after her brother's death and the loss of Neville. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in his autobiography, The Salad Days, commented on another difference between the novel and the film: "The United States still had prohibition and so even though my character was supposed to die of drink, no bottle label was ever allowed to show." Greta Garbo and her co-star John Gilbert had an on-again, off-again romance that spanned two years and three films. After Rudolph Valentino's death in 1926, Gilbert had become the most popular romantic lead in silent films. Audiences couldn't get enough of his real-life romance with Garbo, and MGM made the most of it. They even changed the name of a film based on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina so the ads could read, "Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in Love." While filming A Woman of Affairs, Garbo and Gilbert often quarreled. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. recalls that when the couple argued, Gilbert asked him "to be a go-between, carrying his scribbled note to her and, he hoped, returning with her loving reply. The offstage atmosphere seemed quite chilly for days. Then all would be well again - until the next time." Garbo and Gilbert split for good shortly after A Woman of Affairs and in 1929 Gilbert married the actress Ina Claire. Garbo never married. Director: Clarence Brown Screenplay: Marian Ainslee, Ruth Cummings (titles), Bess Meredyth. Based on the novel by Michael Arlen. Cinematography: William H. Daniels Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons Music: William Axt, David Mendoza Principal Cast: Greta Garbo (Diana Merrick), John Gilbert (Neville Holderness), Lewis Stone (Dr. Hugh Trevelyan), Johnny Mack Brown (David Furness), Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (Geoffrey Merrick), Hobart Bosworth (Sir Morton Holderness). BW-91m. by Deborah Looney

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Shown at New York Film Festival September 17, 1966.

Shown at Seattle International Film Festival June 3, 1990.

b&w

8319 feet