Cast & Crew
Edward H. Griffith
A group of young sophisticates with modern ideas spends the weekend in the New York home of Liz and Les Crawford. Liz's sister, Sara Jaffrey, has refused the proposals of a kindhearted sailor, Johnnie Coles, because she loves her old beau, handsome Bill Truesdale. Bill, however, loves Evie Lawrence, whom he plans to marry. When Evie rejects Bill for millionaire Lyman Patterson and Johnnie returns to the Navy, Bill and Sara find themselves without mates. On the rebound from his affair with Evie, Bill marries Sara. In Paris, a month into their marriage, Bill goes out for the mail and runs into Evie. While Sara waits at home with her father, who has come to meet Bill, Bill spends the afternoon sipping champagne with Evie. Although Sara is furious at Bill, she decides to be a "good sport," all the while making sarcastic remarks about the situation under her breath. Even when Evie arrives wearing the same dress that Sara had bought to surprise Bill, Sara is polite. Before he leaves, Sara's father warns her not to sacrifice who she is for love and adds that marriage is a compromise that often deprives people of grace. The Truesdales return to Long Island, where Johnnie, now an architect, is remodeling an old farmhouse for their new home. Evie and Bill continue to spend much time together, prompting Johnnie to tell Sara she is too good for Bill. During a yacht club party, Sara dances unhappily with Lyman, while Evie and Bill remove their evening clothes and jump into the ocean, drinking from a flask and laughing. Sara sees them and is humiliated. Her bold, determined and outspoken nature has been replaced by the persona of a weak and desperate wronged wife. When Evie and Bill rejoin the party, Sara confronts Bill and falls to her knees, begging for his love. Upon seeing Johnnie then throw himself at her feet, swearing his love, Sara remembers her father's warning and realizes she has compromised her dignity for love. She tells Johnnie goodbye, returns to the house, and insults Evie. When Bill scolds her for her childish display of jealousy, she tells him that marriage is not important enough for her to sacrifice herself. In Paris, Sara signs her divorce papers, then discovers Bill in her hotel room. He tells her that he failed to recognize his love for her until she left him and apologizes for his behavior. Evie is now pregnant with Lyman's child, and Bill has not seen her since the night Sara walked out on him. When her father telephones at the hotel, Sara pretends she is talking to her lover and walks out on Bill. Unable to abandon her husband, however, she soon returns to his arms.
Edward H. Griffith
Louise Closser Hale
Harry Joe Brown
D. A. Cutler
Charles R. Rogers
Rebound, based on a hit play by Donald Ogden Stewart, is a multi-sided romantic roundelay. Loy plays Evie, one of a group of young moderns who jilts her boyfriend Bill (Robert Ames) to marry a millionaire. On the rebound, Bill marries his former girlfriend Sara, played by stage star Ina Claire, who had originated the part on Broadway. Claire was pushing 40 and Loy was a radiant 26, but according to Loy, the star told director Edward H. Griffith, "You don't think 'Sunbonnet Sue' there could take a man away from me, do you?" As Lawrence J. Quirk writes in The Films of Myrna Loy, Bill eventually realizes that "his inamorata with the face of a sloe-eyed angel actually has the soul of a devil." This was one of many polished and selfish other women that Loy played early in her career, on her way to becoming the movies' perfect wife.
By the 1920s, Ina Claire was one of the theater's most renowned stars, specializing in sophisticated comedies. She appeared in less than a dozen films, preferring to work on the stage. In her autobiography, Loy recalled being in awe of Claire and sneaking onto a closed set to watch Claire work. "It was a lovers' scene, a high point in the story, where she had to do a lot of tricks. She did them brilliantly." Loy complimented her and Claire shrugged it off, attributing it to the Delsarte acting method that relies on specific gestures and movement to indicate character and emotion. "I waited for that scene at the screening and, curiously, it never happened," Loy wrote. "It would have been an effective thing onstage, but there is something mysterious about film--it's got to come from inside, it can't be technical." Perhaps that's one reason why Claire's film career never caught fire. On film, she seems artificial, in contrast to Loy, whose ease and naturalism was made for film.
However, Claire was not above using her theatrical tricks to overwhelm her younger, fresher competition. According to a friend of Loy's quoted in her autobiography, in one scene Claire "started out in a staccato voice and Myrna couldn't even interrupt. Myrna, just a novice, simply couldn't beat down this old actress who really knew how to cut everybody. She really ruined the scene for Myrna." Director Edward H. Griffith, however, was impressed with Loy, and the following year he cast her as the conventional wife of free-spirited Leslie Howard in the prestigious The Animal Kingdom, which earned her critical acclaim and became an important stepping stone in her career.
The two male costars of Rebound, Robert Williams and Robert Ames, both died young, and within a few weeks of each other. Theater actor Robert Williams reprised the role of Johnnie that he'd played onstage in Rebound. He died of peritonitis following surgery on November 3, 1931, three days after the premiere of his film Platinum Blonde. Robert Ames died three weeks later, apparently from delirium tremens caused by an abrupt withdrawal from alcohol. As for Loy, after supporting roles in another eight mostly undistinguished films, she finally scored a role worthy of her comic gifts in Rouben Mamoulian's delicious 1932 musical, Love Me Tonight. But it was hit or miss after that until she finally struck comic gold and well-earned stardom with The Thin Man, finally ending the apprenticeship that lasted far longer than her talent deserved.
Director: Edward H. Griffith
Producer: Charles Rogers
Screenplay: Horace Jackson, from the play by Donald Ogden Stewart
Cinematography: Norbert Brodine
Principal Cast: Ina Claire (Sara Jaffrey), Robert Ames (Bill Truesdale), Myrna Loy (Evie Lawrence), Robert Williams (Johnnie Coles), Hedda Hopper (Liz Crawford), Hale Hamilton (Lyman Patterson)
by Margarita Landazuri
Robert Williams and Walter Walker appeared in the New York stage production and reprised their theatrical roles in the film. Motion Picture Herald lists the film's preview running time as 75 minutes, or 6,750 feet. It is possible that footage was added before the film's general release. RKO borrowed Ina Claire from Samuel Goldwyn's film company for this production. According to modern sources, RKO lost $215,000 on the film.