White Shoulders


1h 20m 1931

Film Details

Also Known As
Disillusioned
Release Date
Jun 6, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Recoil" by Rex Beach in Cosmopolitan (Nov 1922).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,289ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

After years of wilderness living, multi-millionaire Gordon Kent, who has made his fortune as a mining engineer, returns to New York City for good times and "white shoulders." There he meets penniless showgirl Norma Selbee and, intoxicated by her beauty, proposes marriage the same night. Confident that she will fall in love with him in time, Norma accepts Gordon's impetuous proposal, and the couple marries. While on her European honeymoon, however, Norma grows weary of Gordon's displays of generosity and adoration and secretly curses him for not trying to win her love. Then, in France, Norma runs into Lawrence Marchmont, an old friend, who uses his skills as a womanizer to seduce the newlywed. Driven to hysterics by Gordon's uncontrolled affection, Norma denounces her husband for never trying to romance her and locks herself in her bedroom. Although Gordon breaks down the door and enters Norma's room, she leaves for Paris with Marchmont the next day. Heartbroken and angry, Gordon follows the couple to Paris and swears to them that if they ever separate he will send both of them to jail. Gordon then reveals that he has discovered that Norma's first husband, Jim Selbee, never officially divorced her and that Marchmont, whose real name is Tommy Pierce, is a wanted embezzler and swindler. To keep his vow, Gordon hires private detectives to shadow the couple after they return to New York. There Norma soon sees that Gordon was correct about Marchmont when she is forced to resume her showgirl career to support him and his drinking habit. Although Norma grows to hate Marchmont, Gordon forces his rival to remain with her, even after he tries to flee with her jewels. Eventually Norma is confronted by Selbee and, to protect Gordon from his blackmail, agrees to return to her first marriage. While Norma discusses the matter with Gordon, Selbee shows up at the Kent estate and finds a drunken Marchmont there. Together Selbee and Marchmont plot to steal Norma's jewels, but as Selbee is opening Gordon's safe, Marchmont shoots and kills him. After Marchmont is apprehended by the police, Gordon finds Norma and begs her to forgive him. Although Norma at first refuses to reconcile with her husband, her roommate tells Gordon that, in spite of her words, Norma truly loves him. Thus discovered, Norma finally admits her love and reunites with her husband.

Film Details

Also Known As
Disillusioned
Release Date
Jun 6, 1931
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Recoil" by Rex Beach in Cosmopolitan (Nov 1922).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,289ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

This film is believed lost. Please check your attic.

Notes

Hollywood Reporter reviewed this film under the title Disillusioned in April 1931. According to a March 1931 Film Daily news item, director/writer Howard Estabrook "meticulously scanned and tightened" Rex Beach's short story. The nature of his contribution beyond this description has not been determined. RKO borrowed Jack Holt from Columbia for the production. Modern sources credit Jane Murfin with additional dialogue and add Robert Keith to the cast. T. Hayes Hunter directed Mahlon Hamilton and Betty Blythe in a 1924 Goldwyn Pictures version of Beach's story (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4489).