With summer in full swing, I was hoping there would be some summer movies to look forward to seeing, so far nothing looks that good. As I wait and see what else comes to theaters, I am watching movies online from places like Turner Classic Movies. I recently watched The Divorcee with Norma Shearer and Chester Morris who play a young married couple with a new age thought of equal roles until the husband cheats on the wife. Throughout the movie I saw how jewelry, specifically the rings the wife wears add an extra detail to the story. This had me think of analyzing this movie and others where jewelry takes on a major role.
This movie released in 1930 looks in on the seemingly happy couple on their anniversary with the husband presenting a ring to his wife. This ring once belonged to his grandmother a beautiful colored stone (I believe emerald, the movie is in black and white). The wife puts it on immediately and wears it to a party that her husband will have to leave soon to catch a train out of town for a business trip.
The party is a small gathering held at the couple’s apartment to celebrate their anniversary with some friends. All seems to be going well except for one attendee that is not part of the group.
I highlighted the ring and the person in question. The mysterious woman keeps her gaze on the husband waiting for a chance to meet him alone. She gets her chance for a moment until the wife walks in realizing that the two have met before.
The couple talk and the husband confesses to a drunken one-night stand that meant nothing. This is not a statement the wife believes and the couple part in distress as the husband needs to catch that train.
He returns to find the wife calm and wearing his anniversary gift. She is calm because she has evened the score sharing a night with a mutual friend while the husband was away. He is furious with the wife, but she leaves him to attend a friend’s wedding that he is supposed to attend as well.
The jewelry on the wife is light, classic but still very in style for the time. She seems at ease until her husband interrupts the wedding reception drunk and disorderly initiating the start of the divorce. The film transitions to the wife embracing her divorcee status with the removal of the tasteful heirloom, replacing it with a bright flashy diamond from her new lover.
On the outside she seems glamorous traveling and wearing expensive clothes but as she reaches the look reminiscent of the earlier woman who slept with her ex-husband, the divorcee breaks down in from of her friend who she meets by chance.
The two start to kindle a romance but he is unhappily married and hopes to divorce his wife to marry Norma Shearers’ character. The movie shows the Divorcee’s transition back to her old self with the missing diamond ring and a more relaxed style of dressing.
Norma has gone back to her classic look of earlier and is wearing pearls representing wisdom which she shares with her new love. She can not break up a marriage even a seemly unhappy one as the wife of her friend does care for him. He acknowledges this and the divorcee goes on.
Norma’s character tracks down her ex-husband and is back to wearing her anniversary ring. It doesn’t imply in the movie the ex-husband ever wanted it back. The Ex is resistant to her at first, but he hasn’t moved on either and looks to want to start again.
The acting was good, I have given the high points, but much has been left out with the other characters that would still allow you to watch and enjoy the movie. Period films are something I am watching more of to see the fashion and style back then. I hope you enjoyed this analysis and will return as I try to do this for the next few months. Please let me know if you’ve watched this movie. Thank you for coming to Data in the Rough!