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Friends and Lovers (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 3 October 1931 (USA)
British Army Captain Geoff Roberts carries on an affair with Alva, the wife of the cruel Victor Sangrito. Sangrito, however, is well aware of the affair, as he uses his beautiful wife to ... See full summary »

Writers:

Maurice Dekobra (novel) (as Maurice DeKobra), Wallace Smith (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Adolphe Menjou ... Captain Geoffrey Roberts
Lili Damita ... Alva Sangrito
Laurence Olivier ... Lieutenant Ned Nichols
Erich von Stroheim ... Victor Sangrito
Hugh Herbert ... McNellis
Frederick Kerr ... General Thomas Armstrong (as Frederic Kerr)
Blanche Friderici ... Lady Allice
Vadim Uraneff Vadim Uraneff ... Ivanoff
Jean Del Val ... Marquis Henri de Pézanne
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Storyline

British Army Captain Geoff Roberts carries on an affair with Alva, the wife of the cruel Victor Sangrito. Sangrito, however, is well aware of the affair, as he uses his beautiful wife to lure men into romance with her, then blackmailing them to save their careers. When Roberts falls into Sangrito's trap, he pays the blackmail and leaves for India, hoping to forget Alva, whom he loved, but now believes betrayed him. After some time in India, he is joined by his young friend and bosom companion Lieutenant Ned Nichols. Nichols, too, is in love with the same woman back in England. Though the two friends nearly come to blows over Alva, they eventually realize that she has been false to them both, and that their friendship far outweighs their feelings for a mendacious woman. But when the two are invalided home, they encounter Alva again, and learn that she may not have betrayed them after all. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

VON STROHEIM...EVIL INCARNATE....RUTHLESS IN HIS GREED! (original half-sheet poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wine in the Blood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nichols (Sir Laurence Olivier), and later Roberts (Adolphe Menjou), quotes "Oh, to be in England now that April's there", which is from "Home-Thoughts from Abroad" by Robert Browning (1812-89). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Geoffrey 'Geoff' Roberts: I suppose you will hate me... now.
Mrs. Alva Sangrito: Hate you? I love you more than ever.
[He takes her hand as they gaze into each other's eyes]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three's Company: Friends and Lovers: Part 1 (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

A very good bad film
26 August 2004 | by bullybyteSee all my reviews

This is the sort of film that got RKO Radio studios into financial trouble. It has a great cast: Damita, von Stroheim, Menjou, Olivier. The plot is predictable, and the story threadbare. I doubt if there were many more people in the 1930s who were turned on by this kind of melodrama as there are now.

A porcelain collector uses his younger wife to ensnare rich army officers, so that he can blackmail them. Two officers, serving in the British army in India, find out that they are both in love with this same woman. That is the plot in a nutshell. The saving feature of this film it to witness some pretty good acting performances. Apart from Hugh Herbert, whose Scottish accent slips like a postman in the snow and sounds about as authentic as the MacFarterchops tartan, the rest of the cast turn in some pretty good performances. Von Stroheim's performance is weird; but then again he is playing a weirdo. Menjou turns in a competent performance - as he always does. Olivier is subtle: you have to watch him carefully to fully appreciate what he does. The same can be said for Damita. Yes, it's great to have a sophisticated leading lady who doesn't mind getting her kit off; but watch her performance next to Olivier in the dining table scene. Further down the cast, the pair who play the general and his sister turn in good performances, too.

The performances of the cast rescue this film, which is of its time. It is watchable.


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