5.4/10
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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:

DAMITA...TEMPTRESS...DECOY...ALL WOMAN! (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

This movie lost two hundred sixty thousand dollars (four million dollars in 2017) at the box-office according to studio records. 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

Featured in Great Performances: Laurence Olivier: A Life (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Acting Up
15 August 2004 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

The FRIENDS AND LOVERS of a duplicitous female nearly have their lives destroyed by her wicked ways.

This well-acted piece of fluff makes no attempt at serious entertainment but manages to engage the viewer nonetheless, mainly because of its unique cast.

Lily Damita plays the sultry vamp who has no difficulty in enticing every man she meets. She is the female star of the picture, but her character is completely detestable. It says nothing positive about the moral discernment or intelligence level of the lead male players in the film that they are so completely seduced, for a time.

Adolphe Menjou and Laurence Olivier play the two British officers, firm friends, who both fall into Damita's web. Making no pretense at behaving British, Menjou plays the debonair captain who must decide between carnality & comradeship. Olivier, who looks astonishingly young (he turned 24 in 1931) is bright & energetic, projecting shadows of the future Lord Olivier as he advises Menjou as to the proper cut of tailored lapels.

Whimsical Hugh Herbert puts his gentle humor to good use as Menjou's Scots valet. Acting as a sort of Greek Chorus to the proceedings around him, he easily steals most of his scenes. Erich von Stroheim, that Teutonic master of menace, dominates the screen with a cunning portrayal of Damita's vile husband. Like an uncoiled snake ready to strike, von Stroheim slithers about the screen, alert to deliver the maximum discomfort to his victims. As always, he is a joy to watch. Alas, that his role is so brief.

Frederick Kerr as a boisterous old general, and Blanche Frederici as his straitlaced titled sister provide a few moments of sparkle at the end of the film.

The action during the scenes set in India takes place entirely within the walls of a rather dull fort. The Studio, Radio Pictures, apparently were unwilling to spend an extra dime on ambiance.


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