Cast & Crew
Six years after Hope marries Stephen Ferrier, the couple give the appearance of being happy, but in reality, they are not. Hope is bored by Stephen and by staying home day and night, while Stephen is frustrated by Hope's consistent selfishness. Both neglect their twins, a five-year-old boy and girl. During an argument, Steve tells Hope that wives "are not worth the price" a husband has to pay, and Hope leaves him and moves in with her divorcée sister, Helena. After her departure, Steve finds an $800 bill from a doctor and, thinking that Hope has been sick and he has been callous, he goes to Helena's to confront Hope. She reveals, however, that the doctor is a psychoanalyst, and she is perfectly healthy. To salvage their marriage, Steve and Hope decide to live together, but as friends only, not as husband and wife. This arrangement seems to work until Hope starts dating Steve's best friend, Rush Bigelow, and flirts with him in Helena's office, where she is employed. When Steve finds out, he punches Rush and announces to Hope that they are through. Hope goes to Steve's law partner, Judge Sturgis, to discuss getting a divorce, while Steve is getting drunk at a slick jazz club. Steve drunkenly crashes his car into a tree and is arrested for drunk driving. At the police station, Sturgis manages to get Steve released, and he and Hope are on the verge of reconciliation when she finds out that there was a woman, Pauline, in the car with him, which even he did not realize. Hope plans on going to Reno for a divorce but misses her train, and then returns home to find Steve there with Dr. Wolheim, who has diagnosed their children as having whooping cough. Hope still wants to leave, but Dr. Wolheim gives her a sound lecture on neglecting her children and Steve threatens to spank her if she leaves. Hope slaps Steve, who, pushed to his limits, punches her. Filled with remorse, he goes to Pauline, who is the woman he met at the jazz club. Pauline thinks he was right to hit Hope, because she had it coming to her, but refuses to be his corespondent. Hope finds him, and confesses that she has realized that she wants to stay with him and the children. Finally together again, Hope and Steve watch home movies of their honeymoon.
The plot is based on an October 1930 script for the film, which was at that time titled The Modern Wife. The opening sequence includes a wedding scene, which in the script is annotated "a Vorkapich shot." It is unclear whether the filmmakers meant that this was a scene in the style of Slavko Vorkapich, or whether he contributed to the film.