Second Hand Wife


1h 10m 1933

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 8, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Second Hand Wife by Kathleen Norris (New York, 1932).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
5,790ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

At the offices of Cavendish and Bartlett, secretary Sandra Trumbull begins to fall in love with the firm's young vice-president, Carter Cavendish. When Carter's regular secretary, Mary Curtis, calls in sick, Sandra replaces her and goes to the Cavendish home where Carter, laid up by a polo injury, conducts business from his sickbed. While Carter works, his wife Betty discusses their daughter Patsy with her violin teacher, Lotzi Vadja. Vadja encourages Betty to allow Patsy, who is a child prodigy, to study with him in Paris. In actuality, Vadja and Betty are lovers, and Vadja wants Patsy in Paris so that he and her mother can be together. Later that evening, Betty persuades Carter to let her and Patsy go, and encourages him to stay occupied by becoming intimate with Sandra. Carter resists the idea, but gradually becomes enamoured of Sandra's sunny disposition. Sandra returns his affections but insists that they end their friendship before it goes too far. She agrees to help Carter organize a golf tournament in Del Monte, California, and there, Carter reveals his decision to divorce Betty. He had asked her for a divorce two years previously, when she declared that she no longer loved him, but dropped the idea out of fear of losing Patsy. Now Carter is hopeful that he and Sandra will be able to share custody of Patsy with Betty, but his hopes are dashed when a detective Betty has hired finds him in Sandra's hotel room. Although the couple have kept their love chaste, Betty threatens to turn the incident into a scandal if Carter does not give her full custody of Patsy. Forced to choose between Patsy and Sandra, Carter chooses Sandra, and the couple enjoy a quiet wedding. On their wedding night, however, Patsy is injured, and when Carter rushes to the hospital, Sandra is painfully reminded of the importance Betty and Patsy will always have in his life. Six months pass, and while Sandra and Carter vacation in New York, Sandra reveals that she is pregnant. Her daughter dies two hours after being born, however, and the grief-stricken Sandra becomes jealous of Carter's pride in Patsy. The child has become a world-class violinist, and at a party where Patsy performs, Carter sees her for the first time in years. Carter takes Patsy on a vacation to his brother Peter's ranch, and there, Patsy and Sandra grow very fond of each other. Patsy confesses to Sandra that she does not wish to return to Paris, and Sandra confides in Carter her fear that Vadja is a harsh taskmaster who is planning to make his livelihood from Patsy's performances. Just after Betty receives a telegram from Vadja explaining that they can now marry, Sandra comes to see her. Knowing how much Patsy means to Carter, Sandra offers to give him up if Betty will reunite with him. Betty haughtily refuses, but when she and Patsy are about to leave for Europe, Sandra reveals that Betty changed the dates on her divorce complaint in order to leave Reno and join Vadja in Paris before her divorce was official. Sandra threatens to reveal Betty's illegal act, and so Betty is forced to relinquish custody of Patsy and obtain a legal divorce from Carter. Sandra lives with her mother until the divorce is final, then goes with Carter and Patsy on a cruise to Hawaii.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 8, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Second Hand Wife by Kathleen Norris (New York, 1932).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
5,790ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Kathleen Norris' novel first appeared serially in The Delineator (Sep-December 1931, January-April 1932). According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, retakes, which began on December 13, 1932, were delayed because actors Ralph Bellamy and Sally Eilers were working on other pictures. According to a modern source, Sol Wurtzel was the producer.