East Lynne

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Drama, USA, 1931, 102 min.

Synopsis The wedding of Lady Isabel Dane is greeted with opposition by some members of London society, who view her husband, Robert Carlyle, as only a country solicitor with money. At the reception, Isabel vows to her guests that she will bring Mayfair to East Lynne, her husband's country home. At East Lynne, Isabel finds that Robert's sister Cornelia is insistent on retaining their mannered mode of living, which contrasts greatly with Isabel's past life of gaiety and liveliness. Three years later, Isabel's only moments of joy are spent with her son William, although Cornelia attempts to rule even that relationship. Robert, in pursuit of a parliamentary career, has allowed Cornelia's ways to dictate their life. After he returns from London with Captain Francis Levison, a diplomat who once loved Isabel, Robert announces he cannot go to the upcoming county ball because of a case in Chancery. Levison offers to escort Isabel and Cornelia, but the night of the ball, Cornelia reports that she has a violent headache and cannot go. Defying her sister-in-law's sense of propriety, Isabel alone accompanies Levison, and as she dances and flirts with the men, she briefly recaptures the life she left in Mayfair. When they return, Levison kisses her passionately, and she runs to her room. Cornelia then sees Levison enter Isabel's room. The next day, after Levison has left and Robert has returned, Cornelia tells Robert what occurred. Although Isabel states that she told Levison that she loves her husband, son and home, Robert does not believe her. Isabel then castigates him for allowing Cornelia to destroy the romance in their lives and for never attempting to get to know her. When she threatens to leave with William, Robert counters that William is staying, and he tells her to never return. Although Isabel breaks down and pleads to be allowed to remain there, Robert files for a divorce. In London, all of Isabel's friends snub her. She travels to France and discovers that Levison has boarded the same boat to be with her. They go to Vienna, where he is kicked out of the diplomatic service for fomenting public opinion in favor of France in their dispute with Prussia. Later he says he took bribes from the French so he could buy Isabel expensive presents. Isabel and Levison leave for Paris at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. As pestilence, starvation and death overtake Paris, Isabel decides to try to return to England so she can see her son again. Levison, who is not allowed to enter England, wants her to stay and complains that her extravagances were the cause of his ruin. As she runs from him and he grabs her, a bomb hits their building, killing him. Isabel is told that she will soon be blind. She manages to return to England, and one night, after Robert and his new wife Barbara have left for the evening, Joyce, the servant, allows Isabel to stay in William's room while he sleeps. By the morning, Isabel can no longer see. She tells Joyce that she is glad that William's face was the last thing she ever saw. When Robert finds her there, he fires Joyce. Isabel explodes in anger and leaves. Ashamed, Robert pursues her, but Isabel falls over a cliff and dies. Robert goes to her and grieves as he holds her hand. He then carries her inside.

Directed by Frank Lloyd  

Starring Ann Harding, Clive Brook, Conrad Nagel, Cecilia Loftus, Beryl Mercer, more...

Movie awards
1931, Nominace na Oskara, Best picture

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