Without Regret

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Drama, USA, 1935, 74 min.

Synopsis In Hong Kong, Jennifer Gage travels alone for the first time, looking for romance and exotica. When her train is hijacked by Chinese bandits, she seeks help from American aviator Steven Paradine, who, without telling Jennifer their destination, takes her to his lover Mona Gould's house. Steven warns Jennifer that he is untrustworthy, but they fall in love anyway. Six years later in England, Jennifer is married to Robert Godfrey, a famous heart specialist. She had been married to Steven who, true to his word, was untrustworthy. When Steven's plane crashed into the ocean, he was presumed dead. Jennifer and Robert are happy with their little daughter, and he is about to be given knighthood for his excellence as a physician. Mona, who is also in England, runs into Steven, who is alive and using a pseudonym. He confesses that he was rescued by a fisherman, but enjoyed the news of his death immensely and has been living in Australia and Brussels for six years. He has come to England because he is ill and needs a specialist. Mona attempts to rekindle their love, but Steven is not interested. Angry and still embittered over the fact that he married Jennifer, Mona decides to wreak revenge using Jennifer's love letters to Steven. Mona blackmails Jennifer with the letters, threatening to alert the press that Robert is married to a bigamist, thereby ruining his career. Jennifer keeps the blackmail a secret from Robert and suffers in silence. Steven comes to see Robert as a patient and is shocked to discover that Jennifer is married to him. He finds out Mona is blackmailing her and promises to get the letters back for her. Robert examines Steven and discovers that Steven has an aneurism and must lead a calm life if he intends to live much longer. Steven confesses his identity to Robert, who is hostile toward him, and tells him about the blackmail scheme and gives him Mona's address. Jennifer goes to Mona's to tell her she is unable to meet her monetary demands, but hides when Robert arrives. Robert threatens to harass Mona and frightens her by suggesting she may be mysteriously poisoned with a hypodermic needle at any time. He then goes upstairs to visit a friend for an alibi. Mona furiously sends Jennifer away and calls a newspaper reporter, arranging to have him meet her later at the apartment, when she will reveal the lurid story. Steven pays Mona a surprise visit, however, and tells her that he loves her and needs her. She succumbs to his amorous advances and promises to return the love letters after he promises to marry her, but when she catches him reading Jennifer's old love letters she becomes enraged and refuses to call off the newspaper story. Still in love with Jennifer, Steven cleverly kills Mona using poison with which Jennifer had intended to commit suicide, and leaves. Robert returns, having received a note Mona sent earlier, and discovers she is dead. He attempts to make Mona's death look like suicide, but police investigators quickly suspect him and go to his house. There, both he and Jennifer are suspected until Steven arrives and, seeing Jennifer about to be arrested, confesses to the murder, knowing he is to die anyway. Before he is taken away, he returns the letters to Jennifer and tells her he killed Mona because she interrupted him while he was reading her letter, which "contained all the lost beauty in the world." Steven is arrested, and with the scandal contained, Jennifer and Robert are left to resume their normal lives.

Directed by Harold Young  

Starring Elissa Landi, Paul Cavanagh, Frances Drake, Kent Taylor, Gilbert Emery, more...

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