Pre Code Hollywood Season: FD Cinematheque
Director: Leo McCarey
Cast: Gloria Swanson, Ben Lyon, Monroe Owsley, Barbara Kent, Arthur Lake, Maude Eburne, Henry Kolker, Nella Walker
Indiscreet is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Gloria Swanson and Ben Lyon. The screenplay by Buddy G. DeSylva, Lew Brown, and Ray Henderson, based on their story Obey That Impulse, originally was written as a full-fledged musical, but only two songs – “If You Haven’t Got Love” and “Come to Me” – remained when the film was released. The film is available on DVD.
The plot of the United Artists release centers on fashion designer Geraldine Trent (Swanson), who takes up with novelistTony Blake (Lyon) after leaving her former beau Jim Woodward because of his many indiscretions with other women.
Tony has indicated he has no interest in dating a woman with a past, so Geraldine remains mum about her affair with Jim, until her younger sister Joan arrives and announces she’s engaged—to Jim. Madcap complications ensue as Geraldine tries to keep her secret from Tony while convincing her sister to rid herself of her womanizing fiancé in favor of simple country boy Buster Collins.
Cast (in credits order)
- Gloria Swanson as Geraldine ‘Gerry’ Trent
- Ben Lyon as Tony Blake
- Monroe Owsley as Jim Woodward
- Barbara Kent as Joan Trent
- Arthur Lake as Buster Collins
- Maude Eburne as Aunt Kate
- Henry Kolker as Mr Woodward
- Nella Walker as Mrs Woodward
Principal production credits
- Producers ….. Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson
- Music Supervision ….. Alfred Newman
- Cinematography ….. Gregg Toland, Ray June
- Art Direction ….. Richard Day
- Costume Design ….. René Hubert
It may have its off moments so far as the few serious incidents are concerned, but when it stoops to farce, there is no denying its jollity . . . on the whole, it is a well-worked out entertainment, wherein gusts of merriment cause one to overlook its occasional flaws . . . Now and again the film sobers up, but the director and the authors have solved a way of inoculating it with further mirth, and even at the end there is a streak of fun that is almost Chaplinesque.