Easy Virtue (1928)

Easy Virtue (1928), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

From the play by Noel Coward. Remade with more comedy in 2008 with Jessica Biehl.

It opens with a scandalous divorce trial. Larita's drunken husband has objected to the attentions a painter pays to her. The painter commits suicide. After the divorce she flees to the Riviera and marries a younger man who takes her home to a big house in the country. His mother is less than pleased and when they discover her history -- hoo, boy. She makes a flashy exit from the family but the only way to grant a divorce is with another scandalous trial. Without no-fault, she has to pretend to be congenitally adulterous. No happy ending for her.

It's pretty stiff and uninvolving. Some interesting Riviera locations and painterly-like compositions, but little else. In one good bit we see the progress of the marriage proposal through the excited responses of an eavesdropping telephone operator.