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Film / The Divorce of Lady X

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A 1938 Technicolor film with Screwball Comedy elements starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.

Trapped in London due to the fog, barrister Everard Logan (Olivier) grudgingly allows the use of his hotel sitting room by a stranded partygoer, Leslie Steele (Oberon). Charmed by Leslie even after she tricks him into giving up his bedroom and pajamas, Everard becomes infatuated, despite his suspicion that she is married. When Lord Mere engages Everard to file for divorce against his wife, who met a man at the hotel, Everard fears he may be the "other" man.


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This film shows the following tropes:

  • A Foggy Day in London Town: The terrible fog sets the plot in motion. Leslie can't leave because of it and that's why she decides to sneak into Logan's room.
  • Book-Ends: Logan's rant against women in court is given a more positive spin in the last minute of the film.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Leslie leaves a goodbye note in lipstick on the hotel mirror. She also does this when she leaves his office, leaving her telephone number behind.
  • Dances and Balls: The film opens with a fancy dress party held at a posh hotel.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Logan is quite embarrassed when he tells Leslie his name is Everard.
  • Fake Nationality: Leslie is supposedly an American, but Merle Oberon is obviously Not Even Bothering with the Accent. Same goes for Lady Mere who's supposedly American but sounds very English.
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  • Ice Queen: Leslie plays this up whenever she's with Logan.
    Logan: I adore you. Do you love me?
    Leslie: I like you.
    Logan: Is that all?
    Leslie: I'm very fond of you.
    Logan: That's not enough.
    Leslie: I have interest in you.
    Logan: That's still not enough.
  • Idle Rich: Both Leslie and Logan are of the upper-echelon of society and have too much time on their hands.
  • Ironic Echo: The speeches Logan makes against the women who he cross-examines in court.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Logan's a Casanova-type who finds himself in many "adventures" as he puts it, but he falls head over heels for Leslie rather easily.
  • Meet Cute: Leslie sneaks into Logan's suite and doesn't leave!
  • Mistaken Identity: Logan thinks Leslie is Lady Mere and, well, Leslie doesn't correct him, so there's a lot of wacky hi-jinks involved.
  • Nerd Glasses: Logan sports these to hide his features when Lord Mere shows up with his servant who believes she saw Lady Mere and her lover together in the hotel.
  • Not a Morning Person: Logan isn't quite himself until he has had his first cigarette of the day.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: The romantic lead displays some rather sexist views. But in the end (after he marries Leslie), his view of womanhood has been softened.
    Logan: Modern woman has no loyalty, decency, or justice; no endurance, reticence, or self-control; no affection, fine feelings, or mercy. In short, she is unprincipled, relentless, and exacting; idle, unproductive, and tedious; unimaginative, humorless, and vain; vindictive, undignified, and weak. And the sooner man takes out his whip again, the better for sanity and progress.
  • Smells Sexy: Leslie slept in Logan's pajamas, and when his associate remarks that they smell nice, Logan smells it himself and quite likes it.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Olivier in Technicolor isn't hard on the eyes.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Technically two double beds in one room. This was a staple of early films due to Sleeping Single.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Poor Lord Mere seems to sincerely love his wife despite her spotted history and ongoing infidelities.

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