Paris Bound (August 3, 1929)

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Paris Bound
 

Released on August 3, 1929: A man and his wife face fidelity challenges in thier marriage.

Produced by Maurice Revness

Directed by Edward H. Griffith

The Actors: Ann Harding (Mary Hutton), Fredric March (Jim Hutton), Carmelita Geraghty (Noel Farley), Leslie Fenton (Richard Parrish), George Irving (James Hutton Sr.), Charlotte Walker (Helen White), Hallam Cooley (Peter, the best man), Juliette Crosby (Nora Cope), Ilka Chase (Fanny Shipman), Rose Tapley (Julie the nanny), Douglas Scott (Jimmy, the young son), Frank Reicher (unknown)

 
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Two Wedding Rings and Three Doorbell Rings

This movie premiered in March of 1929 and my father and mother got married in September of 1929, but that is about all that the two couples had in common. My mom and dad both grew up on farms, and dad rode his horse to high school in the village of Canfield, Ohio and his horse spent the day in the school stables. The newlyweds in this story live in Manhattan, with a summer home outside the city, and servants to tend to their every need. Fredric March, the new husband, is a book publisher and every summer he spends 6 weeks in Paris finding European authors . . . . And enjoying a bit of love on the side . . . . Now, to be fair, his new bride Mary, played by Ann Harding, gave him a speech on their wedding day explaining her thoughts on fidelity. She tells her new husband that when they are apart, their privacy is supreme, and what they do when apart should have nothing to do with their marriage. Mary describes what we today call an ‘open’ marriage . . . You do who you want when you are not at home, and I’ll do who I want when not at home. . . . But a funny thing happens after the wedding and honeymoon . . . . Mary falls more deeply in love with her husband every day, and her every breath is devoted to him. When Mary discovers that one of her friends is going to Europe during the same 6 weeks that her husband is there, and that they have been seen together, she is tremendously distraught. What should she do? Should she retaliate and have an affair with the family friend who is trying to compose a ballet on her piano, and who is deeply in love with her? Should she divorce her husband and leave him forever? Is there another way?

When movies like this played in big city theaters they were controversial and provoked conversations among lovers and spouses. When movies like this played in rural America they were considered shocking, immoral, and destructive to proper married life. Many states and cities set up censoring committees that would watch and decide whether the motion picture could be shown at their theaters or not. Marketing motion pictures became such a fractured experience, some movie studios created several versions of each movie . . . One for big cities, and several others that would satisfy the censoring committees of each region and state. It got so complicated and costly that movie studios paid for and formed the Hays Office. This office set rules and guidelines for movies that would satisfy every community and eliminate the dozens of committees that would make independent judgements on every film. By 1935, on-screen kisses could last no longer than 3 seconds, bad guys must always be punished, a man and woman could never be filmed in the same bed, and so on. This system lasted until the 1960’s when the rating system was established. Every movie didn’t need to be created for all audiences, but the movie would be rated for sex, violence or language so that movie fans would know ahead of time whether they wanted to watch it or not. But back to this pre-code marriage drama . . . . What should Mary do? . . . . What will Mary do? . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Ann Harding
Ann Harding
Fredric March
Fredric March
Ann Harding
Ann Harding
Ann Harding and Fredric March
Ann Harding and Fredric March
Ann Harding and George Irving
Ann Harding and George Irving
Ann Harding and George Irving
Ann Harding and George Irving
Ann Harding and Leslie Fenton
Ann Harding and Leslie Fenton
Ann Harding and Fredric March
Ann Harding and Fredric March
Ann Harding kisses Fredric March
Ann Harding kisses Fredric March
Ann Harding
Ann Harding
Carmelita Geraghty
Carmelita Geraghty
Carmelita Geraghty
Carmelita Geraghty
Carmelita Geraghty and Fredric March
Carmelita Geraghty and Fredric March
Carmelita Geraghty
Carmelita Geraghty
Charlotte Walker and George Irving
Charlotte Walker and George Irving
Charlotte Walker and George Irving
Charlotte Walker and George Irving
Charlotte Walker
Charlotte Walker
Douglas Scott and Fredric March
Douglas Scott and Fredric March
Fredric March and Ann Harding
Fredric March and Ann Harding
Fredric March and Ann Harding
Fredric March and Ann Harding
Fredric March
Fredric March
George Irving
George Irving
George Irving and Ann Harding
George Irving and Ann Harding
George Irving
George Irving
Hallam Cooley and Carmelita Geraghty
Hallam Cooley and Carmelita Geraghty
Ilka Chase, Ann Harding and Fredric March
Ilka Chase, Ann Harding and Fredric March
Ilka Chase
Ilka Chase
Juliette Crosby, Ann Harding and Leslie Fenton
Juliette Crosby, Ann Harding and Leslie Fenton
Leslie Fenton and Ann Harding
Leslie Fenton and Ann Harding