The Toy Wife (1938)

Genres - Drama, Historical Film  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Directed by Richard Thorpe, this costume drama stars Luise Rainer as 16-year-old southern belle Gilberta, who, upon her return to Louisiana after a brief stay in France, discovers her sister Louise Barbara O'Neil) has recently gotten engaged. Gilberta (Rainer) quickly finds herself attracted to her sister's fiance George (Melvyn Douglas), and eventually steals him for herself. Though they marry and have a son together, Gilberta is unable to to cope with the stress and responsibility involved in running a plantation and raising a child at the same time. At Gilberta's request, Louise (O'Neill) agrees to take over the duties of the plantation. Meanwhile, Gilberta begins an affair with a former suitor of hers, Andre Vallane (Robert Young), and agrees to go to New York with him. Upon their return, George (Douglas and Andre (Young) have a duel, which proves fatal for Andre. Shortly after, Gilberta catches a fatal disease. Though much strife had been created due to her sordid affairs, Gilberta comes to terms with her behavior and makes peace with her family shortly before she died.

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Keywords

conflict, death, disease, duel, love, love-triangle, manager, morale, mother, plantation, sister, slavery, son, Southern-belle, Southerner, tragic-love, wife