Synopsis by Mark Deming
King Vidor directed this screen adaptation of the novel An Imperfect Lover by Robert Gore-Brown, which had also made the transition to the stage. Jim Warlock (Ronald Colman) is a successful British lawyer who has always displayed a solid and conservative nature in his business associations, his professional ethics, and his personal life. He has enjoyed a happy if unexciting marriage with his wife Clemency (Kay Francis) for seven years, but when she leaves town for several days, Jim meets Doris (Phyllis Barry), a young sales clerk. To his surprise, Jim finds himself infatuated with Doris, and what begins as an innocent flirtation quickly escalates into a passionate affair. Eventually, when Jim tries to break off the relationship, Doris becomes distraught and kills herself. The death leads to a criminal investigation which makes Jim the leading figure in a national scandal, but he accepts all responsibility and refuses to say anything that would cast Doris in a negative light. The publicity forces him to leave the country and puts the future of his marriage in serious question.
Britain, citizen, court [law], ethics, exile, extramarital-affair, gentleman, integrity, lawyer, love-conquers-all, marriage, passion, reputation, scandal, scholar, shame, suicide, suicide-attempt, testimony, wife, working-class