Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Premiered: March 13, 1931 (Los Angeles)
Released: December 12, 1931

Featured cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Reginald Denny, Una Merkel

Producer: Irving Thalberg
Director: Sidney Franklin
Screenwriters: Hanns Kräly, Claudine West (adaptation); Richard Schayer (scenario)
Source: the play by Noël Coward
Cinematographer: Norbert Brodine


When a divorced husband and wife marry new spouses, they accidentally choose the same hotel for their respective honeymoons.


“Robert Montgomery and Norma Shearer handle the roles played by Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence which made New York’s followers of the legitimate theatre laugh for many successive weeks. From the manner in which last night’s audience in the New York Capitol chuckled and snorted, laughed and gurgled at the rolling, smart lines and the amusing, often absurd, situations of this sophisticated comedy—which occasionally approaches farce—it was evident that Miss Shearer and Mr. Montgomery did remarkably well. A brisk flurry of applause at the film’s conclusion, often unheard at a Broadway house, further indicated the thorough manner in which the assembled patrons enjoyed themselves at the peregrinations of this couple.”
- “Private Lives,” Motion Picture Herald, December 24, 1931


“Connie Bennett and Lil Tashman are the best dressed women on the screen, in my opinion. Jean Harlow and Norma Shearer vie for honors as the best undressed.”
- Mrs. E. Campbell, Troy, Ohio, “The Audience Speaks Its Mind,” Photoplay, October 1931


Private Lives cost $500,000 and grossed $1,125,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)


Behind the Scenes