A Bill of Divorcement
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A Bill of Divorcement
Katharine Hepburn made her auspicious film debut in the otherwise undistinguished A Bill of Divorcement. Based on a play by Clemence Dane, the film is set on the day that Hepburn's mother, Billie Burke, is to divorce her insane and long-institutionalized husband John Barrymore. But Barrymore escapes from the asylum and returns home, only vaguely aware of the passage of time (he was shell-shocked during WWI). His presence puts Burke in an uncomfortable spot, especially since she plans to wed Paul Cavanaugh. Pressured by her idiotically traditional family to renew her vows with her first… More

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The dramaturgy is pure 19th-century, yet Cukor gives you Barrymore and the debuting Hepburn cutting through it like a couple of long-stemmed knives"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Outdated family drama about dealing with mental illness."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Even in 1932, when the melodrama was made, the biological and moral issues of insanity were outdated, but Cukor's film features an original, striking turn from Katharine Hepburn in her screen debut."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for A Bill of Divorcement on Rotten Tomatoes