REVIEW: The Divorce Of Lady X (1938)

Title: The Divorce of Lady X
Release Year: 1938
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cast: Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon & Ralph Richardson
Plot: A divorce lawyer falls in love with a strange woman and later finds that she is his client's wife.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ _

I love me some good old British romantic comedy and this one is one of my favourites.
Rasha and I went on a British classic film frenzy last year after finding that most of them were public domain and can easily be viewed on YouTube.
We first searched for films starring our favourite actors and were so excited to find one with both Olivier & Richardson.

I was shocked to find that it was in technicolor because it is in such low least in the version online.
The storyline is adapted from a play that was also made into a film called "Counsel's Opinion", 1933 by the same producer and starring Lady X's supporting actress. I haven't seen that version but judging by Binnie Barnes' bad acting in the role of Lady Mere, I do not think I'd enjoy her as Leslie.

The story is about Logan (Olivier) falling in love with a socialite (Leslie) who tricks him into thinking she was married to his client (Lord Mere) to teach him a lesson - after listening to a bad remark he had made about women. 

Laurence Olivier - like Rex Harrison - is superb in roles as a misogynist snob. Somehow his undermining women and their characters is rather cute. I actually loved his first speech before the court, belittling the woman on the stand and generalising the behaviour of all women - which was highly exaggerated - because funnily enough, it was an exact description of women today. I shall post the speech some other time.
Olivier was funny even if some comedic parts were slapstick and might feel outdated for some.

Ralph Richardson as Lord Mere was exceedingly funny, I just wish he had more lines.

Merle Oberon as Olivier's love interest did great as she usually does but I didn't feel that way the first time I saw it. I wasn't that happy with her because whenever Olivier is in a film I always feel they could've easily have cast Vivien Leigh opposite him...but such is life!

I still like her though. I think she was a great actress & perfect for the role.

If you love funny old romance then add this to your list. Highly recommended, especially if you're in a silly mood!


  1. We need to buy this film because we need to watch it in a much better quality. It’s one of my favourites. Loved every minute of it, especially his speeches. It’s strange how I can close my eyes and imagine Rex Harrison in Laurence Olivier’s place, character, voice and all, yet they’re both very unique and very different.
    I love Merle Oberon, she was an amazing actress and this part suited her. I don’t think her role in “Wuthering Heights” die at all though, since “Heathcliff” was supposed to look different from the rest (darker skin and hair) yet she was the one who did, even when Laurence Olivier had his hair darkened and eyebrows thickened, she was still the one who looked like an outcast haha. So she wasn’t right for that part, even though her acting was superb in it.

    1. Yes exactly, wrong casting can ruin an actor's credibility no matter how good they are. I'm glad we watched her in other films though so we can appreciate her acting, in more suitable roles. Maybe now it wouldn't annoy me as much watching her in "Wuthering Heights".


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