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Perfect Understanding (1933)

0:49 | Trailer
A young couple decide to marry under the condition that they agree never to disagree. That agreement is soon put to the test when the husband finds himself attracted to a beautiful young woman.


Cyril Gardner


Miles Malleson (story), Miles Malleson (dialogue) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gloria Swanson ... Judy Rogers
Laurence Olivier ... Nicholas Randall
John Halliday ... Ivan Ronnson
Nigel Playfair Nigel Playfair ... Lord Portleigh
Michael Farmer Michael Farmer ... George Drayton
Genevieve Tobin ... Kitty Drayton
Charles Cullum Charles Cullum ... Sir John Fitzmaurice
Nora Swinburne ... Lady Stephanie Fitzmaurice
O.B. Clarence O.B. Clarence ... Dr. Graham
Mary Jerrold Mary Jerrold ... Mrs. Graham
Peter Gawthorne Peter Gawthorne ... Butler
Rosalinde Fuller Rosalinde Fuller ... Cook
Miles Malleson ... Announcer
Ben Webster Ben Webster ... Judge
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Bradley - Nick's Counsel


A young couple decide to marry under the condition that they agree never to disagree. That agreement is soon put to the test when the husband finds himself attracted to a beautiful young woman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

January 1933 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Casamento Liberal See more »

Filming Locations:

Gosport, Hampshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michael Farmer's acting was so bad that, despite being married to the movie's star and main backer Gloria Swanson, he was all but edited out of the movie, giving more screentime to Sir Laurence Olivier. See more »


Lady Stephanie Fitzmaurice: My husband has contented to give me my divorce. Because of Nick. Will you do the same for him, so that Nick and I can be married? If I'd been free, we should have been married long before you ever arrived in England. My happiness is just as important to me as yours is to you. I love Nick desperately. I was married before I knew anything to a man who knows nothing about love...
Judy Rogers: You needn't go on.
Lady Stephanie Fitzmaurice: Why not?
Judy Rogers: You're wasting your time.
Lady Stephanie Fitzmaurice: I beg your pardon?
Judy Rogers: You're standing there begging for what I'll ...
See more »


I Love You So Much That I Hate You
Music by Henry Sullivan
Lyrics by Rowland Leigh
Sung by Gloria Swanson
See more »

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User Reviews

Perfectly Boring
26 June 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Perfect Understanding (1933)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

With her star quality fading, Gloria Swanson went to England to produce this melodrama, which when released would just harm her career even more as it failed with both fans and critics. Judy (Swanson) and Nicholas (Laurence Olivier) agree to get married with the "perfect understanding" that they never argue or disagree. All goes as planned until Nicholas takes a trip to Cannes where he falls for another woman. PERFECT UNDERSTANDING is the perfect example of legends doing an awful film. There's really no doubt about it but this thing is just deadly dull from the word go and it never picks up any steam. It's easy to see why the movie was such a disaster when it was originally released but the most confusing thing is why Swanson decided to produce this herself and in England. I mean, this type of melodrama was flowing from every small and major studio in America so going to England really didn't do anything to improve the film. Even worse is that we have so many boring dialogue scenes that just drag everything out that the viewer will be wanting to stick sharp knives in their eyes. Things don't get any better once Olivier does the cheating as we get some pretty boring situations leading to a finale, which is just downright awful. It seems the film wants to return to Swanson's glory silent days because the picture really does look and feel like a silent at times but it's done in such a way that the entire thing just seems old-fashioned and it just doesn't work with the dialogue. Swanson is good in her role but sadly she's not given too much to do. Olivier is excellent in his part but one wishes the great performance was going towards a better cause. PERFECT UNDERSTANDING had pretty much been forgotten for over seven decades until it was brought back up to the surface but sadly, only die-hard fans of the stars should even bother with it.

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