Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Kept Husbands

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Lloyd Bacon

Music director
Max Steiner


United States



William LeBaron


Kept Husbands movie poster

Louis Sarecky
Forrest Halsey

Release date
February 22, 1931 (1931-02-22) (US)

Dorothy Mackaill
(Dorothea 'Dot' Parker Brunton),
Joel McCrea
(Richard 'Dick' Brunton),
Clara Kimball Young
(Mrs. Henrietta Post)

Similar movies
Related Lloyd Bacon movies

Kept Husbands is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Lloyd Bacon, starring Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea, with major supporting roles filled by Robert McWade, Florence Roberts and Mary Carr. The original story was written by the film's associate producer, Louis Sarecky, and adapted for the screen by Forrest Halsey and Alfred Jackson. Although primarily a drama, the film has many comedic touches to it. The film centers around the class struggles and stereotypes between the working class and the wealthy, which was particularly striking during the Depression era when this film was made. The film also points out the stereotypical gender roles which were prevalent at that time.


Kept Husbands wwwgstaticcomtvthumbdvdboxart42431p42431d

Plot summary

Kept Husbands Kept Husbands a moralistic mediation on marriage Girls Do Film

Arthur Parker (Robert McWade) is a wealthy steel magnate who is relating the story to his snobbish wife and spoiled daughter of one of his plant supervisors who fearlessly rushed in and saved the lives of two of his fellow co-workers. When his wife, Henrietta (Florence Roberts), asks if he rewarded the young man, Parker shows his astonishment by saying that the hero had refused the thousand dollars he had offered. When the daughter, Dot (Dorothy Mackaill), remarks that she would like to meet a man like that, the father tells her not to worry, she will, for he is coming to dinner that very evening. Henrietta is aghast at having to socialize with someone not of their class, but Parker, who is a better judge of character, assures her that all will be well.

Kept Husbands Kept Husbands a moralistic mediation on marriage Girls Do Film

During dinner, Dot is smitten with the young man, Dick Brunton (Joel McCrea). She makes a bet with her father that she can get him to marry her within four weeks. The father takes that bet, and lo and behold she wins Dick’s heart and gets him to accept her proposal of marriage by the deadline, despite his fears of their different social circumstances.

Kept Husbands Kept Husbands 1931 drama starring Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea

After the wedding, Parker sends the newlyweds on an expensive honeymoon to Europe, after which they return to their lavish home, also supplied by Parker. Parker also promotes Dick, but within six months, his new lifestyle threatens to emasculate Dick, who loses interest in his career and finds himself dominated by Dot's vapid, social whirl of bridge games, cocktail parties and passive acceptance of life as a "kept husband". This does not sit well with the proud husband, and when Parker offers him a chance to prove himself with a new position in St. Louis, he jumps at the chance. When told of the opportunity however, Dot is less than enthusiastic, not wanting to leave her friends and social circle. She refuses to agree to accompany Dick.

Kept Husbands Kept Husbands 1931 The Blonde at the Film

Dick decides to go to St. Louis, with or without Dot, making her incredibly upset. Not knowing what to do, he goes to ask advice from his mother (Mary Carr), who tells him that he needs to reconcile with Dot before he leaves for St. Louis. Meanwhile, Dot has agreed to meet with a former beau, Charles Bates (Bryant Washburn), who attempts to seduce her. When she returns to their house the following morning, Dick questions her regarding her whereabouts. She lies to him, and he knows it, since he had seen her with Washburn the prior evening. Furious, he storms out, saying their marriage is over, and intending to resign from Parker’s company.

Kept Husbands Kept Husbands 1931 YouTube

Realizing her love for him, Dot eventually finds Dick at the rail station, about to leave for St. Louis. He has decided to take Parker’s position after all. The husband and wife reconcile, with Dot agreeing to live within the means that Dick's salary can provide.


  • Dorothy Mackaill as Dorothea "Dot" Parker Brunton
  • Joel McCrea as Richard "Dick" Brunton
  • Ned Sparks as Hughie Hanready
  • Mary Carr as Mrs. Brunton
  • Clara Kimball Young as Mrs. Henrietta Post
  • Robert McWade as Arthur Parker
  • Bryant Washburn as Charlie Bates
  • Florence Roberts as Mrs. Henrietta Parker
  • Freeman Wood as Mr. Post
  • Lita Chevret as Gwen
  • (Cast list as per AFI database)


  • "The Wedding March", written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
  • "Three Little Words", written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby - whistled by Joel McCrea
  • References

    Kept Husbands Wikipedia
    Kept Husbands IMDb Kept Husbands

    Similar Topics