Woman Against Woman (1938): Sinclair’s Romantic Melodrama, Starring Herbert Marshall, Mary Astor, and Virginia Bruce

Directed by Robert B. Sinclair and written by Edward Chodorov, Woman Against Woman is a minor romantic melodrama, though well-acted by its stellar cast.

Herbert Marshall plays attorney Stephen Holland, an unhappily married man, wishing to divorce his elegant and pretentious wife Cynthia (Mary Astor), though concerned over impact on Ellen (Juanita Quigley), their young daughter.

Planning to make her ex-husband’s miserable, Cynthia deceives Stephen’s mother into her side, and Mrs. Holland suggest that the little girl remain in Cynthia’s custody.  Having to leave on work trip to Washington, D.C., he reluctantly agrees.

At a reception he meets and becomes smitten with Maris Kent (Virginia Bruce). They get married and move back to Stephen’s hometown, but Cynthia conspires to ruin their lives, having friends snub Maris at the country club.

Away with her daughter at a remote inn, Cynthia schemes to make Stephen abandon his wife by pretending their daughter is ill. Stephen’s wife and mother decide accompany him to the inn, where they discover a carefree Cynthia dancing and Ellen perfectly fine, disclosing her true identity.


Running time: 60 Minutes.

The film was released by MGM on June 24, 1938.