Expensive Husbands (1937): Bobby Connolly’s Romantic Comedy

Bobby Connolly directed Expensive Husbands, a minor comedy about culture collusion and mistaken identities, written by Lillie Hayward, Jean Negulesco and Jay Brennan.

Actress Laurine Lynne (Beverly Roberts), unable to get work in the US, travels to Europe hoping to find employment. She makes a grand entrance at a Viennese hotel, immediately impressing Rupert (Patric Knowles), one of the waiters.

While serving her dinner, he claims that although he admires her, he can tell from her movies that she has never known great love.

Joe Craig (Allyn Joslyn), Laurine’s press agent, informs Laurie that she has gotten a desired part. He suggests that Laurine marry a title to help her career, and taking his advice, Laurine advertises for a marriage of convenience.

Rupert, who is in fact an impoverished prince, answers the ad. Both are surprised when they learn their respective identities, but proceed with the marriage. Both are convinced that the other went through with the marriage for selfish reasons: Laurine for the title, Rupert for the money.

Nonetheless, forced to spend their honeymoon night in a hotel that was Rupert’s home, Laurine waits hopefully for her groom to come to bed. Rupert, however, is disgusted by Laurine’s determination to return to Hollywood and her career and, in the middle of the night, leaves the hotel.

The next morning, Joe tells Laurine that has been signed to a picture. Her reviews are good, but now the press wants to meet the prince. During a press conference, where Laurine proclaims that she and her husband are madly in love, Rupert unexpectedly shows up. He whispers that her love scenes have improved, but before he can explain his arrival, Laurine accuses him of returning for her money.

Rupert spends much money, though he reveals to Joe that he is depositing an equal sum of money to her bank account. Rupert now has money after meeting the conditions of a will stipulating that he must earn a certain amount of money before getting his inheritance.

Returning to Vienna, he begs Laurine to give up her career and come with him. At first, she refuses, but later, she arrives at Rupert’s home, which he has bought back for his wife.

The modest film was released by Warner on November 27, 1937.

Running time: 62 Minutes.

Patric Knowles as Prince Rupert Heinrich Franz Von Rentzau
Beverly Roberts as Laurine Lynne
Allyn Joslyn as Joe Craig
Gordon Oliver as Ricky Preston
Vladimir Sokoloff as Herr Andrew Brenner
Eula Guy as Trommy
Robert Fischer as Joseph
Fritz Feld as Herr Meyer
Ann Codee as Maria
George Humbert as Giovanni
Otto Fries as Franz


I am grateful to TCM for showing the movie on July 25, 2019.