Stronger Than Desire (1939): Fenton’s Marital Melodrama, Starring Walter Pidgeon and Virginia Bruce

Leslie Fenton directed Stronger Than Desire, a second-tier marital melodrama, a remake of the 1932 Evelyn Prentice, starring Walter Pidgeon and Virginia Bruce, who for a change, is cast in the lead role.

Believing her husband Tyler Flagg (Walter Pidgeon) has been seeing another woman, Barbara Winter, Elizabeth (Bruce) begins a relationship with Michael McLain, who then blackmails her with her love letters.

During a struggle for the letters, a gun goes off, McLain falls and Elizabeth flees. The police find McLain’s wife Eva near the body and charge her with murder.

Feeling guilty, Elizabeth asks her husband lawyer to defend Eva in court. He succeeds in proving that someone else shot, unaware that his wife was involved.

Eva confesses but she is set free due to her acting in self-defense.

Virginia Bruce as Elizabeth Flagg
Walter Pidgeon as Tyler Flagg
Lee Bowman as Michael McLain
Ann Dvorak as Eva McLain
Ilka Chase as Jo Brennan
Rita Johnson as Barbara Winter
Richard Lane as Jerry Brody
Ann E. Todd as Susan Flagg (credited as Ann Todd)
Paul Stanton as Assistant D.A. Galway
Ferike Boros as Mrs. D’Amoro

Made on a small budget, the film broke even at the box-office.