Tarnish (1924)



May McAvoy .................... Letitia Tevis

Ronald Colman ................. Emmet Carr

Marie Prevost ..................... Nettie Dark

Albert Gran ....................... Adolf Tevis

Mrs Russ Whytall ............... Josephine Tevis

Priscilla Bonner ................... Aggie

Harry Myers ......................... Barber


Producer : Samuel Goldwyn

Director : George Fitzmaurice

Screenplay : Frances Marion from

                       the play “Tarnish”

                         by Gilbert Emery

Release dates and timing :

New York,The Strand,Ocober 12, 1924

Los Angeles,Rialto,November 21, 1924

6,831 feet (76 minutes), Variety:73 minutes

Alternate Titles

Ein Mädchen aus gutem Hause, Germany

Het eeuwige mannelijke/ Zijn vroegere vriendinnetje/ Iedere Man, Netherlands

This film is considered lost!

The following is a synopsis translated from the German filmprogramme Illustrierter Filmkurier.

Adolf Tevis is the born spender.He accomplished spending his wife's riches to the last penny. He has been hoping in vain to inherit money from an old wealthy aunt. The only thing he gets is an annuity of $ 1000 and this is not enough to finance his dear hobbies. Thus his daughter Letitia has got to earn money to support her parents. She is working in an office. Her employer, Emmet Carr, is so taken in by the juvenile charms of his secretary that he falls for her. The initial friendship soon develops into true love, which causes him to change his former lose way of living. He also abandons all bonds with his former girlfriend, Nettie Dark-a cunning little devil- who works as a manicurist at a coiffeur's. On New Year's Eve Tevis gets the biannual pension of $ 500. An amount of unpaid bills needs to be taken care of. Overruling her objections his wife delivers the cheque to Tevis, so he might cash at a bank. Joyfully the old bon vivant goes for the errand.After having received the money he enters the establishment where Nettie is working to get his hands manicured. Nettie notices the bundle of banknotes and flatters in her loveliest manner this wealthy client. They enter a dance hall together and there Nettie enacts a soppy scene. Onions cause tears and tears are something that Tevis' good-natured heart cannot bear. To pay for the outstanding rent and the unpaid fur-coat he gives away banknote after banknote and when they finally leave the premises the $ 500 have changed the proprietor.
In the late evening Tevis gets back home. With great expectations the two women are looking forward to his return. But alas the money is gone.Tevis makes up a hokey fairy-tale. His purse must have been robbed.But Letitia is well aware of her father's tricks she pegs away and succeeds in finding out who has taken her father's money.She makes up her mind to pay Nettie a visit in order to tell her of their desperate situation and also to try to get the money back.-

Nettie has made up her mind to spend New Year's Eve with her former boyfriend Emmet- although she has been neglected by him recently. In order to avoid a refusal from Emmet she asks a friend to call Emmet and tell him that Nettie is lying fatally ill in her bed at home and that she is desperately in need for his help.
Reluctantly Emmet gives in to the call-to his suprise he encounters no ailing person though but a  rathere alive and kicking woman who desires to amuse herself.-Nettie usese all her seductive powers to win the heart of the reluctant Emmet again. But it's all in vain. Emmet resists her advances.
Suddenly Letitia appears on the scene because she wants to talk Nettie into giving back the money.She encounters her fiancé-tete-à-tete with his former mistress-she notices the arranged teatable,the opened liqueur and wine bottles- she notices Nettie dressed up in a seductively thin negligé- what further proof does she need to ensure herself that Emmet has taken up his former way of life again? Appalled and hurt in her inmost heart she turns away from Emmet. She doesn't want to listen to him trying to explain the situation. Completely broken-hearted she returns home. The old year is coming to its end, the new one starts in complete desolation.
Enraged by Nettie's scheming Emmet makes her join him in going to Letitia's. Only reluctantly but in the end submissive Nettie explains the complicated situation and admits that she had designed to get back Emmet.
Very slowly and reluctantly Letitia gets persuaded that it has all been a mistake. She almost cannot believe that it was only his good heart that brought Emmet to Nettie and that his loyal love only belongs to her-his fiancée. But slowly and gradually her resistance diminishes- and as the bells are ringing the new year her love for him takes hold of her heart again. With blessed eyes she let's her lover embrace her- welcoming the new year and a new happiness.
An enchanting parlour game of glittering esprit that is brought to the utmost impression by its outstanding cast. Marie Prevost,famous for her portrayals of the petite ( German: “Weibchentyp”), May McAvoy and Ronald Colman form a mimic triangle of elect harmony.