Kiss, The (1929) - full review!
Directed by Jacques Feyder, with a screenplay by Hanns Kräly (The Patriot (1928)), this Irving Thalberg produced silent was MGM's last. It stars Greta Garbo & Conrad Nagel, and features a young Lew Ayres immediately before he would star in the Academy Award winning Best Picture All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). The cast also includes Holmes Herbert, Anders Randolf, George Davis, and André Cheron. It's a pretty good story about a man who correctly assumes his wife is having an affair and a misunderstanding that leads to tragedy.
Irene Guarry (Garbo) and André Dubail (Nagel), who are having an illicit affair, meet secretly in an art museum. It's clear that Irene will not leave her husband for the younger man, because her husband needs her. They "agree" to stop seeing one another. She returns to Charles (Randolf) and dotes on him a bit before he goes out. The suspicious Charles hires a detective (Davis) to follow his wife, and he witnesses an innocent meeting between Irene and a 20 year old "boy" Pierre Lassalle (Ayres) at a dog show. Pierre's puppy love for Irene begins there, and grows at the tennis courts later, when he sees Irene again and asks for a picture of her before he returns to college. Charles hears of Irene's meeting with Pierre from the detective, and later sees a brief interaction between them at a dinner party. Ironically, he's then comforted by André, who had a brief interaction with Irene himself.
Later, Charles asks Lassalle, Pierre's father (Herbert) for a loan to help him through a tough financial situation. They agree to meet at Lassalle’s home at another time . After kissing her husband goodbye that evening, Irene is surprised when Pierre arrives for the photograph. She gives him a picture she had selected, but then he insists on a goodbye kiss also. She agrees to kiss him at the door on his way out. Charles, who wasn't feeling well, returns home instead of continuing to Lassalle’s and witnesses "the kiss". Assuming the worst, he storms into the house and "chases" Pierre into his office; Irene follows and the door closes. We the audience aren't sure what happened behind that closed door, but then we see a bloodied Pierre return to his father, who'd been waiting for Charles.
*** SPOILERS ***
Charles was killed and the police question Irene. She tells them a confused and ever changing story which, along with an experiment as to whether she could have heard the shot in her bedroom, causes the police to arrest her for her husband's murder. At the trial, the prosecutor (Cheron) accuses her of the crime. Irene takes the stand, but Pierre, whose name she kept out of it, is never called. But then Guarry’s financial difficulties are disclosed and suicide is tendered as the cause of his death. The jury finds Irene not guilty, and an overjoyed André joins her in the anteroom. Pierre sees the love the two have for one another and departs. Irene tells André of the struggle in the office, that Charles was about to kill Pierre when she found his gun in the desk and shot her husband.