In Name Only

Only in name (OT: In Name Only ) is an American feature film with Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Kay Francis in the lead roles, directed by John Cromwell.


Alec Walker is unhappy with Maida, a thoroughly calculating woman, married. She has not Alec married for love, but to escape poverty and lack. Now she takes advantage of her husband and drives him with their emotional coldness in drunkenness. All the world is Alec blame for the misery and praises in return Maida for their seemingly infinite patience and forbearance. Especially Alec's parents accuse him constantly that he treated his wife ruthlessly.

One day Alec learns the young artist Julie Eden know, whose husband died recently and is then pulled with her little daughter Ellen in a cottage. Both fall in love and Alec decides to change his life from scratch. The people begin to whisper about the two lovers and by chance also Maida and Julie get to know. First undecided about the rest, Maida finally agrees to allow divorce because Alec wants to grant her a generous severance. Shortly before leaving for Paris, where everything should go as quietly as possible across the stage, incites Suzanne, a scheming woman who has repeatedly tried to seduce Alec and begrudge him no luck at another, Maida to call off the divorce. Alec expires after this setback, more and more alcohol and gets pneumonia. He is almost dying when Julie very reluctantly gets out of Alec's mother for permission to replace his bed. Maida is outraged and insulted Julie. She says she got married Alec only greed and money and no one will make her the position in dispute, even if Alec would die of a broken heart. However, your father hears the conversation and has Maida out of the house. Alec summarizes new lease on life and the lovers finally have a future.


Kay Francis had after a bitter dispute with Warner Brothers Studio fulfilled their end of the contract in 1938. This was preceded by a legal process which Francis had brought the end of 1937 in order to prematurely disembark from their current contract can. She stated, the studio had offered her only inferior screenplays and verbal commitments to put it in better roles like Tovarich or Three sisters from Montana broken. The studio first tried to buy out the actress from her current contract and offered to pay her 50 % of the outstanding fees. Francis refused and the trial ended in September 1937 with a comparison. Warner Brothers added the actress from now on only in B-movies one to bring Francis to break their contract. At the end of the career of former stars was broken and Francis announced in spring 1939, to say goodbye forever from the screen. It was her good friend Carole Lombard, which they knew from early days at Paramount Pictures, which offered her the role of Maida Walker. Francis accepted and gave one of her best and still most famous interpretations. The actress put the role of the wife, who married only of material interests out deliberately restrained to. The film was initially under the title Memory of Love in work and was renamed shortly before the official hire date in August 1939.

Theatrical Release

With production costs of 722,000 U.S. dollars was only nominally a slightly above average expensive for RKO production conditions. The film proved at the box office with domestic revenue of 926,000 U.S. dollars and another 395,000 dollars on the foreign markets with a total score of 1,321,000 U.S. dollars as a comparatively popular. At the end of the studio was able to record a profit of 155,000 U.S. dollars.


In the New York Times, Bosley Crowther gave praise and the other ID:

"It is particularly gratifying to encounter a film that takes the age-old theme of husband, wife and other woman without false restraint. [ ... ] Miss Lombard interpreted her moving role with all the delicate intensity and underlying passion that they have become a major dramatic actress mature. Kay Francis, this time on the other hand, plays the best wife superior, and ruthless. A fundamentally superior performer team helps to make one of the most challenging and most entertaining films of the year. "

The The Washington Post wrote particularly warm words of appreciation for Kay Francis:

" Kay Francis, on the other hand, has little room for humor in her role as refined and manipulative Maida Walker. She is such a gentle and disarming threat to domestic tranquility and personal happiness as it has ever been one. "


  • John Callahan - Kay Francis: Secrets of an Actress - Article in Bright Lights Film Journal, May 2006 issue
  • Lynn Kear and John Rossman - Kay Francis: A Passionate Life and Career - McFarland & Company, 2006; ISBN 0-7864-2366-8.
  • Scott O'Brien - Kay Francis: I Can not Wait to Be Forgotten. Her Life on Stage and Film - Bear Manor Media, 2006; ISBN 1-59393-036-4.