CHILDREN OF DIVORCE was actually directed by Frank Lloyd for Famous Players-Lasky Corporation/Paramount Pictures, with a million-dollar budget. The story of the film begins in an American "divorce colony" in Paris after the First World War, where parents would leave their children for months at a time. Jean, Kitty, and Ted meet there as children and become fast friends. Years later, in America, when wealthy Ted (Gary Cooper) reconnects with Jean (Esther Ralston), the two fall deeply in love, vowing to fulfill a childhood promise to one day marry each other. But true love and the most innocent of plans are no match for the scheming Kitty—played by the original Hollywood “It” girl, Clara Bow—who targets Ted for his fortune. After a night of drunken revelry, Ted wakes up to find he has unwittingly married Kitty. This unfortunate turn of events, however, carries with it the traumatized pasts of the three players, whose views of marriage have been shaped as children of divorce.


“[Paramount producer B.P. Schulberg] decided the film needed some European sophistication, and he turned to von Sternberg…The actors, having gone on to new films, were available only at night, so shooting took place after hours. As all the sets had already been struck, von Sternberg and cinematographer Victor Milner filmed everything in a tent, timing shots between rainstorms. This gave von Sternberg complete command of lighting…Shadows and texture imposed a poignant atmosphere not present in Bow’s acting…CHILDREN OF DIVORCE showed that von Sternberg could be a company man and work as part of a team. He was rewarded by Schulberg with the film [UNDERWORLD] that would launch his reputation.”

– John Baxter, von Sternberg



Sourced from the original nitrate negative held by the Library of Congress, as well as their 1969 fine grain master, this new restoration of CHILDREN OF DIVORCE was scanned in 4K resolution, and represents over 200 hours of laboratory work by the Library of Congress in order to create the best version possible. Though some deterioration remains, this is the first time the film has ever been released on home video, allowing audiences to enjoy a rare viewing of classic performances from two of early cinema’s most recognizable stars.



Format: Blu-ray & DVD-NTSC Combo /
Region All & Region 0
(No Regional Code)


(US, 1927)

Director: Frank Lloyd & Josef von Sternberg (uncredited)
Cast: Clara Bow, Gary Cooper & Esther Ralston

• 71 minutes
• B&W


Bonus Material

• “Clara Bow: Discovering the 'It' Girl” – Narrated by Courtney Love, this hour-long film documents the life of the woman who would become the icon of the flapper era, from her tragic childhood to her tumultuous personal life as Hollywood’s first sex symbol.

• Souvenir Booklet – Featuring rare photographs; an essay by film preservationist and Clara Bow biographer David Stenn; notes on the production of the documentary by producer-director Hugh Munro Neely; and a brief write-up about the music by Rodney Sauer, score compiler and director of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.


Total Running Time: 01:11:00 (Blu-ray/DVD)

Language: English intertitles

Musical Score: Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Booklet Text: David Stenn, Hugh Munro Neely & Rodney Sauer

Published By: Flicker Alley

Institutional Price: $300 (plus shipping)

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.