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Public Opinion

Public Opinion(1935)

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Opera star Mona Trevor plans a long vacation at the end of the opera season with her husband, eminent bacteriologist Paul Arnold. When Paul arrives in Mona's dressing room after the final performance, he finds tenor Carlos Duran making love to her. Mona explains to her jealous husband that Duran forced himself upon her. Later, during a gathering at their house to discuss the upcoming season, Paul returns from a walk and again finds Duran embracing Mona. Paul incorrectly assumes that they are having an affair and demands that his wife leave their home. Later, the couple goes to court to determine who will have custody of their son, Tommy. The judge rules that Mona is an unfit mother and gives the boy to Paul. After Mona leaves for Milan, Joan Nash, Paul's interior decorator neighbor, helps him care for Tommy and soon falls in love with him. Paul learns that Duran has followed Mona to Milan, but he does not know that Mona continues to rebuff his advances. Trying to forget her unhappy life, Mona begins to drink heavily and loses her voice and her job. Broke, Mona does menial work to pay her passage back to the United States, where she returns to the home of her father and twin sister, Anne. Mona learns that Tommy has contracted infantile paralysis from accidental contact with the germs in his father's laboratory. Barred from all contact with her son, Mona gains access to Paul's home by impersonating Anne and rushes to her son's bedside. Although he is on the brink of death, Tommy recognizes his mother and his fever breaks. The doctor announces that Tommy is out of danger, and Paul, who also recognizes his wife, begs Mona's forgiveness.