Their Own Desire

Their Own Desire is a 1929 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by E. Mason Hopper and starring Norma Shearer, Belle Bennett, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery, and Helene Millard. The film was adapted by James Forbes and Frances Marion from the novel[1] by Sarita Fuller; Lucille Newmark wrote the titles.[2] It is also the last MGM film in the 1920s. Shearer was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, but lost to herself for The Divorcee.

Their Own Desire
Lobby card
Directed byE. Mason Hopper
Written byFrances Marion
James Forbes (dialogue)
Lucille Newmark (titles)
Based onTheir Own Desire
by Sarita Fuller
StarringNorma Shearer
Belle Bennett
Lewis Stone
Robert Montgomery
Helene Millard
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byHarry Reynolds
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 27, 1929 (1929-12-27)
Running time
65 minutes
CountryUnited States


A young woman is upset by the knowledge that her father is divorcing her mother in order to marry another woman. Her own feelings change, however, when she falls in love with a young man who turns out to be the son of her father's new love.



The pool scenes in which John Cheever meets Lally Marlett for the first time were filmed at the Norconian Resort Supreme competition diving and swimming pools. While the diving boards and three diving platforms are long gone, the two Norconian pools are still intact, though worse for wear as of 2008, in the middle of what is now the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, California.


  1. Allmovie film entry calls Fuller's work a short story.
  2. Film Daily; Film Daily (1931). Film Daily Year Book (1931). Media History Digital Library. New York, The Film Daily.
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