The Private Life of Don Juan
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlexander Korda
Written byFrederick Lonsdale
Lajos Bíró
Based onL'homme à la Rose
1920 play
by Henry Bataille
Produced byAlexander Korda (uncredited)
StarringDouglas Fairbanks
Merle Oberon
CinematographyGeorges Perinal
Robert LaPresle
Edited byStephen Harrison
Music byErnst Toch
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • 30 November 1934 (1934-11-30)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Private Life of Don Juan is a 1934 British comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Korda and starring Douglas Fairbanks, Merle Oberon and Benita Hume. At the age of 51, it was the final role of Fairbanks, who died five years later. The film is about the life of the aging Don Juan, based on the 1920 play L'homme à la Rose ["The Man With the Rose"] by Henry Bataille. It was made by Korda's London Film Productions at British & Dominion Studios in Elstree/Borehamwood and distributed by United Artists.[2]


After twenty years in exile, an aging Don Juan returns to Seville in secret with his friend Leporello trying to keep his health in check. His wife Dolores has threatened to have him thrown in prison because he won't see her after five years of absences. The next morning, he is surprised to find that all the town knows he is back. Rodrigo, an admirer of his, follows Don Juan everywhere, wanting to be just like him, and able to give a good impression of him with his own amorous advances. Don Juan prepares to flee to France but Rodrigo is killed by a jealous husband who believes he is Don Juan and all Seville now believes him dead. A book and play of his exploits are even written as he assumes the life of a Captain in seclusion. He attends his own magnificent funeral; six months later, having found many discomforts when pretending that Don Juan is dead (particularly when his statement of being Don Juan results in various moments of laughter from the people he tells), he returns to Seville. His attempts to discredit the play as fiction fall short as no one believes him, even when his "widow" is asked about him. However, the two reunite together in bed, complete with him breaking a window to get there.



  1. ^ "Good Pix Can't Be Made Cheaply". Variety. 12 June 1934. p. 21.
  2. ^ Warren, Patricia (2001). British Film Studios: An Illustrated History. London: B. T. Batsford. p. 79.