1920s, Drama, Fashion, Romance, Silent Era

Our Dancing Daughters.

Our Dancing Daughters is a 1928 American silent drama film, starring Joan Crawford and John Mack Brown, about the “loosening of youth morals” that took place during the 1920s. The film was directed by Harry Beaumont and produced by Hunt Stromberg. This was the film that made Joan Crawford a major star, a position she held for the following half century.

While the film has no audible dialog, it was released with a synchronized soundtrack and sound effects.

“Dangerous Diana” Medford (Crawford) is outwardly flamboyant and popular but inwardly virtuous and idealistic, patronizing her parents by telling them not to stay out late. Her friend Ann chases boys for their money and is as amoral as her mother.

Diana and Ann are both attracted to Ben Blaine (Brown). He takes Diana’s flirtatious behavior with other boys as a sign that she is uninterested in him and marries Ann, who has lied about her virtues. Bea, a mutual friend of Diana and Ann, also meets and marries a wealthy suitor who loves her but is haunted with her past.

Diana becomes distraught for a while with the marriage of her friends with questionable pasts. She decides to go away and Bea throws a party for her in which Ben declined and made Ann decline as well. The same evening Ann hopes to meet up with her lover, Freddie, telling her husband she is going to see her sick mom. When her mom calls and Ben realizes Ann has lied to him yet again they get into an argument and Ann storms out to meet Freddie.

Now alone, Ben decides to stop by the party where he and Diana realize their love for each other. Meanwhile a drunk Ann follows Freddie into the party only to find Ben and Diana. She makes a drunken scene in which both Diana and Ben leave the party declaring their love but saying their goodbyes to each other.

Bea’s husband comes home to find Bea trying to get a drunk Ann home. As Ann is mocking cleaning ladies and her life (as her mom used her beauty), Ann stumbles and falls to her death down a flight of stairs. Headlines show Diana returning home after a lengthy time away and she and Ben are free to unite.

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1920s, Drama, Fashion, Romance, Silent Era

Lady of the Night.

Some screen images of Norma Shearer as Molly Helmer/Florence Banning in the 1925 American silent film ‘Lady of the Night’ directed by Monta Bell.

Chris Helmer (Lew Harvey) is sentenced to 20 years in prison by Judge Banning (Fred Esmelton), and has to leave his wife and baby girl. By coincidence, the judge has a daughter about the same age.

Eighteen years later, the two now motherless young women (both played by Shearer) graduate, Florence Banning from an exclusive private school, Molly Helmer from reform school. Molly and her two friends become taxi dancers. One day, Molly rejects the advances of a stranger at the dance hall where she works. When her boyfriend, “Chunky” Dunn (George K. Arthur), tries to defend her, he gets knocked down. She is rescued by Chunky’s friend, inventor David Page (Malcolm McGregor), and falls in love with him. Page is oblivious to this and only sees her as a good pal. The more perceptive Chunky becomes increasingly jealous.

Page perfects a device that can open any safe. Chunky tells him that he knows a gang of crooks who would pay a lot of money for it, but Molly tells him that crime does not pay. Page shows his invention to the directors of a bank, Judge Banning being one. They are impressed and purchase it. As he is leaving the meeting, David bumps into Florence. She too falls for him. Soon, they are dating, much to the displeasure of Florence’s spinster aunt. However, when Florence meets Molly by accident at David’s workshop, she can see that Molly also loves David. She tells David that Molly has a greater claim to him and breaks up with him. When she gets into her limousine however, she finds Molly there waiting for her. Molly urges her to marry David, thinking only of his happiness. To fool David into believing she never loved him, Molly accepts Chunky’s standing offer of marriage.

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1920s, Comedy, Romance, Silent Era

Why Change Your Wife?

Some images of actress Gloria Swanson in the 1920 American silent comedy film ‘Why Change Your Wife?’ directed by Cecil B DeMille it tells how Beth Gordon (Swanson) a frumpy housewife devotes herself to bettering her husband’s mind and expanding his appreciation for the finer things in life, such as classical music. When he goes shopping at a lingerie store to buy some sexier clothes for her, he meets Sally, the shop girl. Rejected by his wife for a night out on the town, he takes Sally, who douses him with her perfume. When Beth smells another woman’s perfume, she kicks him out and files for divorce.

The film also starred Thomas Meigham as the hapless husband Robert, Bebe Daniels as the seductress that is Sally the shop girl and Sylvia Ashton as Swanson’s Aunt Kate.

 

 

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1920s, 1930s, Drama, Romance, Silent Era

Ramon Novarro.

I was always the hero – with no vices – reciting practically the same lines to the leading lady. The current crop of movie heroes are less handicapped than the old ones. They are more human. The leading men of silent films were Adonises and Apollos. Today, the hero can even take a poke at the leading lady. In my time, a hero who hit the girl just once would have been out.

 

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