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Don't Change Your Husband (1919)

 -  Comedy  -  26 January 1919 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 851 users  
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Leila Porter comes to dislike her husband James, a glue king who is always eating onions and looking sloppy. But after she divorces him and marries two-timing playboy Schuyler Van Sutphen the now-reformed James looks pretty good.



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Title: Don't Change Your Husband (1919)

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Complete credited cast:
Elliott Dexter ...
James Denby Porter
Leila Porter
Lew Cody ...
Schuyler Van Sutphen
Sylvia Ashton ...
Mrs. Huckney
Theodore Roberts ...
The Bishop, Rt. Rev. Thomas Thornby
Julia Faye ...
Nanette aka Toodles
James Neill ...
Ted Shawn ...


Leila Porter comes to dislike her husband James, a glue king who is always eating onions and looking sloppy. But after she divorces him and marries two-timing playboy Schuyler Van Sutphen the now-reformed James looks pretty good.

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Release Date:

26 January 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Don't Change Your Husband  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filming began on 7 November 1918, but was interrupted less than an hour later when (false) reports that the war was over reached Paramount, and everyone was sent home for the rest of the day. See more »


Title Card: Fate sometimes lurks in Christmas shopping.
See more »


Referenced in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Gloria Swanson's Big 1919 Hit
11 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Cecil B. DeMille directed a series of domestic comedy-dramas in the late teens and early 20s. He found his perfect leading lady for these provocative pieces in Gloria Swanson. In Don't Change Your Husband, Swanson plays a bored housewife whose wealthy businessman husband (Elliott Dexter) pays more attention to work than to her. She is chased by a handsome roue (Lew Cody) until she relents and divorces the boring husband for the new lover.

Things soon become familiar and Swanson discovers the new husband is as neglectful as the first. To make matters worse she discovers Cody has a woman on the side (Julia Faye). After several confrontations and convenient meetings, things are resolved.

This was a smash hit in 1919 and helped make Gloria Swanson a major star. Although she was only 20 when she filmed this she is very good as the maybe foolish wife. She looks great and wears some stunning gowns.

There is one memorable scene that is 100% DeMille in which Cody is luring Swanson with promises of wealth, pleasure, and love. As he coos to her she imagines the scenes. Pleasure is a fantastic scene of Swanson in a spidery hammock swinging out over a pool while people dance around. Wealth is a scene in which Swanson is gowned like a Babylonian queen as servants bring her chests of jewels, which shes tosses aside. Love is a scene in which she is a wood nymph making love in a forest glade with a Pan-like character (Ted Shawn). Pure hokum but very entertaining, and Swanson looks great.

Dexter is very good as the bland husband who shaves off his moustache and starts to work out in order to win his wife back. Cody is also good as the fake charmer who is a liar and cheat. Faye is funny as the bitchy other woman--named Toodles no less--who gets hers. Sylvia Ashton plays Mrs. Huckney. Ted Shawn was married to Ruth St. Denis and together they were groundbreaking and influential modern dancers (of the Denishawn School).

Swanson impresses me more every time I see her. She seems to have been such a natural actress and yet there is a way that the camera captures her expressive face that is just mesmerizing. She's a joy to watch.

Very entertaining film with lots of color tints in varying scenes to keep things lively. And a lot of the furnishings are back in style 86 years later.

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