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Robert and Beth Gordon are married but share little. He runs into Sally at a cabaret and the Gordons are soon divorced. Just as he gets bored with Sally's superficiality, Beth strives to improve her looks. The original couple falls in love again at a summer resort. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Why Change Your Wife was part of Cecil B. DeMille's "marriage trilogy" and is a sly and well-acted 1920 silent film that stars Gloria Swanson as a dowdy and prissy wife whose husband (Thomas Meighan) is bored with. He wants fun and romance! So he trots off to a dressmaker to buy her a negligee to spice up the marriage. But an ambitious model (Bebe Daniels) recognizes him as her mother's old boss and sets out to trap him. Of course he is putty in her hands and she causes a divorce.
After the divorce Swanson overhears two women gossiping about her in the next changing room. She decides to "jazz up her lingerie" and win the husband back. Of course they all end up at the same Atlantic City hotel where the transformed Swanson (what a bathing suit!) catches his eye anew. Through a series of plot twists, including the manic cat fight between the two women with threats of throwing acid, poor Bebe concedes defeat and (after emptying his wallet of cash) leaves him to Swanson.
Good fun and all 3 stars are terrific. Also taking center stage are the women's fashions (hilariously "exotic") and the interior decor. DeMille was the first director to understand the importance of film as a TREND SETTER and basically created the product endorsement mania so prevalent in today's films.
Sylvia Ashton is Aunt Kate, Theodore Kosloff is the violinist, Lucien Littlefeld is the butler, and William Boyd is one of the hotel guests. The hotel is quite a spot, and mention should be made of the cat and dog fight which presages the battle between Swanson and Daniels. The dog is funny, and the cat is named Toodles, which was the name of the home wrecker played by Julia Faye in the preceding "marriage" film: Don't Change Your Husband.
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