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The Affairs of Anatol (1921)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  25 September 1921 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,026 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

Socialite Anatol Spencer seeks a better relation that he has with his wife. He sets up the friend of his youth Emilie in an apartment only to have her two-time him. He comforts the near ... See full summary »

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(uncredited)

Writers:

(suggested by play of the same name), (by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Vivian Spencer - Anatol's Wife
...
Emilie Dixon
Theodore Roberts ...
Gordon Bronson
Elliott Dexter ...
Max Runyon
Theodore Kosloff ...
Mr. Nazzer Singh - Hindu Hypnotist
...
Annie Elliott
Monte Blue ...
Abner Elliott
...
Satan Synne
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Storyline

Socialite Anatol Spencer seeks a better relation that he has with his wife. He sets up the friend of his youth Emilie in an apartment only to have her two-time him. He comforts the near suicide Annie only to have her rob him of his wallet. "Satan" Synne, the "wickedest woman in New York," looks promising but she's only plying her trade to help raise funds for her husband's surgery. He decides to return to his wife, with all her faults, only to find her carousing with his best friend Max. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

25 September 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Kisses  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1999 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gloria Swansonadmitted in an interview decades later that Wallace Reid's drug addiction scared her while they were making this film, and she avoided socializing with him because of it. See more »

Goofs

In the flashback sequence where Emilie is on a swing and two mirrors are set up to give repeated reflections of the action, the cameraman bending over his camera is visible a few times when the swing moves out of the way. See more »

Quotes

Anatol Spencer: Let me take you away from all this rotten, hypocritical crowd! Let's go to some clean, sweet place in the Country where people are honest and decent - and find ourselves again!
Vivian Spencer: I'll go with you to the country, Tony, if I can be sure there'll be milk - but no *milk-maids*!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Life Is a Dream in Cinema: Pola Negri (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A man, blinded by his need to be good, he can't help but get in trouble
28 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Affairs of Anatol (1921)

A long, involved, romantic and slightly moralizing movie about a really good hearted man caught between two women. That's the reason to watch it, that and Gloria Swanson in the lead as the wife. The other woman (Wanda Hawley) is a bit of a siren, and our good fellow is trying to be a charitable fellow with her, and only gets himself in trouble. She plays him like a child.

The year, 1921, is just at the point where the silent film is solidifying and getting sophisticated in a modern sense. There is still a lot of static (fixed) camera in this one (even though one of the photographers was the legendary Karl Struss). This puts the emphasis on the acting, which rises to the occasion. The copy I saw had some great hand colored title cards and some scenes that were toned in rich yellows or other colors, which made it all quite fun. The conflict between the two women, and the intrusion of another man or two, make this a classic soap opera kind of drama, well done and clear enough to follow once you get the basic flow. There are sort of two halves, and the second part out in the country is a nice shift even though the theme remains similar.

Of interest? The director, Cecil B. De Mille, had a hugely influential and long career, and this is toward the beginning, and it shows his tendency to find the popular themes that audiences would connect with, rather than push technical or aesthetic boundaries. Some might call him a populist, interest above all in success, but he was an expert director who knew how to make a movie really coherent, handling the story and actors with precision and a sympathetic feel. And the subject matter here is actually a bit edgy--a married man hanging out with a woman in her most intimate spaces. The play of the "bad" woman against the "good" one is a little expected, of course, but it's such a heartwrenching problem for this nice guy who just wants to help (or so he says), it's painfully enjoyable to watch.


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