Under the Lash is a 1921 American silent drama film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gloria Swanson. The film is based on the play The Shulamite, by Claude Askew and Edward Knoblock, and ... See full summary »
She's a society wife in a New York gilded cage bigger than the Time Warner Center, and her shady Wall Street husband keeps pressing her to charm his business prospects, for as some flowery title card informs us, the toughest negotiator can fall to the flame of a comely miss, or something like that. A college buddy of his still in love with Gloria enters into a Mexican oil leasing deal with him, sending the romantic triangle down to Mexico, where some Mexican bandits in unconvincing pancake makeup menace everybody and Gloria realizes what a chump she's been. (This is the kind of movie where who she'll end up with is never in doubt -- the better-looking of the two, of course.) The film was so ridiculous in its portrait of Mexican bandits that Mexico briefly banned all Paramount pictures. There's little subtlety and Gloria isn't much more than a clothes horse, but she has some vivacity, and it's fun to see her at 25 or so playing older and more sophisticated than she was. There's not a trace of Norma Desmond here, and silly as it is, it's a handsome production.
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