Successful model, Phyllis Clyne, convinces a down-and-out nobleman, Billy, to pass her off in society as titled gentry. They fall in love and when it turns out that her late father actually... See full summary »
Michael Ramsay only has time for gathering his fortune in wheat. His wife seeks comfort elsewhere and, to avoid a scandal, her daughter Matilda assumes her mother's guilt. Ramsay nearly goes broke but gets rich again; his wife returns.
Gloria Swanson plays Zaza, a spirited French music hall star who battles her rival (Mary Thurman) and chases after a rich man (H.B. Warner) only to get her comeuppance.
In a stretch for Swanson, Zaza requires her to portray a French woman in a silent film. Through gestures and facial expressions she succeeds admirably in playing a character unlike any other in her long career. The brazen Zaza is always adorned with the letter Z on her clothing, jewelry, hats, etc.
The film is marked by a terrific music hall sequence in which Swanson swings way out over the audience and tosses flowers down on various men. Thurman cuts the rope and sends Swanson smashing onto the floor. Later they have a great catfight scene in the country cottage Warner houses Zaza in.
Lucille LaVerne is the drunken aunt. Ferdinand Gottschalk is the duke. Helen Mack is the daughter. Yvonne Hughes is fun as the maid.
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