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Wandering Husbands (1924)

 |  Drama  |  20 April 1924 (USA)
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Diana Moreland, suspecting that her husband is cheating on her with Marilyn Foster, catches the two of them having a rendezvous at a roadhouse. Instead of screaming at them, she invites ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
James Kirkwood ...
George Moreland
...
Diana Moreland
...
Marilyn Foster
...
Percy
Muriel Frances Dana ...
Rosemary Moreland
Turner Savage ...
Jim
George C. Pearce ...
Bates (as George Pearce)
George B. French ...
Butler (as George French)
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Storyline

Diana Moreland, suspecting that her husband is cheating on her with Marilyn Foster, catches the two of them having a rendezvous at a roadhouse. Instead of screaming at them, she invites Marilyn back to her home. However, Diana has prepared a test to see just who it is that her husband really loves. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Drama

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20 April 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love and Lies  »

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1.33 : 1
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A Print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

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User Reviews

A Sprightly Marital Comedy
30 October 2011 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Wandering Husbands was one of a series of Regal pictures which Thomas Ince produced without taking credit, to lower studio overhead, as I outline in my Ince biography. The movie was a minor masterpiece of mood and tempo, filled with small but eloquent details. At the breakfast table opening, Diana (Lila Lee again playing opposite her real-life spouse, James Kirkwood), is anxious and waiting, while opposite, his place set, her husband George's chair remains unoccupied. He is upstairs, coping with the visible effects of a hangover. Despite the claim of having been at a company director's meeting, she knows he has been philandering.

However, always patient, and softened by the love of their daughter Rosemary for her father—"the tie that binds"--Diana agrees that her husband should take a day off to go duck hunting. In fact he goes to a nightclub where businessmen behave in a manner unbecoming their age. The same evening friends ask Diana out, coincidentally going to the same fashionable spot. There she spots George with Pearl Foster (Margaret Livingston), a woman who believes that beauty may attract a man but what keeps him is "pep": bounciness and non-stop adolescent games. George sees his wife, and tries to get away; he is wearing a tiny costume top hat, forgotten after Pearl placed it on his head but making him look absurd. George is so frustrated that he ends the relationship with Pearl, buys some ducks, and tries to convince Diana that he was indeed hunting. She refuses to tolerate further humiliation, and the acrimony upsets Rosemary. This leads to Diana offering forgiveness, and George to pledge reform.

However, when Pearl feigns illness, George is once more in her clutches, even though he is beginning to tire of her. When a Road House visit to Pearl causes him to miss Rosemary's birthday party, Diana resolves to force the issue: she will only tolerate George as long as he is a good father. Diana manipulates a man to take her to the road house and invites Pearl to visit them, much to George's aggravation. She imitates Pearl's "pep" in a devastating commentary on the appeal that captivated her husband.

Paralleling but also offering a contrasting relationship is Rosemary and her beau, little Fatty, who truly cares about his companion and snubs Pearl. Only when the adult relationship returns to the devotion the children have for each other will it be restored. Learning that Pearl can't swim but loves boats, Diana takes her and George out into the ocean in their speedboat, knowing it has a leak. When it begins to sink, George must choose which to save, his wife or Pearl, hysterically screaming at him to rescue her. He chooses his wife, to her comfort, while the rescue vessel Diana had secretly arranged picks up Pearl. The parents are reunited back ashore with Rosemary, while Pearl repeatedly falls into the surf, and becomes covered with sand. Thoroughly spurned, she flounces into the distance, the "other woman" and flapper who has become an object of derision—and it was in this "madcap" role that Livingston found her specialty. After three years of accepting whatever parts that had come to her, she noted that in Wandering Husbands she had found her one possibility for screen success in a role "that picture goers had unconsciously waited for."

C. Gardner Sullivan provided the story, which William Beaudine directed in seven reels; expenditures were about $102,600. While there are signs of lower production values than the First National releases, such as fewer artistic decorations on the intertitles, which only cost $700, overall the quality throughout was high; $2,500 was spent on the wardrobe and the elaborate sets required an expenditure of $21,500 to depicting the family's wealth. Variety believed Wandering Husbands was intended for the first-run houses, and the studio produced it with this in mind; according to a production memo, Ince "felt confident that Hodkinson would allow him the excess cost, as he knew he was going to turn out a good box office picture."


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