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The American Venus (1926)

 |  Comedy  |  31 January 1926 (USA)
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Mary Gray, whose father manufactures cold cream, is engaged to sappy Horace Niles, the son of Hugo Niles, the elder Gray's most competitive rival in the cosmetics business. Chip Armstrong, ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Lawrence Gray ...
Chip Armstrong
Hugo Niles
Fay Lanphier ...
Miss Alabama
Miss Bayport
Mrs. Niles
Kenneth MacKenna ...
Horace Niles
William B. Mack ...
John Gray
George De Carlton ...
Sam Lorber
W.T. Benda ...
Ernest Torrence ...


Mary Gray, whose father manufactures cold cream, is engaged to sappy Horace Niles, the son of Hugo Niles, the elder Gray's most competitive rival in the cosmetics business. Chip Armstrong, a hot-shot public relations man, quits the employ of Hugo Niles and goes to work for Gray, persuading Mary to enter the Miss America contest at Atlantic City, with the intention of using her to endorse her father's cold cream should she win. Mary breaks her engagement with Horace. When it appears that she will win the contest, Hugo lures her home on the pretext that her father is ill, and she misses the contest. Chip and Mary return to Atlantic City, discovering that the new Miss America has told the world that she owes all her success to Gray's cold cream. On this note, Chip and Mary decide to get married. Written by Christopher Carr

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...and 75 Atlantic City bathing beauties See more »






Release Date:

31 January 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vénus Americana  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Two trailers and some Technicolor footage survive in the Library of Congress. See more »


Featured in Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Two trailers, complete with color footage, are more than worth a peak.
29 November 2005 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I saw two trailers for this film, both of them fascinating documents, restored to near-mint condition by the Library of Congress (their present home). The first was black and white, with a lot of attention payed to Fay Lanphier, the hazel-eyed, honey-blond beauty who had just be crowned Miss America 1925. A close-up of her is followed by a shot of Esther Ralston, but I initially thought it was another shot of her (they look so much alike). Briefly seen is a comedic bit where Louise Brooks is showing a man some undesired romantic interest.

The second trailer starts with giving the measurements of Venus di Milo, and asking the female half of the audience if they measure up. This trailer is tinted violet and contains some technicolor footage, two shots exactly, which apparently show the staging of 'tableaux vivants' (I should mention that W.T. Benda's only screen role appears to have made it down through the ages in one of these shots). There is a shot of a teary-eyed Lanphier, a repeated shot of Ralston flexing her arms in a bathing suit, and what appears to be the second half of the scene between Brooks and the man (it has to be Lawrence Gray). In this shot, he is trying to keep Brooks' presence in the room a secret from Edna Mae Oliver.

The presence of seventy-five beautiful women AND the latest fashions from Paris are highly stressed in both advertisements. Interestingly, nobody remembers Fay Lanphier today, but once Brooks flashes across the screen, the entire theater sounded with applause. One thing that struck me about Lanphier: not only is she beautiful (and photogenic) she seems to have been a decent actress as well. What went wrong? Unless the rest of the film surfaces, we are likely never to know.

Production values are great. Always happy to see some two-strip Technicolor, and the set- ups they exposed it too in 1926 were great. Maybe one day we'll see the whole thing, the way it was meant to be seen.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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