Gum-chewing frizzy-haired golddigger Marie Skinner cooks up a scheme with her lover Babe Winsor, a jazz hound, to fleece a portly middle-aged real estate tycoon, William Judson. Marie moves... See full summary »
Gum-chewing frizzy-haired golddigger Marie Skinner cooks up a scheme with her lover Babe Winsor, a jazz hound, to fleece a portly middle-aged real estate tycoon, William Judson. Marie moves into Judson's apartment building and contrives to meet and seduce him, plying him with compliments, music, swoons, décolletage, and batted eyes. When his loyal wife (and their two children) see him out catting with Marie at a night club, mom's devastated and confronts him. He moves out. Babe wants Marie to sell Judson worthless bonds. Will mom commit suicide? Will sis shoot the floozy? Will pops figure out he's being a fool? Written by
Adela Rogers St. Johns published a book entitled "The Single Standard" in 1928, the same year this movie was released. It is not known if this book is related to the movie in any way. See more »
When Marie is at the barber shop, and Judson leaves his chair, she asks a man to pick up the newspaper to read Judson's news about his recent deal. After reading the news, she looks at Judson, and then the scene switches to be seen from other angle, where you can see that Marie is asking the man to pick up the newspaper again. See more »
Opening Dialogue Card:
The battle of the sexes - always being fought and never being won.
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Conventional wisdom says that D.W. Griffith didn't make a good movie after he lost his Mamaroneck studio in 1924. Between SALLY OF THE SAWDUST with W.C. Fields (1925) and THE STRUGGLE (1931), Griffith made 6 feature films for United Artists and Paramount. Most of these have been dismissed out of hand since they first appeared and a few are no longer available. THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES (1928) garnered him some of the worst notices of his career (to be outdone by his last film THE STRUGGLE) although preview audiences loved it. I have seen a restored version of the film and am hard pressed to understand all the negative reviews. The settings by William Cameron Menzies are lavish, the photography by Karl Struss is top notch, and the editing, normally Griffith's Achilles heel, is smooth and polished. It clearly shows that Griffith could take advantage of the Hollywood studio system when given the chance. So why all the bad press? Part of the problem lies in the way the film was promoted. BATTLE OF THE SEXES was billed as a Jazz Age comedy when it was actually a domestic drama with several comic moments. Although the story is melodramatic and features the required happy ending, the emotions of the characters ring true. This was Griffith's greatest strength as a filmmaker. No matter how trite or objectionable the plot you believe his characters even when you don't agree with them. Best known for his epics, Griffith was essentially a miniaturist as his Biograph shorts clearly demonstrate. His feature films are more successful when done on a smaller scale and while dealing with people and their relationships (BROKEN BLOSSOMS, ISN'T LIFE WONDERFUL). Jean Hersholt gives one of his finest performances as a philandering husband. His encounter with a reducing machine in order to make himself look younger is both comic and pathetic. Phyllis Haver is the ultimate Jazz Baby and she lights up the screen with a performance that is both funny AND sexy. The robe she wears to seduce Hersholt must be seen through to be believed. Belle Bennett (THE IRON MASK) as the spurned wife also deserves special mention. THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES proves that Griffith had not lost his touch after he lost his independence. Thanks to Image Entertainment for upgrading this title to DVD as part of their D.W. Griffith collection. Now if they could just rescue ISN'T LIFE WONDERFUL and THE STRUGGLE from VHS oblivion as well.
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