Farmer turned WWI hero Leslie returns home hoping to reunite with his wife Rose, but it turns out her parents had the unconsummated marriage annulled so she could wed the rich Lon Henderson. Rose throws herself at Leslie, itching for an affair due to her husband's penchant for infidelity, but he spurns her, marrying a young French immigrant named Catherine to get her off his back. When one of Lon's lovers commits suicide after he has cast her aside, he pins it all on Les and has his KKK-inspired group take action against him... Written by
Although the story takes place immediately after World War I (1918-1919), all of Evelyn Brent's and Helen Foster's clothes are strictly in the 1928 short skirt mode, completely out of place in the time frame of the story. See more »
THE MATING CALL was shown on TCM on Dec. 15, 2004, marking its apparent first screening since 1928. The silent film is something of a morality play, complete with a returning soldier who has lost his wife (to an adulterer); a morals police force, the Order, in dark cloth hoods (except for the leader, who wears satin); one woman drenched by a bucket of water and another caught skinny-dipping; and some provocative eyebrow acting. Evelyn Brent radiates sex as Rose, while Thomas Meighan seems mostly confused as the farmer who needs a replacement woman -- and goes to Ellis Island to get one! THE MATING CALL, directed by James Cruze (I COVER THE WATERFRONT), ably entertains while carrying a rather more serious theme on hypocrisy.
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