20 user 3 critic

The Mating Call (1928)

Approved | | Drama | 21 July 1928 (USA)
A WWI vet takes on the KKK when he loses his wife to a womanizing Klansman.



(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Lon Henderson
Marvin Swallow
Judge Peebles
Cyril Chadwick ...


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 cupcakes

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Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 July 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mating Call  »

Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2004 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to the patch on his uniform's shoulder, Leslie served with the U.S. Army's 81st "Wildcat" Infantry Division. The three chevrons on his lower left sleeve indicate he served overseas at least 18 months. The single chevron on his right sleeve indicates he was wounded once. See more »


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 »


Leslie Hatten: I want you to leave now, Rose - - *and never come back*!
Rose Henderson: What's the matter - - afraid of the Order?
Leslie Hatten: No.
Rose Henderson: Afraid of Lon?
Leslie Hatten: No.
Rose Henderson: Then you're afraid of me! I dare you to kiss me and then tell me to go!
See more »


The Mating Song
Music and Lyrics by Frances Ring and Martin Broones
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User Reviews

superior acting by Evelyn Brent
26 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Evelyn Brent was a marvelous and smolderingly beautiful actress of the silent screen who made a staggering number of films from 1915 to the 1940s. This film is worth seeing for her alone. Her performance as a small town vamp holds up completely by 21st century standards and that's not common. James Cruze has a good reputation and it's easy to see why from this film. The action moves briskly, scenes do not linger unnecessarily but only when emphasis is needed. Intimate moments are handled skillfully and believably. Set pieces are convincing. Here is a movie where someone scrubs a floor and really does the kind of work you have to do to scrub a floor, though I was a bit surprised to see Renee Adoree sloshing the entire contents of a water basin directly onto the linoleum during the rinse phase. It really annoyed me that she became distracted and let the puddle (or lake, really) remain and if I had been Thomas Meighan's character I would have been much more upset than he seemed to be. Meighan seems a bit wooden and but I think he was trying to play a simple farming man with a tough exterior.

I am not the only one who noticed that the women's costumes and hair styles (not to mention the automobiles) were way too modern for the time period presented, 1919. Cloche hats did not make their appearance that soon after World War I. Another element that cannot be ignored are the palm trees in this town, which suggest that the action takes place in southern California, but when the Meighan character decides to find an off-the-boat immigrant to marry, he travels to Ellis Island, thousands of miles to the east, even though he is a struggling farmer. Then presto! He's back in Southern California with the newfound bride and her parents who look no worse for wear than if they had been trucked in from a neighboring county. To be fair, these jolting progressions seem to be standard fare in early films and are also used quite a bit in early talkies. But for us sophisticated 21st century viewers they do stretch credulity and get in the way of our serious involvement in the proceedings.

One strand of the plot involves a KKK-like organization called "The Order." But this is not the KKK we're all familiar with – this group of hooded vigilantes rounds up local men who are perceived to be less than honorable to the town's womenfolk and whips them on posts until they repent and agree to behave in a more chivalrous manner! To contemporary audiences this comes across as a very funny joke.

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