17 user 8 critic

Male and Female (1919)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 23 November 1919 (USA)
Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.


Cecil B. DeMille


Jeanie Macpherson, J.M. Barrie (by: "The Admirable Crichton")




Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Meighan ... William Crichton - The Butler
Theodore Roberts ... Lord Loam
Raymond Hatton ... Honorable Ernest Wolley
Robert Cain Robert Cain ... Lord Brockelhurst
Gloria Swanson ... Lady Mary Lasenby
Lila Lee ... Tweeny - the Scullery Maid
Bebe Daniels ... The King's Favorite
Julia Faye ... Susan - Maid #2
Rhy Darby Rhy Darby ... Lady Eileen Duncraigie
Mildred Reardon Mildred Reardon ... Lady Agatha Lasenby
Mayme Kelso ... Lady Brockelhurst
Edmund Burns ... Treherne
Henry Woodward Henry Woodward ... McGuire - Lady Eileen's Chauffeur
Sydney Deane Sydney Deane ... Thomas
Wesley Barry ... Buttons - the Boy


Lord Brockelhurst, his unwilling betrothed Lady Mary, his butler Crichton and scullery maid Tweeny are on Lord Loam's yacht which is wrecked leaving them all to cope on a desert island. Class distinctions fall apart for the time being. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Why Don't Wives Remain Their Husband's Sweethearts When countless pairs of ardent lovers fade into listless "married folk," what's the reason? Who's to blame? (Print Ad- Daily Colonist, ((Victoria, BC)) 27 June 1920) See more »


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Gloria Swanson says in her biography that director Cecil B. De Mille called her "Young fellow" during shooting, as if she was an ordinary man of the crew. She also says that he did not call her anything days after the production of the film. See more »


Lady Mary Lasenby: Would you put a Jack Daw and a Bird of Paradise in the same cage? It's kind to kind, Eileen-and you and I can never change it!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1997, Film Preservation Associates copyrighted a version produced for video by David Shepard using materials from the George Eastman collection, in cooperation with the Estate of Cecil B. DeMille. It has a music score composed and performed by Sydney Jill Lehman, runs 116 minutes, and was distributed on video by Kino International. See more »


Featured in Hollywood: Swanson and Valentino (1980) See more »

User Reviews

The social order is reversed
17 December 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For someone who has seen Bing Crosby and Carole Lombard in We're Not Dressing you will get a nice musical and comedy treat as Bing sings some nice songs and comedy is nicely handled by Burns&Allen and Leon Errol. But while the broad comedy aspects of The Admirable Crichton are handled well there, the broad range of James M. Barrie's story is done in the Cecil B. DeMille silent film Male And Female. Starring of course DeMille's latest discovery Gloria Swanson.

Elliott Dexter a DeMille silent regular was unavailable so Thomas Meighan takes the title role as the butler on Theodore Roberts estate. He has two daughters and a silly sot of a nephew in Raymond Hatton. The daughters are Gloria Swanson and Lila Lee.

We have class distinctions in America, but they're not as rigid as they are in the United Kingdom. It's those aspects that are dealt with in Male And Female not the Americanized We're Not Dressing. Meighan has it bad for Swanson, but the rigid class structure makes that union impossible.

But when they're shipwrecked on a tropical island while on a cruise the social order is reversed. Theodore Roberts by dint of his title tries to assert his authority. But Meighan as the man with the most knowledge on how to survive upsets that in a hurry. Unlike the Crosby/Lombard film, these folks are here for a few years and thinking even with the social order reversed, it's not like Robinson Crusoe with no one to converse with for years.

Barrie both satirizes and deals with the subject class seriously. As for DeMille he gets to do one of his spectacle type sequences in a flashback when the cast imagines they're in ancient Babylon with Meighan as king. In that flashback is a young Bebe Daniels who was getting started and she would shortly being starring in DeMille silent films. DeMille in his autobiography pays compliments to a new member of his team Mitchell Leisen who did the costumes. He would be a DeMille regular until he went out on his own as a director.

I liked the film and I'll let you others decide whether there is more Barrie or more DeMille in this film.

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None | English

Release Date:

23 November 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Male and Female See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


(1997 alternate)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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