24 user 8 critic

Why Change Your Wife? (1920)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 11 April 1921 (Denmark)
Robert and Beth Gordon are married but share little. He runs into Sally at a cabaret and the Gordons are soon divorced. Just as he gets bored with Sally's superficiality, Beth strives to ... See full summary »


Cecil B. DeMille


Olga Printzlau (scenario), William C. de Mille (story) (as William DeMille) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Thomas Meighan ... Robert Gordon
Gloria Swanson ... Beth Gordon
Bebe Daniels ... Sally Clark
Theodore Kosloff ... Radinoff
Sylvia Ashton Sylvia Ashton ... Aunt Kate
Clarence Geldert ... Doctor (as Clarence Geldart)
Mayme Kelso ... Harriette, the Dressmaker
Lucien Littlefield ... Gordon's Butler
Edna Mae Cooper ... Gordon's Maid
Jane Wolfe ... Harriette's Client


Robert and Beth Gordon are married but share little. He runs into Sally at a cabaret and the Gordons are soon divorced. Just as he gets bored with Sally's superficiality, Beth strives to improve her looks. The original couple falls in love again at a summer resort. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's one time when real married life is absorbingly entertaining- It's when Cecil B. DeMille puts it in a picture. (Print Ad- Duluth Herald, ((Duluth Minn.)) 29 March 1921) See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to film historian Kevin Brownlow's book "Behind the Mask of Innocence," the scene where Sally (Bebe Daniels) and Beth (Gloria Swanson) fight over Robert's sickbed was based upon an actual quarrel between two of Cecil B. DeMille's mistresses, Julia Faye and Jeanie Macpherson. In this case, Macpherson threw not acid but ink. See more »


Beth Gordon: Do you expect *me* to share your Oriental ideas? Do you want your *wife* to lure you like a - a - Oh why didn't you marry a Turk?
See more »


Featured in Hollywood (1980) See more »


Hindustan - Fox Trot
By Oliver G. Wallace and Harold Weeks
Interpreted by Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra
Published by Victor 18507-A
See more »

User Reviews

Bittersweet romantic comedy-drama from DeMille
27 January 2004 | by overseer-3See all my reviews

Although the plot is not as absorbing as in his classics "The Affairs of Anatol" or "Male and Female" Cecil B. DeMille makes this romantic piece of fluff intoxicating still, especially if you enjoyed the romantic and sexual tension between Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan in the latter film. "Why Change Your Wife?" was made a year after "Male and Female" and the audience gets to see the two as a married pair: in the first scenes Tommy is shaving and Gloria is getting dressed. The interplay between them is fabulous and funny. She is always interrupting him in front of the bathroom mirror and he can't quite manage to button the back of her dress. So typical and true to life. She lectures him on his personal tastes: "must you have a dog?" and "you should listen to classical music and not tin pan alley" and "you should stop drinking/smoking..." The film shows the affects of nagging upon a marriage, and boy is THAT true to life!

Enter Bebe Daniels. She likes men with curly hair and Tommy Meighan fits the bill. She manages to attract Tommy away from Gloria; even though we know Tommy still loves Gloria, she still needs to be taught a lesson on men and marriage. She learns her lessons the hard way, but therein lies the fun for the audience. The moral of the story here is that wives should remember they are their husbands' sweethearts first, their wives second, and that they should not forget the romance that keeps a couple together and out of the divorce courts.

I don't want to give away more of the plot but see this film. If you are a woman watch it with your husband. You won't regret it.

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None | English

Release Date:

11 April 1921 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Hvorfor bytter Manden Hustru? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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