6.9/10
55
4 user 3 critic

You Never Know Women (1926)

A love triangle in a circus troupe,

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Benjamin Glazer, Ernest Vajda (story)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Florence Vidor ... Vera
Lowell Sherman ... Eugene Foster
Clive Brook ... Norodin
El Brendel ... Toberchik
Roy Stewart ... Dimitri
Joe Bonomo Joe Bonomo ... The Strong Man
Irma Kornelia Irma Kornelia ... Olga
Sidney Bracey ... Manager
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Storyline

A love triangle in a circus troupe,

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor Sem Rumo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Trivia

A surviving print has been in the Library of Congress collection since the late 1960s or early 1970s. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lively backstage drama
9 May 2019 | by claudecatSee all my reviews

I wasn't expecting this film to be as much fun to watch as it is. The backstage storyline features extravagant costumes, sets and makeup, and delightful comic bits. The audience cheered when a painting on a curtain "came to life" in a comical way. Some of the bits used were obviously stolen from Houdini, but it's always fun to see them filmed, even if Harry isn't there. A favorite player was the performing goose, who wears prop spectacles and hats when onstage. Director William Wellman knows how to put activity into a frame, so even during some of the slower conversational parts, there are often acrobats whirling by in the background. But he also knows when to tone this sort of thing down; the dramatic, emotional moments are allowed to have space. A scene where someone is trying to flee danger is shot in an effective, film-noir manner.

The players acquit themselves admirably. Florence Vidor is luminous, and, as Jeanine Basinger has written, created a heroine who is an interesting hybrid of the independent flapper and the traditional damsel-in-distress. Clive Brook is highly sympathetic as the intelligent lover. I was less sure of Lowell Sherman's casting: I couldn't figure out what Vidor's character would have seen in him. However, it's possible that a more appealing actor would have stacked the deck too heavily against Brook; both leading men were about 40 at the time of filming. (I was surprised to find that Vidor was close to 30; she appears 15-20 years younger than the men, perhaps partly due to makeup and lighting.)

The one thing I didn't like about the film was the suggestion that women who don't love the "right" man should be punished for it. I think the storyline did a decent job of resolving this issue--I can't explain without spoilers--but given the murderous intentions of some incel types, that's not a good idea to champion (which was also true then).

The lighting was magnificent in many scenes. The version I saw also had some beautiful tinting. I hope the film will be played often, so more people can enjoy it.


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