Keeping up with Lizzie (1921)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |  
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Irving Bacheller was a popular American author during the 1910s, but he refused to allow his stories to be filmed because he didn't think that motion pictures could do them justice. He finally relented with this tale of social climbing in a small town, and the resulting picture was amusing and well received. Lizzie (Enid Bennett) is the daughter of Sam Henshaw, the grocer of a small country town (Otis Harlan). Lizzie's childhood sweetheart is Dan Pettigrew (Edward Hearn), the son of Henshaw's rival (Harry Todd). Since Henshaw thinks his Lizzie can do better than Dan, he ships her off to finishing school. Dan's father, meanwhile, is not to be outdone and sends his son to Harvard. Lizzie returns a little too finished -- she has become a social snob and wants little to do with Dan, who has quickly recovered from his own bout of snobbery and come back to earth. Inspired by Lizzie's new ways, the townsfolk all become social climbers and spend money they don't have -- but which Soc Potter (W. Landers Stevens) cheerfully lends them -- to keep up with her. Lizzie accompanies a wealthy widow to Europe and returns with Count Louis Roland (Leo White), whom she intends to marry. Dan senses something fishy about the oily European, and unmasks him as a phony just in time to prevent the wedding. Sadder but wiser, Lizzie finally realizes what -- and who -- is important in her life.

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Keywords

aristocracy, business, charade, demands, dowry, education, expose [revelation], farming, father, finishing-school, fortune [wealth], happiness, hearing [sense], return, school, son, sweetheart, visit