The Amateur Wife (1920)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |  
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Justine Spencer (Irene Castle) is a convent-educated girl who comes home to her mother Dodo (Augusta Anderson), a musical comedy actress. The worldly Dodo finds her daughter's plain looks and naiveté rather tiresome. But the actress comes to a violent end when she is shot and killed by Billy Ferris (Arthur Rankin), an obsessive admirer. Since Justine is all alone in the world, Cosmo Spotiswood, a friend of Dodo's (William P. Carleton), marries her, but he's no more thrilled with her than her mother was. Eventually, Spotiswood takes off to Europe, leaving his wife behind. Justine finally wakes up to her dowdy ways and transforms herself into a stylish, sophisticated woman in his absence (all the better to show off Castle in some gorgeous gowns -- something she was famous for). When Spotiswood comes home, he falls in love with his wife and her new look, but she's so busy socializing that she doesn't have much time for him. However, when she finds out that a financial disaster is staring him in the face, she realizes that he needs her and rushes to his side. This picture was based on a magazine story, The Antique Wife, by Nalbro Bartley.

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Keywords

dance [art], fashion, flapper, fortune [wealth], girl, husband, love, neglect, old-fashioned, reunion, wife