What Every Woman Knows (1921)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Marriage Drama, Political Drama  |  
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Director William DeMille was stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place with this light comedy, based on the play by James M. Barrie. If he remained faithful to Barrie, he risked having a wordy, rather static picture. If he took cinematic liberties, Barrie disciples would be furious -- as they already were at his brother, Cecil B. DeMille, for turning Admirable Crichton into Male and Female. DeMille decided to remain true to the author, with mixed results, even though Lois Wilson was perfectly cast as Maggie. Maggie Wylie is married off to aspiring politician John Shand (Conrad Nagel) because her father is afraid she's headed for spinsterhood. Shand makes a success of himself because of his speeches. What he doesn't know is that Maggie has been rewriting them when she types them up, and it is her additions that are putting him over. Shand takes Maggie completely for granted and begins a flirtation with Sybil Tenterden (Lillian Tucker). Maggie allows the affair, and the day comes when he has to give a speech and he realizes the one he has written is a washout. He asks Maggie for help and finally understands just how much she means to him. Barrie's story was also filmed in 1917 and in 1934 -- the latter version starred Helen Hayes, who had played Maggie on Broadway.

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Keywords

daughter, extramarital-affair, love, millionaire, porter, railroad, socialite, speech, triumph, wisdom, writing