Too Wise Wives

1921

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 174

Keywords:   woman director, jealousy, silent film, redemption, reconciliation, competitiveness, marital disharmony, former flame, opportunist, mistrust

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 07, 2022 at 07:53 PM

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
635.94 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 9 min
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1.15 GB
1452*1080
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 9 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by boblipton 4 / 10

Miss Weber's Decline

Lois Weber directs Louis Calhern for the second time in his second movie, and Claire Windsor in her third or fourth. I had seen this movie some time ago, but had no memory of it, and wondered why I had considered it competent but boring. This viewing reminded me.

Mr. Calhern is newly married to Miss Windsor She is a pretty little thing, but a bit of a nitwit and very clinging. Other Woman Mona Lisa -- yes, that's the name of the actress, so don't blame me -- is married to Phillip Smalley. He adores her, but she doesn't love him. She is smart enough to do everything right -- except when she threw over Mr. Calhern; instead of rushing back to propose, he had found consolation with Miss Windsor. However, Miss Lisa is willing to forgive him for that and begin an affair while Smalley is out of town.

This was Weber's first release through Paramount, and suddenly, everything is conventional and neat: too neat. the situations mirror themselves perfectly, the one interesting visual gloss is the way some of the titles take up the right three-quarters of the screen, allowing one of the players to pose. There is a bit of a fashion show; Miss Windsor wears a hat that in a high wind might carry her back to Kansas.

As much as I admire Miss Weber's movies of five years earlier, this one lacks the cinematic daring she had offered back then. All that's left is the preaching, and the fight over Calhern who, at this stage, is a long drink of water, but not much else.

Reviewed by richardchatten 4 / 10

Handsome but Inconsequential Potboiler by Pioneer Woman Director Lois Weber

A rather pallid retread of the sort of marital comedy set among the well-heeled that Cecil B. DeMille was currently making a speciality. It looks good - with the usual immaculately dressed cast and palatial sets of the era - movement throughout which is well staged by pioneer woman director Lois Weber, making good use of doorways and the like; with visual dynamism provided by characters moving not just laterally, but away from, towards and past the camera. But it's extremely routine compared to her remarkable 'Where Are My Children?', made five years earlier.

One advantage silent films had over talkies was that the inter-titles could tip you off what was about to happen and was motivating the characters, as frequently happens here. Considering that it's both written and directed by women, the film gives remarkably short shrift towards Other Woman Mona Lisa, who the titles bluntly announce only does the right thing for selfish reasons, yet is rather at a loss to explain what her sweetly bossy rival Claire Windsor - charming as she is - is actually doing right by comparison. (The 19th amendment granting American women the right to vote having only been ratified by Congress just months earlier, the women attending a political meeting are also treated with surprising condescension: more comfortable discussing clothes than exercising their hard-won right to influence the democratic process.)

Reviewed by Cineanalyst 8 / 10

Reflections to Reflect Upon

The four feature-length films I've seen by Lois Weber are different in many and important ways. They're all similar, however, in that they deliver a message. This time it's on marital manners and female behaviour. I consider her messages an obstacle, which she has greatly overcome in two of the films I've seen: this and "Hypocrites" (1915).

Weber wants us to contrast the two couples--and to learn from that, I suppose. The couples form a doppelgänger theme. Weber makes this clear via reflections: reflections from mirrors, windows and water. Weber uses reflections slyly throughout the film. They demonstrate the doppelgänger theme with the doubled images, and they remind us to also reflect upon the messages, which is the purpose of the whole construction. It's a clever self-reference, and I find it wholly more interesting than the film's messages. Mirrors also represent vanity: the vanity of the women here, especially of Mrs. Daly; additionally, they reflect the self-consciousness--the poor self-image of Mrs. Graham.

Weber was an intelligent filmmaker; "Too Wise Wives" is also well made. There isn't much camera movement, but the shots are hardly static. The shot succession is quick enough, and the continuity editing is apt, with scene dissection between long shots and closer looks. A shot of a sunset stands out as pictorially lovely. The sets and, more importantly, the use of them are the standout, though.

The sets are rich looking--very upscale. William Carr furnishes them nicely. Weber and cinematographer William C. Foster use the sets effectively, first, by cutting between close shots and long shots, which take in the scenes more fully. Second, there are many shots through doorways and looking through doorways, leading one to think there's a point to that similar to the use of reflections. The low-angle shots revealing ceilings are the best, though. A willingness to show ceilings has been rare in film history. It also adds some credibility of honesty to the picture.

Far from being static, the film demonstrates a good use of architecture, and the filmmakers position the camera rather than the actors. For me, Calhern stands out--he has a memorable, handsome face. It's no wonder he would become a fine character actor. Lastly, the intertitles, while perhaps being too many, with too much commentary and messages, are notable for the simultaneous moving images alongside some of them. "Too Wise Wives" is blunt in its lecturing, but subtle in its artistry.

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