ADAM’S RIB (1923)
Article 4407 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Featuring Milton Sills, Elliott Dexter, Theodore Kosloff
What it is: Drama
The neglected housewife of a successful businessman begins receiving the attentions of the former king of Morania. The woman’s husband intends to use his business acumen to help him save his marriage, but the couple’s daughter has a plan of her own to save the marriage.
Here’s another title that ended up on my “ones that got away” list after sitting on my hunt list too long, but it finally made itself available. Though you may not notice it at first, there’s a hint of fantastic content in the plot description above; as far as I know, there is no country of Morania, so we’re in mythical kingdom territory here. On the other hand, there’s something else about the movie that gives it even greater fantastic content. At one point in the proceedings, two of the characters begin speculating on the trials and tribulations of love among the cavemen, and we get an extended sequence of caveman and cavewoman romantic antics. This bit of the movie, cute as it is in some ways, is also one of the biggest weaknesses of the movie; it brings the main story to a screeching halt, and doesn’t really add a whole lot new to the mix. As for the movie itself, it’s a drama about how a marriage is threatened by neglect, and how the attempts to fix it end up making the situation even worse. The plot is slightly far-fetched, and I found myself speculating on how easily the movie could have been done as a comedy; in fact, I found myself wondering how a change in the background music might in and of itself accomplish this task. Still, there are a few good dramatic moments, and it’s hard not to feel sorry for the daughter, who puts her reputation on the line in order to save her parent’s marriage and ends up losing the trust of the man she loves. All in all, this is an interesting drama with some good twists and turns, and I quite enjoyed it.