Male and Female
|Male and Female|
Gloria Swanson in Male and Female
|Directed by||Cecil B. DeMille|
|Produced by||Cecil B. DeMille
Jesse L. Lasky
|Written by||Jeanie Macpherson|
|Based on||The Admirable Crichton
by J. M. Barrie
|Music by||Sydney Jill Lehman (1997 version)|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||116 minutes|
Male and Female is a 1919 American silent adventure/drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan. Its main themes are gender relations and social class. The film is based on the J. M. Barrie play The Admirable Crichton.
The film centers on the relationship between Lady Mary Loam (Swanson), a British aristocrat, and her butler, Crichton (Meighan). Crichton fancies a romance with Mary, but she disdains him because of his lower social class. When the two and some others are shipwrecked on a desert island, they are left to fend for themselves in a state of nature.
The aristocrats' abilities to survive are far worse than those of Crichton, and a role reversal ensues, with the butler becoming a king among the stranded group. Crichton and Mary are about to wed on the island when the group is rescued. Upon returning to Britain, Crichton chooses not to marry Mary; instead, he asks a maid, Tweeny (who was attracted to Crichton throughout the film), to marry him, and the two move to the United States.
The film contains two famous scenes, indicative of de Mille's predilections as a filmmaker.
- An early scene depicts Gloria Swanson bathing in an elaborate setting, attended by two maids, lavishing her with rosewater and bath salts, silk dressing gown, and luxurious towels.
- Toward the end of the film, a fantasy sequence about ancient Babylon shows Swanson posed as Gabriel von Max's famous painting The Lion's Bride, which involved her being photographed with an actual lion.
- Lila Lee - Tweeny, the scullery maid
- Theodore Roberts - Lord Loam
- Raymond Hatton - Honorable Ernest 'Ernie' Wolley
- Mildred Reardon - Lady Agatha 'Aggie' Lasenby
- Gloria Swanson - Lady Mary Lasenby
- Thomas Meighan - Crichton, the butler
- Robert Cain - Lord Brockelhurst
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