Male and Female

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Male and Female
Male and Female-1919.jpg
Still of Gloria Swanson in the film
Directed byCecil B. DeMille
Written byJeanie MacPherson
Based onThe Admirable Crichton
by J. M. Barrie
Produced byCecil B. DeMille
Jesse L. Lasky
StarringGloria Swanson
Thomas Meighan
CinematographyAlvin Wyckoff
Edited byAnne Bauchens
Music bySydney Jill Lehman (1997 version)
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 23, 1919 (1919-11-23)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$1,256,226.59[1]
Male and Female

Male and Female is a 1919 American silent adventure/drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan.[2] Its main themes are gender relations and social class. The film is based on the 1902 J. M. Barrie play The Admirable Crichton.[1]

A previous version was filmed the year before in England as 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 deserted 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.



The film was nominated for the American Film Institute's 2002 list AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions.[3]

DVD release[edit]

Male and Female was released on Region 0 DVD-R by Alpha Video on January 28, 2014.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Birchard, Robert S. (2004). Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood. University Press of Kentucky. p. 144. ISBN 0-813-12324-0.
  2. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: Male and Female at
  3. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  4. ^ "Alpha Video - Male and Female". Retrieved 2014-01-30.

External links[edit]