Remodeling Her Husband

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Remodeling Her Husband
Remodel her husband newspaper ad.png
Directed by Lillian Gish
Written by Lillian Gish (story and scenario, as Dorothy Elizabeth Carter)
Dorothy Parker (intertitles)
Starring Dorothy Gish
James Rennie
Cinematography George W. Hill
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 13, 1920 (1920-06-13)
Running time
5 reels (4,844 feet)
Country United States
Language Silent
(English intertitles)
Budget $50,000 [1]
Box office over $460,000 [1]

Remodeling Her Husband (1920) is a silent film comedy that marked the only time Lillian Gish directed a film.

D. W. Griffith is stated in some sources as co-director or perhaps had limited input as the production was filmed at his Mamaroneck, New York production facilities. Lillian Gish wrote the story and scenario incognito as Dorothy Elizabeth Carter with Algonquin Round Table writer Dorothy Parker supplying the intertitles. Thus the movie was nearly an all-woman produced movie with the exception of the cameraman.

The film stars Lillian's sister Dorothy Gish and Dorothy's husband at the time James Rennie. George W. Hill, who is the cinematographer, would later go on to direct classic films at MGM like Tell It to the Marines (1926) and The Big House (1930).


As described in a film publication,[2] Janie (Gish) gets married with the goal of reforming her husband, but he still has the eyes for other women. He says he is ashamed because she lacks the style of a flapper. After he repeatedly gets into difficulties, she leaves him and goes into business. The husband finally realizes what a wonderful woman she is and repents.


  • Dorothy Gish - Janie Wakefield
  • James Rennie - Jack Valentine
  • Marie Burke - Mrs. Wakefield
  • Downing Clarke - Mr. Wakefied
  • Frank Kingdon - Mr. Valentine
  • Leslie Marsh - Flower Girl
  • Mildred Marsh - Bridesmaid
  • Barden Daube - Flirting Woman


Variety published the following review of the film on December 31, 1919: "This feature will be liked by film fans but not particularly because of the story or the picturization of it, but through the exquisite comedy Dorothy Gish offers.

The picture seems to be a real Gish family affair, with Dorothy starring and Lillian directing. Much is made of the latter in a title leader, which sets forth that this day is one where woman is asserting herself in all the arts, and therefore it is time she undertook the direction of pictures.

But Lillian does not qualify as a particularly strong directress in this production. The story may have had something to do with that. It is not a world beater but with the action that Dorothy supplies it gets by with laughs.

James Rennie, who plays opposite the star, is the only member of the supporting cast who seems to have more than a ‘bit’ to do. The others while acceptable fail to show often enough to get a line on them. It is a picture that is Dorothy Gish, hook, line and sinker, and it would sink if it weren’t for her." [3]

Preservation status[edit]

Remodeling Her Husband is now considered to be a lost film.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b FOSTER, AUDREY FOSTER (1995). Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. see page 143. ISBN 0313289727. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Remodeling Her Husband: Moth-Eaten Story Lifted by Dorothy Gish's Inimitable Humor". Motion Picture News (New York City: Motion Picture News, Inc.) 21 (26): 5011. June 19, 1920. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  3. ^ "Review: ‘Remodeling Her Husband’". Variety. December 31, 1919. 
  4. ^ Remodelling Her Husband at database
  5. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature films: 1911-1920 by The American Film Institute (1988)

External links[edit]