The House of Mirth (1918 film)

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The House of Mirth
Directed by Albert Capellani
Produced by Metro Pictures Corporation
Written by Albert Capellani & June Mathis (screenplay)
Based on The House of Mirth
by Edith Wharton
Starring Katherine Harris Barrymore
Henry Kolker
Christine Mayo
Cinematography Eugene Gaudio
Distributed by Metro Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • August 5, 1918 (1918-08-05)
Running time
6 reels (1719.07 m)\ 60/70 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

The House of Mirth is a 1918 American silent melodrama film directed by French film director Albert Capellani, starring Katherine Harris Barrymore as Lily Bart.[1] It is a cinema adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1905 novel The House of Mirth and the first ever cinema adaptation of any of her work. It is not known whether the film currently survives.[2]


Socialite but penniless orphan Lily Bart is living with her wealthy aunt who insists that she takes upon herself a rich husband. Balking at this idea and remaining faithful to her impecunious sweetheart Lawrence Selden (Henry Kolker), Lily is desirous of maintaining her luxurious lifestyle: she accepts the financial "favors" of some married millionaires but refuses to surrender her virtue in return – until she discovers that her sainted Selden has been fooling around with another man's wife.



Like many American films of the time, The House of Mirth was subject to restrictions and cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors required cuts, in Reel 1, of the woman in silhouette behind veil, Reel 3, the intertitle "You know how you can repay me", Reel 4, the two intertitles "You're willing enough to take favors" etc. and "Now I want value received", and, Reel 6, the two intertitles "Now that society has accepted me, of course, I cannot marry you" and "If you only will be sensible".[3]


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