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Too Wise Wives (1921)

Passed | | Drama | 22 May 1921 (USA)
An insecure wife fears her husband may be straying back to an old flame.

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Mrs. David Graham
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Mona Lisa ...
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Storyline

An insecure wife fears her husband may be straying back to an old flame.

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THE PARABLE OF TWO WIVES WHO WERE TOO WISE! (Print ad-Sunday Times, (( Sydney, NSW)) 7 August 1921)

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22 May 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deux femmes trop sages  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Mrs. John Daly: [on the phone] You are friendly enough with John, David. Why be so stiff with me? Drive out here with your wife some Sunday.
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Referenced in Lost L.A.: Dream Factory (2017) See more »

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The Not So Roaring Twenties
6 September 2017 | by See all my reviews

Written and directed by Lois Weber, "Too Wise Wives" might be most notable for its depiction of life in the twenties. The lengthy interior shots detail the arts of the time, including interior design, fashion, the fine arts, etc. In this respect, it's a real treat to see. The women drape themselves in feathers and furs, and layers of fabric. The rooms are decorated with details that overwhelm the senses and conflict with one another. Pieces of art ostentatiously festoon every wall and corner, like a residential museum. But what fun it is to see the styles of the time, including the beautiful automobiles.

Predictably, the message of the film is a cautionary moral. The personalities of two wives are contrasted. One (Mrs. Graham) knits slippers for her husband--the picture of devotion and domesticity. And unselfishness. The director wants us to place all negative traits under the umbrella of selfishness--as depicted by the other wife (Mrs. Daly)--and goes so far as to reinforce this message repeatedly in title cards. This is one of the main problems with the film; the titles over-explain when the action is enough.

Despite other tales that deal with the newfound societal freedoms of the Roaring Twenties, this is a story about propriety. Everything is subdued and damped by the manners of the times.

As a story, this film is monothematic. But as a "time capsule" it is rich with observable treasures.


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