Monday, April 30, 2012

Sex - 1920

Country: United States
Director: Fred Niblo
Writer: C. Gardner Sullivan
Stars: Louise Glaum, Irving Cummings and Peggy Pearce
Release date: 29 March 1920 (Paterson, New Jersey)
Also known as: Expiation (USA - alternative title), Rakkauden ikuinen taistelu (Finland)
Production Co: J. Parker Read Jr. Productions
Runtime: 87 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Drama
A broadway actress uses her sex appeal to ruin a marriage only to dump her lover for a richer prospect. 
Shortly after its premiere, in New Jersey, this film was shown in Pennsylvania, where the State Board of Censors changed the title for screenings around that state to SEX CRUSHED TO EARTH, which is comprehensible for the time, but the work is after being a morality play, with the lead character, Adrienne Renault(Louise Glaum) realizing what the wages of her superficial existence are to be. Adrienne, star of the Frivolity Theatre in New York, enjoys stealing husbands with her major acquisition being Phillip Overman (William Conklin) whose wife she scorns when Mrs. Overman begs for his return; a chorine, Daisy (Peggy Pearce) is impressed by Adrienne's victorious self-absorption, and when the latter disposes of Overman in favor of a millionaire, Dick Wallace (Irving Cummings), the two performers find themselves in competition for him, which buckles the flooring of Adrienne's harsh philosophy. Although baldly a melodrama, SEX has many good moments and effective scenes, is well directed by Fred Niblo, and is a proper showcase for Glaum, who at the time of filming outdistances Theda Bara in the sweepstakes for America's favorite vamp; the titles offer witty art design, editing is smoothly done and Cummings, as a wealthy man about town, gives an outstanding, nuanced performance as the axle of the story.

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