Josselyn's Wife (1926) Tiffany Productions. Director: Richard Thorpe. Scenario: Agnes Parsons. Photography: Milton Moore, Mack Stengler. Art Direction: Edwin B. Ellis. Editor: Harold Young. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Holmes Herbert, Josephine Kaliz, Josephine Hill, Carmelita Geraghty, Freeman Wood, Pat Harmon, Ivy Livingston, W.A. Carroll. 6 reels. This film is LOST
A brief 35mm trailer survives at the Library of Congress. It shows Frederick posing for a portrait looking anxious while a man arranges her skirt, a woman kissing a man, then a man wrestles with Frederick and shakes her until her coat falls off her shoulders. It bears the exciting tag lines: "Josselyn's Wife! The beauty whose life began with love--and ends with--Murder!" and "All other women were forgotten when men became enflamed by the scarlet loveliness of 'Josselyn's Wife'."
See also a brief news notice about the film (bottom left)
Tiffany Productions society drama, suggested by Kathleen Norris' story of same name. Scenario by Agnes Parsons, directed by Richard Thorpe. Harold Young, film editor. Pauline Frederick featured. Running time, 58 minutes (projection room speed); 5,800 feet. Set for release Nov. 15.
|Lillian Josselyn||Pauline Frederick|
|Thomas Josselyn||Holmes Herbert|
|Pierre Marchand||Armand Caliz|
|Ellen Marchand||Josephine Hill|
|Mr. Arthur||Freeman Wood|
This is the kind of drama the Laura Jean Libby fans used to love--which is to say it is false and artificial. Everything that happens is absurdly make-believe. The whole phoney dramatic situation arises from the fact that a loyal wife goes to the studio of her former lover. Her husband has asked her to have her portrait painted, and she knows the artist is going to make unwelcome love to her.
If she had refused to go, or had given some excuse, as any woman who had good sense would have done, there wouldn't have been any story.
Even so good an actress as Pauline Frederick can not make more than a dummy figure of the pure lady pursued by the amorous artist. The helpless lady victim of brute men is passé technique for stage or screen. The only emotion it excites is weariness and impatience at building up high-falutin' situations that have no basis, but the author's and director's poverty of resource.
Picture has some nice settings, but the playing is in no better style than the story, except for the always gracious acting of Miss Frederick. The men are just actors. They never for a moment convey any illusion of real people.
It's a tiresome picture, appropriate only to the most unsophisticated clientele.
Last revised, December 25, 2008