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"Lying Wives" (1925)

Lying Wives (1925) Emerald Productions; Ivan Players. Presented by Ivan Abramson. Director, Story: Ivan Abramson. Camera: Frank Zucker. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Richard Bennett, Madge Kennedy, Edna Murphy, Niles Welch, J. Barney Sherry, Buddy Harris, Bee Jackson. 7 reels. According to the American Silent Feature Film Database, this film is held by George Eastman house and is missing reel 4.

Review from Variety
Review from the New York Times

Review from Variety, November 3, 1923


Ivan Abramson production. Presented, written and directed by Ivan Abramson. Clara Kimball Young, Madge Kennedy and Richard Bennett starred. The Piccadilly, New York, June 13 week. Running time, 70 min.

Patricia Chase Clara Kimball Young
Theodore Stanhope Richard Bennett
Margery Burkley Madge Kennedy
Elsie Chase Edna Murphy
Wallace Graham Niles Welch
Alvin Chase J. Barney Sherry
Wallace Graham, Jr. Buddy Harris
Betty Lee Bee Jackson

Although Ivan Abramson has spent some money here and has assembled a good cast, the plot is illogical and old. It is the triangle story with an added angle for more interest. In this cast a middle-aged woman, Patricia Chase, is after Wallace Graham, who loves and has married Margery Burkley. The Chase woman fills the head of Graham with doubts of his wife and Theodore Stanhope, and elderly man and friend of the family. Finally, when Graham gets in a financial hole, the Chase woman says he can use her securities to get out, and after he has used them she charges him with embezzlement, throws him in jail and then withdraws the charge--this being done to force the wife to Stanhope for aid. It works and Graham is on the verge of leaving with her when Stanhope declares he is the father of Graham's wife and that he did not reveal his identity because until recently a false murder charge had hung over him.

Richard Bennett and Madge Kennedy run away with the picture, and though Clara Kimball Young does excellent work as the other woman, it is such a disagreeable and distasteful role that it can hardly be counted upon to help her much in the come-back which she has been attempting recently. Niles Welch is the leading man and good, while Barney Sherry makes a reappearance on the screen after quite an absence.

From the plot of "Lying Wives" it is not difficult to image the picture and exhibitors know their own audiences' likes. The production is up to a high independent standard, and the cast "names" will probably count. While hardly suitable for first runs, it may do for the other theatres. It seems to be of that type which combination houses have been using plentifully.


Review from the New York Times, June 17, 1925

Not So Good.
LYING WIVES, with Clara Kimball Young, Richard Bennett, Madge Kennedy, Edna Murphey, Niles Welch, J. Barney Sherry, Buddy Harris and Ben Jackson; written and directed by Ivan Abramson; overture. "Hungarian Dance in G minor;" Echoes of Ireland"' John Hammond's organ recital; Virginia Newbegin and Claire Stetson, respectively, soprano and contralto; Bee Jackson, danseuse. At the Pickadilly.

One could go a long way and search through many volumes without finding a better sample of an out-and-out, died-in-the-wool movie title that attached to the pseudo film entertainment at the Piccadilly, which is heralded as "Lying Wives." The story suits the classical appellation, and the captions are of the old school which taught that a villain must be called a "cur," that the "child" must be mentioned frequently and that the female conspirator must talk as if she would put vinegar in the breakfast coffee and delighted in touching up vanilla ice cream with English mustard.

"Have you no decency at all?" asks the heroine. "Are you going to rob this child of his father?"

Naturally no siren replies to such absurd questions. She only narrows her eyes, and half an hour later endeavors to make the hero fond of her.

Richard Bennett has a dressing gown which we surmise was picked out by Ivan Abramson, the author and director of this melodramatic tale, which, incidentally is alluded to in advertising matter as an "Ivan Emerald Production." This dressing gown looks as if it might be pattered after the wallpaper in an old English parlor, when it seemed as if they thought it was sinful to have too much light on the subject. This gorgeous gown shimmers and glistens, while Mr. Bennett looks as if he would rather appear in his shirtsleeves. Mr. Bennett enacts the role of Theodore Stanhope, a kindly, good-looking diamond merchant. Miss Young has the task of impersonating the unnecessarily nasty vampire, and Niles Welch is the individual whom this wicked female so easily leads by the ear or the nose.

Mr. Abramson is not content with producing and directing his own pictures, but now he has to write them. We cannot congratulate him on this particular effort, which besides being quite tedious, is very muddled.

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Last revised January 4, 2017