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Male and Female

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Director  Cecil B. DeMille
Story by  J. M. Barrie
8/10 IMDb

Genre  Adventure, Drama
Producer  Cecil B. DeMille
Country  United States
Male and Female movie poster
Language  Silent Film English intertitles
Release date  November 23, 1919 (1919-11-23)
Based on  The Admirable Crichton  by J. M. Barrie
Writer  Jeanie Macpherson, J.M. Barrie (by: "The Admirable Crichton")
Cast  Thomas Meighan (William Crichton - The butler), Theodore Roberts (Lord Loam), Raymond Hatton (Honorable Ernest 'Ernie' Wolley), Robert Cain (Lord Brockelhurst), Gloria Swanson (Lady Mary Lasenby), Lila Lee (Tweeny - the scullery maid)
Similar movies  Related Cecil B DeMille movies

Male and Female is a 1919 American silent adventure/drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan. Its main themes are gender relations and social class. The film is based on the J. M. Barrie play The Admirable Crichton.


Male and Female movie scenes

A previous version was filmed the year before in England as The Admirable Crichton.

Male and Female movie scenes

Male and female 1919


Male and Female movie scenes

The film centers on the relationship between Lady Mary Loam (Swanson), a British aristocrat, and her butler, Crichton (Meighan). Crichton fancies a romance with Mary, but she disdains him because of his lower social class. When the two and some others are shipwrecked on a deserted island, they are left to fend for themselves in a state of nature.

Male and Female Symbol Male And Female Clip Art at Clkercom vector clip art

The aristocrats' abilities to survive are far worse than those of Crichton, and a role reversal ensues, with the butler becoming a king among the stranded group. Crichton and Mary are about to wed on the island when the group is rescued. Upon returning to Britain, Crichton chooses not to marry Mary; instead, he asks a maid, Tweeny (who was attracted to Crichton throughout the film), to marry him, and the two move to the United States.


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The film contains two famous scenes, indicative of de Mille's predilections as a filmmaker.

  • An early scene depicts Gloria Swanson bathing in an elaborate setting, attended by two maids, lavishing her with rosewater and bath salts, silk dressing gown, and luxurious towels.
  • Toward the end of the film, a fantasy sequence about ancient Babylon shows Swanson posed as Gabriel von Max's famous painting The Lion's Bride, which involved her being photographed with an actual lion.
  • Cast

  • Lila Lee as Tweeny, the scullery maid
  • Theodore Roberts as Lord Loam
  • Raymond Hatton as Honorable Ernest 'Ernie' Wolley
  • Mildred Reardon as Lady Agatha 'Aggie' Lasenby
  • Gloria Swanson as Lady Mary Lasenby
  • Thomas Meighan as Crichton, the butler
  • Robert Cain as Lord Brockelhurst
  • Bebe Daniels as King's Favorite
  • Julia Faye as Susan, 2nd Maid
  • Rhy Darby as Lady Eileen Duncraigie
  • Edmund Burns as Treherne
  • Henry Woodward as McGuire, Lady Eileen's Chauffeur
  • Sydney Deane as Thomas
  • Wesley Barry as Buttons, the Boy
  • Accolades

    The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
  • DVD release

    Male and Female was released on Region 0 DVD-R by Alpha Video on January 28, 2014.


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