The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here for the full list of questions.
Today’s prompt: What’s the last movie you saw in theatres?
Well, the last general theatrical release I saw was Attack the Block a few weeks ago, though I hope to resume weekly new-release-going with Contagion this weekend. But the last thing I actually saw in a theatre was a screening of the 1924 film Changing Husbands as part of the Silent Treatment program at Cinefamily. The Silent Treatment is a bi-monthly newsletter published electronically by two LA-based film archivists (one at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, one at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), focusing on silent film. They do a program once a month at Cinefamily, showing rarely screened silent films that are not on DVD, so unfortunately I don’t have a clip from the film to include. The best I can do is the poster-based trailer Cinefamily put together.
I can say that I enjoyed the film immensely; it’s something of a sex farce as Leatrice Joy plays a rich man’s wife who only wants to go on the stage, against her husband’s urging to live a quiet life with him, and when she gets to New York, what does she find but her exact doppelganger about to get kicked out of a show for her poor acting. She and the weary actress decide to swap places, never expecting her husband to come swooping in and whisk the poor young woman off to Long Island, not dreaming that she isn’t his wife. Meanwhile, his wife is dealing with the advances of her double’s beau. It gets pretty suggestive by the end; anyone who likes pre-Code films would get a kick out of this one. And Joy is great in her dual role. If you ever do get a chance to see Changing Husbands, I’d jump at it. It was a delight from start to finish.