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HISTORY

       On screen credits read "Written and Produced by Lois Weber and Phillis Smalley" [as was customary in this era, the word "producer" was used as the term "director" would be later]. Smalley and Weber were husband and wife at the time.
       The plot contained in the copyright descriptions differs significantly from the trade review synopses in that the characters are not players in a movie-within-a-movie but are connected in a more conventional way. The copyright plot may have been taken from the Oppenheim novel. In the film, Anne Wall (Lois Weber), John Wall (Phillips Smalley), Molly (Mary MacLaren), Richard (Edward Hearn), Wall's Mother (Countess Du Cello), Alberta Davies (Pauline Aster) and Molly's mother (Cecilia Matthews) appear only in the movie-within-a-movie "Life's Mirror."
       An in-joke shows letters on the marquee at the movie theater where various characters interact advertising the imaginary film "Life's Mirror" by Lois Weber as the feature attraction. A poster outside the theater also shows Phillips Smalley as being in "Life's Mirror." Another poster for "Life's Mirror" comments on the dramatic elements of Idle Wives and contains the following text: "WORKING GIRLS! Are you thinking you would be happier away from home restraint? HUSBANDS & WIVES! Are you drifting apart? YOUNG MEN! Are you useful citizens or are you a menace to society? WORKING MEN & WOMEN! Is your home today the home you dreamed it would be?" Another poster visible at the theater is for the real comedy short Housekeeping (Vim, 1916) starring Harry Myers and Rosemary ... More Less

       On screen credits read "Written and Produced by Lois Weber and Phillis Smalley" [as was customary in this era, the word "producer" was used as the term "director" would be later]. Smalley and Weber were husband and wife at the time.
       The plot contained in the copyright descriptions differs significantly from the trade review synopses in that the characters are not players in a movie-within-a-movie but are connected in a more conventional way. The copyright plot may have been taken from the Oppenheim novel. In the film, Anne Wall (Lois Weber), John Wall (Phillips Smalley), Molly (Mary MacLaren), Richard (Edward Hearn), Wall's Mother (Countess Du Cello), Alberta Davies (Pauline Aster) and Molly's mother (Cecilia Matthews) appear only in the movie-within-a-movie "Life's Mirror."
       An in-joke shows letters on the marquee at the movie theater where various characters interact advertising the imaginary film "Life's Mirror" by Lois Weber as the feature attraction. A poster outside the theater also shows Phillips Smalley as being in "Life's Mirror." Another poster for "Life's Mirror" comments on the dramatic elements of Idle Wives and contains the following text: "WORKING GIRLS! Are you thinking you would be happier away from home restraint? HUSBANDS & WIVES! Are you drifting apart? YOUNG MEN! Are you useful citizens or are you a menace to society? WORKING MEN & WOMEN! Is your home today the home you dreamed it would be?" Another poster visible at the theater is for the real comedy short Housekeeping (Vim, 1916) starring Harry Myers and Rosemary Theby. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
MPN
7 Oct 16
p. 2231.
MPW
7 Oct 16
p. 65.
Variety
22 Sep 16
p. 36.
Wid's
23 Dec 16
p. 1859.
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1916
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Film Mfg. Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 September 1916
Copyright Number:
LP9129
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Mr. Jamison meets his new sweetheart and takes her to the movies while, his neglected wife, follows them there. Mary Wells, disobeying her parents, meets her boyfriend, “Tough” Burns, at the same theater. The Smith family, a workingman, his wife and children, all of whom are obsessed with the sordidness of their lives, also attend the movie. They watch a film called Life's Mirror in which they see their own lives turned into dramas, complete with possible "final curtains." In one case, Mary, who refuses to listen to her parents, sees her motion picture surrogate give birth to an illegitimate child after she is abandoned by her boyfriend. In another, Anne Wall, tired of the phoniness of John's wealthy family and friends, deserts him and their children to return to the slums and do charity work for the needy. After the movie, Jamison, sadder but wiser, leaves his sweetheart and goes returns home with his wife, Mary decides to apologize to her mother, the Smiths realize they must look to the future, and “Tough” Burns promises to lead a less profligate ... +


Mr. Jamison meets his new sweetheart and takes her to the movies while, his neglected wife, follows them there. Mary Wells, disobeying her parents, meets her boyfriend, “Tough” Burns, at the same theater. The Smith family, a workingman, his wife and children, all of whom are obsessed with the sordidness of their lives, also attend the movie. They watch a film called Life's Mirror in which they see their own lives turned into dramas, complete with possible "final curtains." In one case, Mary, who refuses to listen to her parents, sees her motion picture surrogate give birth to an illegitimate child after she is abandoned by her boyfriend. In another, Anne Wall, tired of the phoniness of John's wealthy family and friends, deserts him and their children to return to the slums and do charity work for the needy. After the movie, Jamison, sadder but wiser, leaves his sweetheart and goes returns home with his wife, Mary decides to apologize to her mother, the Smiths realize they must look to the future, and “Tough” Burns promises to lead a less profligate life. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.