Gloria Swanson and her sad, sad ukulele. Animated GIF


Gloria Swanson was arguably one of the most dedicated ukesters of the silent era. In her Sennett days, she would play jaunty ditties but in her later films, she tended to play in a more melancholy manner. In both Manhandled and Don’t Change Your Husband, she plays because her darn fool of a man isn’t giving her the attention she wants and deserves.

I do a bit of uking myself and it is a far more versatile instrument than most people give it credit for.

This GIF is from Don’t Change Your Husband, which was one of Cecil B. DeMille’s spunky marital comedies. Gloria’s saddled with a real dud of a husband. He sprinkles cigar ash on her game of solitaire, munches on onions before he kisses her and never does a single thing to show that he appreciates her. Once she dumps him, he spends the rest of the film trying to win her back. Sacrifices must be made! (Onions or my wife? Onions or my wife?)

Tangent! The film features Elliott Dexter as Gloria’s leading man. A lot of people on the internet are baffled by his youthful appearance relative to his age. This is because his birthdate is wrong on just about every online and print resource.  It’s really 1879, not 1870. (I managed to fix it on IMDB.) I have his passport application, draft registration, census records and a sworn affidavit from his aunt to prove it.

You can read my review of Don’t Change Your Husband here.

Availability: The film was released on DVD by Image but the disc is now out of print, though it can be found used. It is available for rent and purchase via streaming. There is also a DVD version put out by The Video Cellar but I have not seen this edition and cannot comment on it.

6 Replies to “Gloria Swanson and her sad, sad ukulele. Animated GIF”

  1. For the great master of the ukulele (and a fabulous human being), Google Jake Shimabukuro youtube to find a generous sampling of his beautiful work.

  2. I love the Ukulele Orch of Great Britain. I had no idea ukulele music could sound so great. To me, the music they played sounds like a combination of American country and East Indian – strangely wonderful.

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