Fun Size Review: Why Change Your Wife? (1920)

Gloria Swanson has a problem. Her husband, Thomas Meighan, has purchased her a negligee! The degenerate! And he listens to fox trot music, if you please! Thomas is soon driven into the waiting arms of Bebe Daniels. Realizing her mistake, Gloria dons designer duds in a bid to win him back.

Cecil B. DeMille’s best marital comedy (at least from what I have been able to see), this picture is spunky and fast-paced. Excellent performances by all the leads make the film memorable. Worth seeing for Bebe and Gloria’s costumes alone. Thank you, Natacha Rambova!

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Meighan divorces Swanson for Daniels but then he has an accident, the ladies fight over who will take care of them, Swanson wins the fight and she and Meighan get back together. Whew!

Read my full-length review here.

If it were a dessert it would be: Croquembouche. Meltingly sweet trifles beautifully presented.

Availability: Released on DVD.


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  1. R.D. Stock

    I don’t disagree with your admiration for this great comedy. I’ve had it on tape for decades (still my video resource for it) & have enjoyed it with family & friends many times. A year or so ago I did pick up a disc of “Don’t Change Your Husband” & watched it for the second time this last Thanksgiving. I found it totally engaging & came away thinking it was better than “Why Change Your Wife?”

    But I admit that my enjoyment has something to do with my not having seen it nearly as often, & that the Mont Alto Orchestra score is simply wonderful. I usually like their scores but this music may be the finest example of their work that I’ve heard. I know that Mont Alto has also scored a disc of “Wife” but have read negative things about it & haven’t heard it. Anyway, I’m just going to say that both these films are the high points of DeMille’s production in this genre &, frankly, among his most delightful films period.

    1. Fritzi Kramer

      Musical taste is so personal that I usually try to steer clear of the topic in my reviews unless the score strikes me as particularly fine or unless it is so epic in its awfulness (cough cough Tiger Lillies and Variete). But I am glad you found a score that delights you! Always nice to hear.

  2. William

    Very entertaining movie about a prissy wife who doesn’t care for her husband’s love of jazz music, or his wardrobe selections for her. Thereby a gold-digging shop girl moves in and quickly relieves her of her “problem.” Now “the other woman,” the ex realizes she must venture beyond her comfort zone if she is to get her husband back.

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