Womanhandled Film Details
Overview: Bill Dana, a New York City playboy, can resist the flaming flapper and red-hot mamas along the Great White Way, so he decides to head out west to his uncle’s ranch in Wind River, Texas. But the gold-diggers and their relatives follow him.
Review: I post this review in disagreement with the comments posted by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre who, I feel, has missed much about this movie. First, a minor factual error: the cowboys that Richard Dix uses to impress Esther Ralston are not bums picked up by the railroad siding; they are the current crop of cowboys, even though they hail from the Bowery and round up cattle using Ford Model Ts instead of mustangs. That taken care of, let us consider the picture. It is in the mold of the social comedies that Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was highly successful at doing until he switched to swashbucklers with THE MARK OF ZORRO — there is even one small Fairbanks-style gag when Dix hops over some border greenery. Like many of the successful Fairbanks vehicle of the ‘Teens, it is a comedy of manners, in which Fairbanks takes on some current fad and shows how a good attitude will solve most problems. The contrived problem posed by the plot is that Richard Dix is in love with Esther Ralston — and why not? — and her mania centers, as does Oscar Wilde’s best known comedy of manners, on the sort of man she wants to marry. He need not be named Ernest, but he must be a man of the West, a man’s man, not someone who has been Womanhandled until he is effete. So Dix goes out to his uncle’s ranch, only to discover, as Mr. MacIntyre notes, that all the ‘real’ cowboys have gone into the movie business, and those who are now doing the work like their creature comforts. Mr. MacIntyre does not like the gags involved, but his mislike of them is largely based on what he calls ‘a very contrived comedy.’ Aye, that it is. Very few comedies of manner survive their own era. Oscar Wilde’s do because the writing is so very witty. WOMANHANDLED seems to have survived on the basis of its gags; certainly the usually tough audience at the Museum of Modern Art roared at them… and some of them were surprisingly subtle. SPOILER: Consider this one: the ranch has a Black (or Negro, or African American or Colored) family, she as the cook, he doing odd chores. They have three boys. When Miss Ralston, her aunt and her horrid small cousin come to the ranch, Richard Dix dresses this family up as Indians. “What tribe are they?” She asks him. “Blackfeet.” The contemporary audience may have laughed at these Black people being forced to pretend to be Indians, but I laughed at Miss Ralston’s naive acceptance of them as Indians…. and realized, a second later, that such ridiculous casting was standard in that period in Hollywood, and so the gag had three targets. Miss Ralston and Mr. Dix are not comic actors, and that, in my opinion, hurts this movie slightly. Still, the careful construction means that you don’t need comedians; good straight actors will do nicely. That slight flaw makes this movie less than perfect to me, but I still award it a 9 out of 10.
Language: None, English
Duration: 70 min
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Western
Also known as: Womanhandled,女軍撃退,Joguete de Mulheres,Juguete de las mujeres,L’illusion perdue,É Assim que Se Maltrata uma Mulher,Kär och tokig