- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 28 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: August 29, 2000
- Originally Released: 1928
- Label: Image Entertainment
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Packaging: Snap Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital Stereo - English
- Additional Release Material:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
USA Today - 04/07/2000
"...The emotions are raw and intense..."
Money-hungry blonde flapper Marie (Phyllis Haver) seduces a wealthy, bespectacled, middle-aged man (Jean Hersholt) into neglecting his wife and children, in this film by cinema pioneer D.W. Griffith--a remake of his own 1914 film of the same name. While the family waits at home, the man is out at the nightclubs, lavishing money on Marie while her shady boyfriend, Babe (Don Alvardo) waits in the wings. Finally the man's spunky daughter (Sally O'Neil) goes over to Marie's apartment with a gun, ready to defend her family at any cost, only to fall for smooth-talking Babe, much to her father's horror. Through it all, Belle Bennett suffers in typically dramatic Griffith fashion as the neglected wife and mother.
This film is an interesting hybrid of pre-code sophistication and old-fashioned morality play, indicative of a moment in Griffith's career when he realized his brand of social criticism had grown out of touch with the public. He updates his previously filmed story with modern touches to suit the times: nightclubs, risqué scenes of a scantily clad Marie, etc., but by the tear-stained finale, his unashamed love for traditional human values can't help but shine through.
Description by Image Entertainment:
D. W. Griffith is properly esteemed as "The Father of Film" from his years of discovery making short films at the pioneer Biograph Company and for such pioneering features as "The Birth of a Nation," "Intolerance," "Broken Blossoms," Way Down East" and "Orphans of the Storm" (all available on DVD from Image Entertainment), but his later films--several of them lost or almost unavailable--were far less critically hailed. Griffith's 1928 comedy-drama "The Battle of the Sexes" proves to be the exception. It is the story of a middle-aged magnate (Jean Hersholt) who makes a fool of himself when he strays from his loving but frowsy wife (Belle Bennett) and children (Billy Bakewell and Sally O'Neil) into the cynical arms of a gold-digger (Phyllis Haver) and her dishonest lover (Don Alvarado). As these characters are hurt and healed, Griffith expertly draws fine lines between tragedy and comedy, and his skill makes all the difference between emotional satisfaction and formulaic melodrama.
Director D.W. Griffith made this film towards the end of his popularity in the U.S., and it's something of an effort to get back in touch with what he felt audiences wanted at the time, which was racier subject matter than Griffith usually dealt with. Here, a wily young flapper seduces a wealthy real estate tycoon, causing him to leave his wife and comfortable lifestyle for posh nightclubs and fast women. However, he isn't happy when he finds out his daughter has been indulging in a similar lifestyle.
- Theatrical release: October 12, 1928