Old Wives for New

Old Wives for New is a 1918 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.[1][2] Prints of the film survive at the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House.[3]

Old Wives for New
Old Wives for New (1918) 1.jpg
Gustav von Seyffertitz and Sylvia Ashton in Old Wives for New
Directed byCecil B. DeMille
Written byJeanie MacPherson
Based onOld Wives for New
by David Graham Phillips
Produced byCecil B. DeMille
Jesse L. Lasky
StarringElliott Dexter
CinematographyAlvin Wyckoff
Edited byCecil B. DeMille
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 19, 1918 (1918-05-19)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Old Wives for New


As described in a film magazine,[4] disgusted by the unattractive, slovenly appearance of his wife Sophy (Ashton), Charles Murdock (Dexter) goes on a long hunting trip. He meets Juliet Raeburn (Vidor), falls in love with her, and while telling her of his love, he reveals that he is a married man. Upon his return, his wife flies into a frenzy of jealousy. To forget, he goes out with his business partner Tom Berkeley (Roberts), meets Viola Hastings (Manon), who is being provided for by Berkeley, and another woman of the cafes. Viola shoots Berkeley when she finds him in another woman's bedroom and Juliet Raeburn's name is connected to the scandal by a false report. Murdock, to protect Juliet, goes abroad with another woman. After his wife obtains a divorce, Juliet and Murdock meet in Venice, renew their friendship, and marry.



Like many American films of the time, Old Wives for New was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors issued an Adults Only permit for the film and cut, in Reel 1, the intertitle "A shrewd sensualist" etc., Reel 3, the two intertitles "With a ribbon and a feather Berkeley pays his debts" and "Suppose he didn't get you the ermine?", the incident of Mrs. Murdock pointing to a place near her in bed, Reel 4, the intertitle "No, I can't forget, I'll take you only to your apartment", all scenes of young woman in man's arms on chair, Reel 5, all scenes of young woman in man's arms on chair, young woman shooting man and all scenes of her on floor after shooting, and the four intertitles "I killed him; he was a beast", "We've got to get him to his hotel", "Hushing it up", and "I won't turn you over to the police yet".[5]


  1. ^ "Old Wives for New". Film Affinity. filmaffinity.com. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "Old Wives for New". afi.com. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  3. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Old Wives for New". silentera.com. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
  4. ^ "Reviews: Old Wives for New". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (1): 45. June 29, 1918.
  5. ^ "Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (4): 49. July 20, 1918.

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