Male and Female 1919

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Male and Female inside Cueva Valdez,
Santa Cruz Island, 1919

MALE AND FEMALE was filmed, in part, on Santa Cruz Island's north shore in 1919. It is based on the play, The Admiral Crichton, by J. M. Barrie. The film was produced by Karl Struss and Directed by Cecile B. DeMille and the Lasky Motion Picture Company. The movie starred the then unknown aspiring actress, Gloria Swanson, with co-stars Thomas Meighan, Lila Lee and Mildred Reardon. The movie involves a wealthy woman who is shipwrecked on an island with her butler and the rest of the help. Out of their former social milieu, the woman and her butler start to, ahem, appreciate each other’s gender.

In the News~

May 19, 1919 [SBDN]: “…All camping privileges on Santa Cruz [Island] have been leased from the Santa Cruz Island Company by Captain Eaton, according to the statement of Alonzo L. Swain, superintendent for the company, and campers’ permits are to be obtained from him. Several parties already have encamped at Fry’s Harbor and other points for short periods of time, although the season is early. A party of thirty visited Pelican Bay and Fry’s Harbor yesterday, making the trip on the Santa Barbara, one of the larger fishing schooners, while forty students at the Thacher School will go over Thursday, May 28, for the weekend. The beach at Fry’s Harbor, one of the most beautiful of the miniature harbors of Santa Cruz Island, is now being transformed into a tropical beach by the Lasky Motion Picture Company. Palm trees, bamboo, luxurious vegetation of all kinds, has been brought there and is being transplanted to give the beach every appearance of a cannibal isle which will figure prominently in a picture now being produced by the Lasky Company. Cecile de Mille’s company will spend three weeks at the harbor as soon as the work is completed making scenes for the picture on which they now are working.”

October 29, 1919 [SBMP]: “Cecil DeMille, director general of the Famous Players Lasky corporation, is spending a week or so on Santa Cruz Island with a party of moving picture people. They sailed up from San Pedro in his yacht Sea Bee.”

October 30, 1919 [LAT]: “When Cecil DeMille’s great new picture, Male and Female, adapted from J. M. Barrie’s The Admirable Crichton, goes on in New York week after next, not only will Mr. DeMille himself be present, but as a reward for their hard work in the film, members of his staff of players at Lasky studio who enacted some of the leading roles will also be among those present with the thumbs-uppers on the opening night. Already Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan have flitted, and Mr. DeMille himself, who at present is taking a yachting trip, expects to return in time to leave Saturday morning…”