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The Cardboard Lover

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cardboard Lover
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Produced byWilliam Randolph Hearst (for Cosmopolitan)
Harry Rapf
Marion Davies (exec. producer)
Written byF. Hugh Herbert
Carey Wilson
Lucille Newmark (titles)
Based onthe play Dans sa candeur naive
by Jacques Deval
StarringMarion Davies
Nils Asther
Jetta Goudal
CinematographyJohn Arnold
Edited byBasil Wrangell
Cosmopolitan Productions
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • September 2, 1928 (1928-09-02)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

The Cardboard Lover is a 1928 silent romantic comedy film produced by Cosmopolitan Productions and distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and stars Marion Davies and Swedish actor Nils Asther.

The film is based on the 1926 play Dans sa candeur naive by Jacques Deval, with the genders of the main characters switched for this adaptation.[2] In London, Tallulah Bankhead played the female lead. On Broadway, Jeanne Eagels played the female lead.[3]

The film survives at the Library of Congress and in the Turner library.[2][4] In 2015, a second print of the film was found at a recycling centre.[citation needed]

It was remade as The Passionate Plumber in 1932 and Her Cardboard Lover in 1942.


A group of American coeds/flappers arrives at the Hotel Venitien on the French Riviera. In the hotel lobby, Sally Baxter encounters Monsieur de Segurola, "the famous baritone", and asks him to write something in her autograph album. However, when she reads what he has written, she tears it out. Next, she spots handsome Andre Briault, "the famous tennis champion", and his girlfriend Simone. After Andre drives away, Sally notices Simone and de Sugorola making eye contact. (Albine, Andre's valet, does not approve of Simone either.)

When Andre later telephones Simone, he hears someone singing; Simone claims it is only a phonograph record playing, but then de Sugorola coughs. Andre heads over to the hotel to check up on her. She tries to distract him, but Andre spots de Sugorola trying to sneak out of her suite, tosses him out into the hall and breaks up with Simone.

The last part is witnessed by Sally. She chases after Andre to get his autograph, but her pen seems to be out of ink. After he leaves, she finds that there is ink after all; unable to get a taxi, she steals a car and follows him to the Casino. There, she inadvertently loses 50,000 francs playing baccarat against him, and is asked to pay. She writes on a check that she has no money to speak of, and Andre good-naturedly tears it up.

Then Andre spots Simone. He is still in love with her, so Sally suggests he pretend to be in love with someone else. He thinks that is an excellent plan; he chooses Sally, telling her that this is how she can pay her gambling debt. He instructs Sally to never let him be alone with Simone and to not let him weaken. When Simone tries to win him back, he introduces her to his "fiancée", Sally.

However, he keeps falling for Simone's enticements. But Sally is extremely persistent, going to outlandish lengths to keep him out of her rival's clutches. Finally, she socks him in the jaw to stop him from chasing after Simone. He reacts by pushing her clear into the next room, knocking her unconscious. This finally makes him realize whom he truly loves.



In her 28th film Marion Davies starred in a comedy about an autograph hound in Monte Carlo who ends up working for a tennis pro named Andre (Nils Asther) after she loses all her money in the casino. Based on a Broadway play, the story was totally revamped by inserting the character of Sally Baxter (Davies) into the play's love story between Andre and Simone (Jetta Goudal). Essentially a screwball comedy, the plot has Davies disguised as a bellboy who tries to keep Simone away from Andre. Davies even masquerades as Goudal in an effort to "ween" Andre from her charms. Purportedly, Davies' impersonation had audiences refusing to believe it was really Davies. The production also featured Davies' niece Pepi Lederer in a small role as a tourist. Davies recalled that Goudal was a real pill and would only speak French on the set. This was another solid box-office hit for Davies.[5]


  1. ^ Slide, Anthony. Silent Topics: Essays on Undocumented Areas of Silent Film. Scarecrow Press. p 26
  2. ^ a b "The Cardboard Lover".
  3. ^ Her Cardboard Lover at the Internet Broadway Database, performed on Broadway at the Empire Theatre from March 21, 1927 to August 1927
  4. ^ Catalog of Holdings, The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, page 26, published by The American Film Institute c. 1978
  5. ^ Lorusso, Edward (2017) The Silent Films of Marion Davies, CreateSpace, pp. 155-156.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 April 2021, at 22:51
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