THE SILENT TREATMENT: William Wellman's "You Never Know Women"

For a feller who claimed to vastly prefer working with male actors rather than female ones, director William Wellman certainly knew how to construct a lush romantic lark. After a string of dusty oaters in the first half of the Twenties (and before the machismo of films like Wings, The Public Enemy and The Call of the Wild), Wellman turned his sights on this highly unusual circus romance. This high-flying jaunt stars Florence Vidor as the vamp in the middle of a love triangle between her acrobat partner in a kooky circus troupe. Yup, think clowns, magicians, Houdini-esque escapes and knife-throwing delights, all alongside the silly harumphing of society types and the behind-the-scenes thrills of a showbiz exposé.
Dir. William A. Wellman, 1926, 35mm, approx. 60 min. (Print courtesy of the Library of Congress)