AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
A Virtuous Vamp
Director: David Kirkland (Dir)
Release Date:   16 Nov 1919
Duration (in reels):   5
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Constance Talmadge (Gwendolyn Armitage/Nellie Jones)  
    Harda Daube (Mrs. Armitage)  
    Jack Kane (Edward Cecil Armitage)  
    Conway Tearle (Jame Crowninshield)  
    Jeanette Horton (Katherine Crowninshield)  
    Margaret Linden (Minerva Crowninshield)  
    Wallace McCutcheon (Kirby)  
    Ned Sparks (Mr. Bell)  
    William Eville (Mr. Hicks)  
    William Gaunt (Mr. Davis)  

Summary: Gwendolyn Armitage, the descendant of an English aristocrat, begins vamping men at the age of four when, with her sweetest smile, she induces a fireman to carry her from the rubble of the San Francisco earthquake to new lodgings. After business college, Gwen comes to New York with a letter of introduction to the office of Janmes Crowninshield to get a job. When she finds out that Crowninshield does not like people using connections, she tells him that her name is Nellie Jones and lands a job as a stenographer when Crowninshield's underlings fall for her smiles. After Gwen's smiles disrupt three departments, Crowinshield, who believes that sentiment should not mix with business, takes her as his own secretary. As they start to go out on Saturday nights, ostensibly to investigate the request of a shimmy dancer for insurance for her shoulders, Crowinshield unconsciously falls for Gwen. After a series of complications, Gwen accepts Crowninshield's dictated proposal and they marry. 

Production Company: A John Emerson - Anita Loos Production; Constance Talmadge Film Co.  
Distribution Company: First National Exhibitors' Circuit, Inc.  
Director: David Kirkland (Dir)
Producer: Joseph M. Schenck (Pres)
Writer: John Emerson (Scen)
  Anita Loos (Scen)
Photography: Oliver Marsh (Cam)
Art Direction: Willard Reineck (Tech dir)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the play The Bachelor by Clyde Fitch (New York, 15 Mar 1909).
Authors: Clyde Fitch

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Joseph M. Schenck 27/10/1919 dd/mm/yyyy LU14330
Joseph M. Schenck 28/10/1919 dd/mm/yyyy LU14338

Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: Society
Subjects (Major): Businessmen
  New York City
Subjects (Minor): Exotic dancers
  San Francisco earthquake, 1906

Note: The name of the production company for this film was not mentioned in reviews or news items. In the spring of 1919, Constance Talmadge signed a contract with the First National Exhibitors' Circuit for the distribution of six films produced by her within the year. Her company was called the Constance Talmadge Film Co. The films were to be made in Eastern studios with Joseph Schenck as the producer. According to a modern source, Sidney Franklin was the assistant director. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   29 Nov 19   p. 2243.
MPN   29 Nov 19   p. 3976.
MPW   29 Nov 19   p. 536.
New York Morning Telegraph   19 Sep 19   p. 54.
New York Times   17 Nov 19   p. 20.
Variety   21 Nov 19   p. 55.
Wid's   30 Nov 19   p. 23.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.