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The Common Law (1923 film)

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The Common Law
Still with Corinne Griffith
Directed byGeorge Archainbaud
Written byEdward J. Montagne
Based onThe Common Law
by Robert William Chambers
Produced bySelznick Pictures
Distributed bySelznick Pictures
Release date
  • August 30, 1923 (1923-08-30)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Common Law is a 1923 American silent drama film directed by George Archainbaud and starring Corinne Griffith and Conway Tearle. Based upon the novel of the same name by Robert William Chambers, the film was produced and released by Selznick Pictures Corporation.[1][2][3]

The novel was first filmed as The Common Law in 1916 with Clara Kimball Young as Valerie West. Conway Tearle played the role of Neville in both the 1916 and 1923 films. It was later remade as the talkie The Common Law in 1931 with Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea in the lead roles.


Valerie West (Griffith), hungry and tired, presents herself as a model at the studio of painter Louis Neville (Tearle), which he shares with two other artists. When she is asked whether she poses draped or undraped, she replies that she will do whatever is expected of models. After some time and several daring poses, Louis realizes that he is in love with her. However, the wealthy Neville family opposes any marriage between the two. Valerie makes a sacrifice by agreeing to not marry Louis, but promises him that she will become his common law wife. When Cardemon (Myers) tries to kiss the model, she lashes him with a whip. In the end, a satisfactory resolution is reached regarding Valerie and Henry.[4][5]



With no copies of The Common Law located in any film archives,[6] it is a lost film.


  1. ^ Progressive Silent Film List; The Common Law at
  2. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1892-1993: The Common Law
  3. ^ Pictorial History of the Silent Screen, p. 248 c.1953 by Daniel Blum
  4. ^ "The Screen", New York Times, October 29, 1923, retrieved January 4, 2021
  5. ^ "Reviews of the Newest Features: The Common Law". Film Daily. New York City: Wid's Films and Film Folks, Inc. 26 (25): 3. November 4, 1923. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  6. ^ The Library of Congress / FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: The Common Law

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The Common Law (1923 film)
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