Joseph Urban and Cosmopolitan Films

Enemies of Women

"Enemies of Women" was Cosmopolitan Productions Number 40.

Directed by Alan Crosland, it was based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez, with a scenario by John Lynch.

It was something of a family affair, with Urban's daughter Gretl designing the costumes, and his wife Mary as choreographer. Mary Porter Beegle had taught dance and physical education at Barnard College before marrying Urban in 1919.

The film's world premiere was on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1923, at the Central Theater in New York that had been redecorated by Joseph Urban for the occasion.

Of the 11 reel film, the Library of Congress copy is missing reels 3 and 9.

From the AllMovie website: The dashing but arrogant Prince Michael Fedor Lubimoff (Lionel Barrymore) has to flee Tsarist Russia, with the help of Dutchess Alicia (Alma Rubens), after falling into disgrace by a duel. He settles in Monte Carlo, where he resumes his life of debauchery while World War I begins to ravage the rest of Europe.

While denying that he is in love with Alicia, Lubimoff is incensed when he finds her embracing a young man. Not realizing that it is her 16-year-old son, Lubimoff and his friends form a group called "Enemies of Women." Because of the war, the feudal estates are lost, and Alicia's son dies just before he is about to enter into a duel.

Lubimoff, who has finally realized that the world does not revolve around him, goes to fight and uses the money he has left to help the downtrodden. On the front lines, he meets Alicia, who has become a Red Cross nurse, and they are reunited. 

Shown here is an example of a table of contents and the set for the Living Room in Alicia's Cottage.

One of the few outdoor, probably candid, photographs in the Urban Archive, marked "Long Shot Monte Carlo" on the verso, it appears to show Lionel Barrymore in the center of the men on the lower path.

As noted by Louis Pizzitola in Hearst Over Hollywood, citing an article in the New York American, "the film marked the first time that an entire American film troupe was sent to Europe to make a picture. Director Crosland, the film's actors and crew, and Urban, once again the set designer, were in Monte Carlo for six weeks, where scenes of the casino and the palace of the prince of Monaco were filmed."

Presumably Mary and Gretl Urban were also in Monte Carlo with Joseph Urban.

Urban's set for Alicia's Paris Drawing Room includes more of Urban's designed furniture that was on display in his Wiener Werkst├Ątte of America showrooms on Fifth Avenue over the summer of 1922.

The white-painted chairs and tables were embellished with silver and mother-of-pearl, and the chairs had silk upholstery in vibrant colors. One of the tables is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Urban's design for the Salon in Lubimoff's Palace is completely over the top with 6 harps!

Just as sumptuous is Urban's set for Lubimoff's Living Room, with the scene changed to Hospital in the lower photograph.

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