Cast & Crew
William E. Lawrence
Teddy Simpson, a spoiled young lady who lives with her straitlaced aunt and is engaged to Rob Winslow, carries on telephone flirtations with Dick Chiltern and Tom Hazzard, fellow clubmen of her fiancé. Overhearing a conversation at the club, the trio with the aid of Colonel Tweed proceed to teach her a lesson: she is coaxed into visiting a hunting camp, where she and Hazzard are surprised by Tweed, posing as an escaped convict, who forces his attentions on her and locks her in a room. Following her escape, Rob finds her subdued and ready to marry him.
William E. Lawrence
Ducks and Drakes
In Ducks and Drakes, one of Daniels's earliest roles as a leading lady, she's back in familiar comedy territory. She plays spoiled rich orphan Teddy Simpson, an incorrigible flirt and prankster who rebels against her fiancé Rob Winslow (Jack Holt) and her aunt (Mayme Kelso), who chose Rob to tame the wild girl, by using the telephone to play jokes on Rob's friends. Tired of her shenanigans, they team up to help him teach Teddy a lesson with an elaborate prank that she'll never forget. The title of the film is an archaic figure of speech that means to squander money or resources, ostensibly a reference to Teddy's reckless ways, but it also carries a hint of the battle of the sexes.
Rugged and stalwart Jack Holt got into the movies as a stunt man and was best known for rugged outdoor roles, especially westerns, but he was also a reliable leading man in both comedies and dramas. He's the father of actor Tim Holt, who followed in his footsteps and became a successful cowboy star in his own right, and Jennifer Holt, who also found a career in westerns.
Director Maurice Campbell had already directed Daniels in two features when he took the reigns of this production and he went on to become one of her most reliable collaborators, ultimately directing her in eight comedies. The original screenplay is by Elmer Harris, a prolific screenwriter from the golden age of Hollywood who made his name years later with his acclaimed Broadway play "Johnny Belinda," which was turned into an award-winning film in 1948.
"The whole thing is almost entirely Bebe Daniels, and she contrives to make herself wholly enjoyable from start to finish," wrote the pseudonymous reviewer in Film Daily, who described Daniels as "a first class purveyor of light and frolicsome entertainment." And film critic Bernard Sobel, writing for the New York Dramatic Mirror, praised Daniels as "an unusually good flapper, credulous and impulsive, warm-hearted and fatuous, quite unlike the sophisticated heroines she has impersonated in some of her other pictures."
Daniels's career soared in the 1920s. She went on to star opposite such leading men as William Powell, Ricardo Cortez, and Rudolph Valentino and made a successful transition to the sound era, starring in the first screen version of The Maltese Falcon (1931) as Miss Wonderly (the Mary Astor role in the 1941 version) and in the landmark backstage musical 42nd Street (1933) as the veteran stage star Dorothy Brock. She retired from the screen 1938 to move to England with her husband, actor Ben Lyon, and their children, but she didn't give up acting. She continued to perform on stage and starred in two hugely successful radio shows through the 1960s. Bebe Daniels passed away in 1971 in her adopted home of London, England.
"Ducks and Drakes: Bebe Daniels' Latest Is Thoroughly Amusing" (film review). Wid's Daily (Film Daily), Sunday, April 3, 1922.
"Ducks and Drakes: Bebe Daniels a Flapper in a New Realart Picture," Bernard Sobel. New York Dramatic Mirror, April 16, 1921.
"Bebe Daniels (1901-1971)," Page. My Love of Old Hollywood (website), April 21, 2012.
AFI Catalog of Feature Films
By Sean Axmaker