8 user 3 critic

Black Oxen (1923)

A Manhattan playboy falls in love with a mysterious European woman, whom he notices as an exact double for a famous socialite who disappeared at the turn of the century. At first, he thinks... See full summary »


Frank Lloyd


Gertrude Atherton (novel) (as Gertrude Franklin Atherton), Frank Lloyd | 1 more credit »


Learn more

More Like This 

It (1927)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A salesgirl with plenty of "it" (sex appeal) pursues a handsome playboy.

Directors: Clarence G. Badger, Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Clara Bow, Antonio Moreno, William Austin
Mantrap (1926)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sexy young manicurist living with her older backwoodsman husband in a small Canadian town finds herself attracted to a young, rich and famous divorce lawyer who comes to town on vacation.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Ernest Torrence, Clara Bow, Percy Marmont
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young flapper tricks her childhood sweetheart into marrying her. He really loves another woman, but didn't marry her for fear the marriage would end in divorce, like his parents'. Complications ensue.

Directors: Frank Lloyd, Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Clara Bow, Esther Ralston, Gary Cooper
Pandora's Box (1929)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Young girl becomes a "flapper", defying her parents and the community.

Director: Herbert Brenon
Stars: Conway Tearle, Alice Joyce, Clara Bow
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Clara plays wealthy Prudence Severin, whose reckless, profligate behavior causes nothing but headaches for her father. A detective (Lee Moran) is hired to protect Prudence from herself, but to no avail.

Director: Dallas M. Fitzgerald
Stars: Clara Bow, Carmelita Geraghty, Betty Baker
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A Russian prince has to flee his country after fighting a duel. He falls in love with a duchess, but becomes jealous when he finds out she has a lover.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Alma Rubens, Pedro de Cordoba
Night World (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Story of the goings-on at a Prohibition-era nightclub.

Director: Hobart Henley
Stars: Lew Ayres, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
Maytime (1923)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ottilie Van Zandt is forced to wed her cousin, despite her love for Richard Wayne, the gardener's son. Richard leaves, vowing to return a wealthy man and eligible suitor for her. He returns... See full summary »

Director: Louis J. Gasnier
Stars: Ethel Shannon, Harrison Ford, William Norris
Hellzapoppin' (1941)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Hugh Carver is an athletic star and a freshman at Prescott College. He falls in love with Cynthia Day, a popular girl who loves to go to parties. He finds that it is impossible to please ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Donald Keith, Mary Alden, Henry B. Walthall
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

On a volcanic island near the kingdom of Hetvia rules Count Dakkar, a benevolent leader and scientist who has eliminated class distinction among the island's inhabitants. Dakkar, his ... See full summary »

Directors: Lucien Hubbard, Benjamin Christensen, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Jacqueline Gadsdon, Lloyd Hughes


Cast overview, first billed only:
Corinne Griffith ... Madame Zatianny / Mary Ogden
Conway Tearle ... Lee Clavering
Tom Ricketts ... Charles Dinwiddie
Tom Guise Tom Guise ... Judge Gavin Trent
Clara Bow ... Janet Ogelthorpe
Kate Lester ... Jane Ogelthorpe
Harry Mestayer ... James Ogelthorpe
Lincoln Stedman ... Donnie Ferris
Claire McDowell ... Agnes Trevor
Alan Hale ... Prince Rohenhauer
Clarissa Selwynne Clarissa Selwynne ... Gora Dwight
Fred Gamble Fred Gamble ... Oglethorpe Butler
Percy Williams ... Ogden Butler
Otto Nelson Otto Nelson ... Dr. Steinach
Eric Mayne ... Chancellor


A Manhattan playboy falls in love with a mysterious European woman, whom he notices as an exact double for a famous socialite who disappeared at the turn of the century. At first, he thinks it's just pure coincidence, as the beautiful young woman he's currently romancing is much younger than the woman who vanished years before, but soon, he begins to believe that maybe it's not such a coincidence after all. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Yes!! A woman can come back and does thru rejuvenation -- in the screen's strangest story See more »


Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi







Release Date:

January 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die schöne Unbekannte See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD) (incomplete)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Black Oxen (1923), Flaming Youth (1923), and The Sheik (1921) are often listed by contemporary writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald as the three cinematic works which defined the cultural zeitgeist of Jazz Age. A century later, only The Sheik (1921) has survived in its entirety. See more »


Lee Clavering: Not so long ago I gave you a spanking. If you don't show your Grandmother more respect - I'll do it again!
Janet Ogelthorpe: Can I depend on that?
See more »


Featured in Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girl (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Subtle science-fiction silent

"Black Oxen" by Gertrude Atherton was the #1 best-selling novel of 1923, going through 14 printings in a single year. The novel gained a racy reputation, due to its (for the time) frank discussion of women's sexual organs, and because of some innovative language. (This novel featured the first use of the word "sophisticate" as a noun.) The film version was rushed into production almost immediately, but is well-made and not a quickie.

"Black Oxen" (the 1923 novel) is science fiction, although few of its readers realised that fact. The 1924 film "Black Oxen" is a science-fiction movie, but is not immediately recognisable as such because the film emphasises ideas rather than sci-fi gadgetry. The film takes its title from a verse by Yeats: "The years like great Black Oxen tread the world". A much later science-fiction novel, also cried 'Black Oxen' (by New Zealand author Elizabeth Knox, published in 2001), takes its title from this same source.

Lee Clavering (played by Conway Tearle) is a handsome playboy in jazz-era Manhattan. (In the novel, Clavering was a playwright: in this movie, he allegedly writes a newspaper column, but seems to spend all his time carousing.) In a nightclub, he meets a mysterious Austrian beauty named Madame Zatianny (Corinne Griffith) and he's instantly attracted to her. Clavering's older friends Mr and Mrs Oglethorpe are also intrigued by Mme Zatianny, because she is an exact double for Mary Ogden, a socialite of the 1890s who disappeared in Europe many years ago. But Mary Ogden would now be 58 years old, whilst Mme Zatianny is a young woman. Can she perhaps be Mary Ogden's daughter?

SPOILER COMING: As a romance develops between Clavering and Zatianny, he discovers the bizarre truth. Years ago, Mary Ogden went to Vienna and volunteered for a medical experiment, in which her ovaries were irradiated with radium treatments. This rejuvenated the fiftyish Mary, restoring her to the sexual vitality and physical youth of her early twenties. She re-invented herself as the European beauty Zatianny, and has now returned to her old haunts. For reasons never properly explained, the radium treatment works only on women, not men.

This is a strange film, but an interesting one. In flashbacks, we see Mary Ogden as she looked in her fifties: the make-up on Corinne Griffith is not very convincing, and she looks as if she's in her seventies, not her fifties. Also, the movie implies that a woman in her fifties is hopelessly old, beyond any hope of emotional happiness. If this is true, it's down to social prejudice rather than biological fact.

Clara Bow is good in a small role as the Oglethorpes' socialite daughter, and more subdued than usual. "Black Oxen" is a good example of how silent films sometimes had narrative advantages over talking films. Corinne Griffith has to play an American and a (supposed) European. In a sound film, she would have to speak her lines in two different accents. The European accent would probably have been a fairly ludicrous one, dispelling the credibility of her character. Because "Black Oxen" is a silent film, the accent problem is avoided.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed