The Clever Mrs. Carfax

The Clever Mrs. Carfax is a 1917 American comedy silent film directed by Donald Crisp and written by Gardner Hunting and Hector Turnbull. The film features female impersonator Julian Eltinge and stars Daisy Jefferson, Noah Beery, Sr., Rosita Marstini, Jennie Lee, and Fred Church. The film was released on November 5, 1917, by Paramount Pictures.[1][2]

The Clever Mrs. Carfax
Newspaper advertisement
Directed byDonald Crisp
Produced byJesse L. Lasky
Screenplay byGardner Hunting
Hector Turnbull
StarringJulian Eltinge
Daisy Jefferson
Noah Beery, Sr.
Rosita Marstini
Jennie Lee
Fred Church
CinematographyFaxon M. Dean
Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 5, 1917 (1917-11-05)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[3] Billy Wise (Church) dares his friend Temple Trask (Eltinge) to dress in women's garb and take luncheon with him at the club. Trask takes up the challenge and while dressed as Mrs. Carfax meets Helen Scott (Jefferson). Helen has a sickly grandmother who is afraid that her granddaughter will take all of her money, and so she puts her trust in two crooked hirelings. Trask recognizes the grandmother's secretary as a former jailbird and, realizing the situation, accompanies Helen and her grandmother home. Without letting his identity become known, Trask as himself and later as Mrs. Carfax discovers that Helen cares for him. At the grandmother's home, he can catch the secretary and maid with negotiable securities, trying to make good their escape. He then confesses his costume ruse to Helen, who would rather have him as Trask.



  1. "The-Clever-Mrs-Carfax - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes -". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  2. "The Clever Mrs. Carfax (1917) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  3. "Reviews: The Clever Mrs. Carfax". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (21): 28. November 17, 1917.
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