The Mad Whirl

The Mad Whirl is a 1925 jazz age black-and-white silent film drama film about the "loosening of youth morals" that took place during the 1920s. Written by Edward T. Lowe Jr. and Lewis Milestone, and directed by William A. Seiter for Universal Pictures, the film stars May McAvoy and Jack Mulhall.[1][2][3][4]

The Mad Whirl
Directed byWilliam A. Seiter
Produced byCarl Laemmle
Written byEdward T. Lowe Jr.
Lewis Milestone
Screenplay byAdaptation:
Fanny Hatton
Frederic Hatton
Harvey Thew
Based onHere's How
by Richard Washburn Child
StarringMay McAvoy
Jack Mulhall
Myrtle Stedman
Barbara Bedford
CinematographyMerritt B. Gerstad
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 1, 1925 (1925-03-01) (USA theatrical)
Running time
80 minutes
35mm, 7 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish intertitles


Cathleen Gillis (May McAvoy) falls in love with Jack Herrington (Jack Mulhall). Martin Gillis (George Fawcett), Cathleen's loving father, is stern, very religious, and runs an ice cream shop. Cathleen is an obedient daughter and conservative in her views as well. Jack however, has a routine that includes wild parties hosted by his parents, Gladys and John (Myrtle Stedman and Alec B. Francis), who think it is better to be their son's friend by their providing bootleg whiskey and a place to have all-night parties. Jack's lifestyle places him at odds with Cathleen's, but he promises her his will change his ways. He backslides several times, but in the end is reformed by Cathleen's love, and they elope. After the elopement, Gladys and John get a stern lecture on temperance and sobriety from Martin and reform their ways as well.



  1. William K. Everson (1998). American silent film. Da Capo Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-306-80876-5.
  2. Rachel Black (2010). Alcohol in Popular Culture: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 93. ISBN 0-313-38048-1.
  3. Joel Waldo Finler (2003). The Hollywood story. Wallflower Press. p. 261. ISBN 1-903364-66-3.
  4. Clive Hirschhorn (1983). The Universal story. Crown. p. 48.
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