The Unpainted Woman

The Unpainted Woman is a 1919 American drama film directed by Tod Browning that is based upon a story by Sinclair Lewis.[1] It is not known whether the film currently survives,[1] which suggests that it is a lost film.

The Unpainted Woman
Film still
Directed byTod Browning
Produced byUniversal Pictures
Written bySinclair Lewis
Allen G. Siegler
Waldemar Young
StarringMary MacLaren
Thurston Hall
CinematographyAlfred Gosden
Allen G. Siegler
Distributed byUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Release date
  • May 26, 1919 (1919-05-26)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[2] Gudrun Trygavson (MacLaren) is a beautiful Swedish girl living in the American wheat country where she is employed as a "hired girl" by Mrs. Hawes (Titus). Charley Holt (Butler), son from one of the best families in Mullinsdale, cares for Gudrun and asks her to a dance. When Mrs. Hawes informs Charley's mother and sister of this, at the dance the sister cuts in to separate Charley from Gudrun. Charley becomes determined to marry Gudrun, but after they are wed his snobbish relatives cut them off. Charley gets a menial job as a mill worker, and Gudrun and he try to make the best of things, but their life is miserable due to Charley's drinking. A child is born to them, but after five years of hard drinking, Charley is fatally injured in a saloon fight, circumstances which distress Gudrun. Gudrun takes up a small farm with a cabin on it, and works the wheat fields to support her and her child. A "bird of passage" named Martin O'Neill (Hall) comes to the farm, and Gudrun feeds him. In return, he assists in the work and helps bring in the harvest, and when the barn catches fire, saves Gudrun and her child. Martin is suspected of starting the fire, and narrowly survives an attempted lynching by the excited townspeople. It is then discovered that the fire was started by a jealous rival. Gudrun and Martin are later wed.



  1. "Progressive Silent Film List: The Unpainted Woman". Silent Era. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  2. McElravy, Robert C. (May 10, 1919). "Reviews and Advertising Aids: The Unpainted Woman". Moving Picture World. New York City: Chalmers Publishing Company. 40 (6): 938. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
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