- Director: Sidney Drew
- Writer: Marguerite Bertsch; Archibald Clavering Gunter
Made before Birth of a Nation...
A film that Variety said should not have been released.
The first American gay/lesbian/trans film...made over 100 years ago...causing quite an uproar.
Now, there are a whole host of [different] reasons that would cause a few eyebrows to be raised...not least of all, the blacked-up actors and the overt cruelty.
But...it's not all what it seems.
A bewildering piece of work.
A young woman discovers a seed that can make women act like men and men act like women. She decides to take one, then slips one to her maid and another to her fiancé. The fun begins.
Lillian Travers, a young heiress, travels from New York to Florida to surprise her fiancé, a doctor who’s seasonally employed at a St. Petersburg hotel. Upon arrival, however, she becomes furious to discover many of the female guests lavishing attention on her husband-to-be, and in a moment of frustration she swallows a seed that transforms men into women and vice versa. Her butch metamorphosis thus begins, and soon she’s kissing and courting every woman in sight, much to the chagrin of her erstwhile lover. Confusions comically mount, and by film’s end the doctor has tried the magic seed as well, to similar effect. In some respects, like its use of blackface, the film is odiously of its moment, yet in other ways it’s quite remarkable, offering an elaborate fantasy of gender variance that transcends the transvestite gags so common to the silent era.