About Phil-for-Short

Not rated
Year Released:
Comedy, Silent/Live Accompaniment

Phil-for-Short is a delightful proto-screwball comedy featuring one of the world’s most durable stars of the time, Evelyn Greeley. Greeley plays Damophilia Illington (“Phil” for short, hence the title), the feisty, independent daughter of a progressive university professor who is devastated by the sudden death of her father. The town’s banker, an arrogant stuffed shirt, wants to marry Phil and has himself declared her guardian. Not wanting to marry him, she quickly leaves town and lands a job at a nearby university as an assistant to a professor of Greek literature (an area in which her father trained her) who is bitter and resentful after the breakup of his engagement to a woman who had been lying to him. Determined to get close to her professor, Phil dresses like a man to spend more time with him. Can Phil, whose own understanding of the classics goes beyond mere theory, tear this desiccated intellectual away from his library? Silent film with intertitles.


Phil-for-Short is being restored by the Library of Congress and will be included in Kino Lorber’s “Cinema’s First Nasty Women,” a 4-disc DVD/Blu-ray box set scheduled to be released in 2022, co-curated by Laura Horak, Maggie Hennefeld, and Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi. The set features rarely seen silent films about feminist protest, anarchic slapstick destruction, and suggestive gender play. The collection includes 98 European and American silent films, produced from 1896 to 1926, sourced from 10 international film archives, and spotlighting slapstick comediennes and cross-dressing women of the silent screen. The women included are indeed very “nasty”—they organize labor strikes, bake (and weaponize) inedible desserts, explode out of the chimney, electrocute the police force, and assume a range of identities that gleefully dismantle traditional gender norms and sexual decorum. The films span a range of genres including slapstick comedy, genteel farce, the trick film, Western drama, and adventure thriller.

Daniel Whitworth’s score will be synchronized with the film and included in the 2022 release of this DVD/Blu-ray set.

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