Mantrap (1926 film)

Directed by Victor Fleming
Produced by B.P. Schulberg
Hector Turnbull
Written by Ethel Doherty
Adelaide Heilbron
George Marion Jr. (titles)
Based on Mantrap
by Sinclair Lewis
Starring Clara Bow
Percy Marmont
Ernest Torrence
Ford Sterling
Eugene Pallette
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Adelaide Cannon
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • July 24, 1926 (1926-07-24) (U.S.)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

Mantrap is a 1926 American black-and-white silent film based on the novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis. Mantrap stars Clara Bow, Percy Marmont, Ernest Torrence, Ford Sterling, and Eugene Pallette, and directed by Victor Fleming.


Ralph Prescott (Marmont) is a New York divorce lawyer tired of his clientele. Woodbury (Pallette), who runs a ladies hosiery business across the hall, suggests that they get away from the city and camp in Mantrap, Canada.

Bachelor Joe Easter (Torrence) runs a dry-goods store in Mantrap. Joe, wanting female company, goes to Minneapolis. In a barbershop there, backwoods Joe meets flirtatious manicurist Alverna (Bow), who agrees to meet Joe for dinner.

Prescott and Woodbury fight while camping. Joe separates them by taking Prescott back to Mantrap—where Prescott meets Alverna, now married to Joe and bored with backwoods life. Alverna throws a party and flirts, especially with Prescott, who's attracted to her but honorable enough to leave the next day. Alverna waits for Prescott's outbound canoe, stops him, and tells him that she's leaving with him. Alverna insults their Native American guide, who takes the canoe, leaving Prescott and Alverna on their own in the woods. They flag down a passing float plane, which lands in the lake. Alverna flirts with the pilot, angering Prescott. The pilot leaves them some food.

Joe tracks them and, after a few days, catches them. Prescott tells Joe he'll marry Alverna if Joe grants a divorce; Joe counters by telling Prescott that Alverna will never stop flirting. Alverna, shut out by the men who are planning her future, takes the canoe and leaves them both.

Prescott returns to his law practice, refreshed by his time in the woods. Joe, lonely in his Mantrap store, defends Alverna to his prudish neighbors—and Alverna returns to Joe, but keeps flirting.


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