For Better, for Worse ★★½

Gloria Swanson rejects her long time love, Dr. Elliot Dexter, because he chooses to remain at home and administer to the crippled children in whom he specializes rather than join the army and go to war. Gloria marries another man (Tom Forman) who is going to war. Of course, Gloria learns how noble Dr. Dexter really is, and since her husband is believed dead, she can marry the doctor. But no, Forman returns and expects to consummate the marriage. A suffering Dexter tells Gloria that she must carry through. She tries, but cannot. Another woman has loved Forman faithfully and quietly, and so he can give up Gloria for this other love. Everybody is happy at the conclusion.

Gloria Swanson made six films, 1919 - 1921, under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille; most of them are pleasant romantic comedies. For Better, For Worse, however, is a lachrymose romantic drama. As early as 1919, DeMille had a characteristic approach to drama, over-the-top and over-sentimental.