Cast & Crew
In 800 B.C., the land of Pontus is ruled by women; women support the men -- weak, cowering creatures whose place is believed to be in the home -- and fight to protect them. After a victorious battle, the warriors return to Pontus led by Hippolyta, their queen, and her sister Antiope, the military leader, with male prisoners as their spoils of war. Pomposia, who sells military equipment to the government, warns Hippolyta of a pending attack by the Greeks, whose men do the fighting, which surprises and shocks the queen. Pomposia then agrees to supply needed equipment if Hippolyta will consider her son Sapiens as a possible marriage partner. Although the concept of marriage is an alien one, Hippolyta is attracted to the effeminate Sapiens. Two Greeks, Theseus, the virile commander of the army, and Homer, a poet, are captured. Greatly attracted to Antiope, Theseus tries to flirt with her, but when a messenger reports that at least 5,000 Greek soldiers have been sighted, Theseus and Homer escape. Antiope relishes the thought of a good battle, as Hippolyta agrees to marry Sapiens for the needed equipment. After the marriage ceremony, Sapiens insists on following the warriors; however, he soon suffers from neglect. In a scheme to capture Hippolyta's girdle, which, legend tells, was given to the Amazons' foremothers by the goddess Diana and contains the source of their power, Hercules, the Greeks' largest warrior, challenges Hippolyta to wear the girdle in single combat against him. Hippolyta accepts the challenge, but schemes to wear Antiope's girdle instead of her own. Meanwhile, Sapiens complains to Antiope that he is a husband "in name only," and flirts with her. Irritated, she pushes him off a swing, and because he hits his head, she carries him into Hippolyta's tent. When Antiope hears Theseus and Hercules outside the tent, she hides the queen's girdle in a strong box, but Sapiens, revived, sees her. Hercules, who is grossly out of shape, runs from Antiope when she taunts him and hides in the tent. Theseus and Antiope then fight with swords, and after he knocks her sword out of her hands and throws his own away, he admits that she has already conquered him completely and kisses her. She struggles, but then embraces him and afterwards blushes, and they kiss again. Because Theseus refuses to leave, and Antiope knows that she will be expected to kill him if he stays, she allows him to carry her off to his camp. When Hippolyta returns, Sapiens claims that he captured Hercules, and he is allowed to wear a soldier's suit. Sapiens now wants to lead the men of Pontus to revolt, so he secretly gives Hercules the queen's girdle. In his tent at the Greek camp, Theseus proposes marriage to Antiope. Disappointed in him, Antiope takes off her armor, saying she is a woman of action and has no need for marriage. The subsequent battle between the Greeks and the Amazons interrupts their lovemaking, and when Theseus keeps Antiope from leaving the tent, she stabs him; however, she then confesses she loves him and pleads that she will do whatever he says if he doesn't die. The Amazons are defeated, and the Greeks, as they drag the women into their tents, find that the women like it. Antiope is crushed that her people have been defeated, but Theseus, who is not seriously hurt, says that Pontus has now joined civilization and will be better off as men take their "rightful" places. As he talks of the tranquil domestic life that they will have, and she describes the joys of fighting together, Sapiens, who has taken command of Pontus, tells Hippolyta that she will have to stay at home where a woman belongs. They argue about the number of nights a week that he must stay home, and the film ends with the observation that in 1933 A.D. nothing has changed: "women are still fighting and believe man's place is in the home."
Louis De Francesco
F. B. Mackenzie
R. Lesley Selander
According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, the play was an enlarged and revised version of a one-act farce written by Julian Thompson and copyrighted May 3, 1917. Katharine Hepburn starred in the Broadway production of the play, and according to contemporary sources, as a result of her success, she was invited to Hollywood to take a screen test with RKO. According to modern sources, the play was loosely based on Aristophanes' Lysistrata (411 B.C.). Helene Madison was a swimming champion. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Jesse L. Lasky was considering Shirley Collier, from the New York stage, for the leading role. According to modern sources, additional cast members included James T. Mack, William Burress, Gertrude Astor and Dot Farley. In 1942, a musical version of the play, by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, entitled By Jupiter, opened in New York.