Opening in the dual registers of historical and scientific enquiry, Don't Change Your Husband's anatomy of middle-class marriage is unrivalled at this point in American cinema. DeMille presents the central marital exchange as the gift, which businessman James Porter (Elliott Dexter) neglects or misunderstands, whether by simply forgetting to present it to wife Leila (Gloria Swanson) on a regular basis, appropriating it from somebody else, or reducing it to a cheque. Not only does this reduce the infidelity that ensues to a struggle for monopoly over gifts, but it eventually forces Leila to commit the greatest transgression possible - giving the gift back, pawning her jewels for cash. As this might suggest, DeMille ultimately deflects the sensuality of marriage into commodity fetishism - most explicitly in his belief in the transformative power of costume ("Of those external forces which combine to make us what we are, DRESS is the most potent. It covers our ideas no less than our bodies - until we finally become the thing we look to be."), but most poetically in the orientalist interiors of the Porter's mansion. These both signas a new, more exotic model of married life, in which temporary separation (if not full-blown divorce) can be a virtue (or, alternatively, signals the emergence of the mid-life crisis), as well as providing a conspicuous 'other' against which to define its more essential continuity with the old model. This is all enhanced by DeMille's point-of-view sensibility, as evinced in a series of observation-networks, in which various characters watch each other watching, as well as a stunning sequence in which Leila's thoughts are successively conveyed by a series of point-of-view shots, several mental comparisons and, finally, three, rich intricate tableaux depicting her imagination of pleasure, wealth and love. Interestingly, DeMille's taste for such tableaux, and internal montage in general, is here fully thematised for the first time in his career, as an identification between cross-editing and marital separation and alienation.