Heedless Moths

Heedless Moths

Contemporary newspaper advertisement for the film.
Directed by Robert Z. Leonard
Produced by Alan Rock
Written by Robert Z. Leonard
Based on "Studio Secrets; Life Story"
by Audrey Munson
Starring Jane Thomas
Holmes Herbert
Hedda Hopper
Audrey Munson
Ward Crane
Cinematography Hal Young
Edited by Joseph Farnham
Distributed by Equity Pictures Corporation
Release dates
  • June 3, 1921 (1921-06-03) (United States)
Running time
60 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)

Heedless Moths is a 1921 American silent melodrama film written and directed by Robert Z. Leonard. The film stars Jane Thomas as real life nude model Audrey Munson. Munson appeared as herself in the nude scenes, which were posed similar to tableau vivants, and the film was based on a series of autobiographical stories she wrote.[1][2] Heedless Moths also stars Holmes Herbert and Hedda Hopper.


As described in a film publication,[3] idealistic sculptor (Herbert), who has a "butterfly" wife (Hopper), is working on a nude group from life. He and his model (Munson/Thomas) fall in love but it is not a love to be realized. In the meantime the butterfly wife has become enmeshed in the nets of a dilettante artist (Crane). One night he pulls in the nets and she finds herself in his apartment. When the model realizes the sculptor is searching for his wife, she breaks into the dilettante's apartment, hides the wife, and plays the role of the reveler, saving the marriage of the man she loves.


Still with nude Audrey Munson


The working title of the film was The Soul Within.[4]


Upon its release, Heedless Moths was generally panned by critics.[5] The film magazine Photoplay in an editorial note recommended that the film not be seen as it would add to calls for film censorship.[6]

Munson later sued the film's production company, Perry Plays, and producer Alan Rock for $15,000 in damages after they chose to send Jane Thomas on a tour to promote the film instead of Munson.


  1. Heedless Moths at AllMovie
  2. Rozas, Diane; Bourne Gottehrer, Anita (1999). American Venus: The Extraordinary Life of Audrey Munson, Model and Muse. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 90. ISBN 1-890-44904-0.
  3. "Heedless Moths: Audrey Munson's Figure Featured Clearly in This". Film Daily. New York City: Wyd's Films and Film Folks, Inc. 16 (79): 14. June 19, 1921. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  4. Leonard, Robert Z. (Apr 25, 1921). "An Appeal". Film Daily. New York City: Wyd's Films and Film Folks, Inc. 16 (25): 3. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  5. Rozas 1999 p. 91
  6. "Heedless Moths". Photoplay. New York City: Photoplay Publishing Company. 20 (4): 64. Sep 1921.
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