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drednm

MARION DAVIES for STAR OF THE MONTH

113 posts in this topic

I didnt realize AMC  had SOTMs. I really missed out with AMC. I didnt get it in its early days (or I didnt have cable then, I dont remember) I remember Bob Dorian and its gradual decline which was sad. They showed Paramount films. Those were the days!

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2 hours ago, drednm said:

It was until the "home theater" revolution of the 70s (?) with VHS and then DVD that we started to see real revivals with lots of films available.

I would say it was at least until the very late '70s before there was any sort of home theater revolution for most Americans. Bob Crane had some kind of proto-VCR as early as about 1969, according to Auto Focus, but he was a rich TV star. I don't really remember our family having one or seeing them in other people's homes until at least 1979 or 1980.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Your second paragraph is interesting-- what would have happened if she had starred in a new film after 1941? Would she have been able to capitalize on the publicity of Welles' film? Or would any new effort have been attacked to the point where it came off as Susan Alexander Kane's latest flop? 

Davies was offered the role of Mrs. Brown in Claudia (1943) by director Edmund Goulding. She wuld have played Dorothy McGuire's mother, but Hearst (who would have been 80 years old) didn't want Davies to return to the screen (Davies would have been 46), didn't want to see her in a supporting role (she had never been a supporting player in a film), and didn't want to see her as the mother of an adult). Davies was apparently game. The role went to Ina Claire (my grandfather's cousin)  and she was wonderful in it. The character of Mrs. Brown is warm and comedic and yes Davies would have been a good fit.

It's rumored that Lucille Ball, who always credited Davies as a major influence on her comedy (especially the ditzy Lucy Ricardo) wanted Davies to appear in the Lucy in Hollywood arc on I Love Lucy. Hearst had died in 1951 and Davies may have been game but it didn't happen. She'd been off the screen nearly 20 years when these shows aired in 1955. Davies had tried to launch a TV series for Arthur Lake and family (yes, her daughter) in 1954, based on an original story by Davies, who also produced the TV pilot (which exists). So she may have been itching to do something when Lucy came a-calling. What treat it would have been two these Lucy and Marion together.

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17 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I didnt realize AMC  had SOTMs. I really missed out with AMC. I didnt get it in its early days (or I didnt have cable then, I dont remember) I remember Bob Dorian and its gradual decline which was sad. They showed Paramount films. Those were the days!

And they showed a lot of classic films from Universal and Republic.

You can see what the AMC magazines looked like, because people are selling copies on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1312.R1.TR11.TRC2.A0.H0.Xamc.TRS1&_nkw=american+movie+classics+magazine&_sacat=0

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5 minutes ago, drednm said:

Davies was offered the role of Mrs. Brown in Claudia (1943) by director Edmund Goulding. She wuld have played Dorothy McGuire's mother, but Hearst (who would have been 80 years old) didn't want Davies to return to the screen (Davies would have been 46), didn't want to see her in a supporting role (she had never been a supporting player in a film), and didn't want to see her as the mother of an adult). Davies was apparently game. The role went to Ina Claire (my grandfather's cousin)  and she was wonderful in it. The character of Mrs. Brown is warm and comedic and yes Davies would have been a good fit.

It's rumored that Lucille Ball, who always credited Davies as a major influence on her comedy (especially the ditzy Lucy Ricardo) wanted Davies to appear in the Lucy in Hollywood arc on I Love Lucy. Hearst had died in 1951 and Davies may have been game but it didn't happen. She'd been off the screen nearly 20 years when these shows aired in 1955. Davies had tried to launch a TV series for Arthur Lake and family (yes, her daughter) in 1954, based on an original story by Davies, who also produced the TV pilot (which exists). So she may have been itching to do something when Lucy came a-calling. What treat it would have been two these Lucy and Marion together.

Interesting. Yes, it would have been nice to see Davies' career evolve to where she was doing significant supporting roles. CLAUDIA was a prestigious "A" film from 20th Century Fox. I believe it was Ina Claire's last picture.

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33 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, another 25 years of time? LOL. I think Garbo is unique, in that she's the only star with a good number of silent films on her resume who can command repeat SOTMs because she was a huge star of the Golden Age and unlike any other from her time. (of course the fact she worked solely at MGM helps too...)  How many stars could get away with one name recognition? Even used in the credits!

Karloff, Baby Sandy, Cantinflas...there have been some others.

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31 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Hardly in the superstar category......

I wasn't talking about superstars. I was addressing your point about people who are billed in movies with just one name and audiences know who they are.

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47 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Baby Sandy?

Yeah. One of Universal's biggest stars in the late 30s/early 40s. You don't see her stuff on TCM because they seldom play Universal pictures. Sandy is still living. At age 5 she was considered over the hill in Hollywood so she did what any fading star does when movie parts dry up....she went to kindergarten.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Sandy

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thumbnail.jpg

This is the third screening in Italy this year of Beauty's Worth as part of a celebration of director Robert G. Vignola. Ben Model recently screened a weekend of 4 Marion Davies films at the AFI Center in the DC area.

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23 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Or would any new effort have been attacked to the point where it came off as Susan Alexander Kane's latest flop? 

Very insightful.

I feel that the answer is "yes".

It appears that the tone of the era was anti Hearst.

People are fickle and columnists back in the day carried more clout and could ruin a career.

To quote the Project Runway(much to my chagrin)tagline:

One day you're in. And the next day, you're out.

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3 hours ago, Arteesto said:

Very insightful.

I feel that the answer is "yes".

It appears that the tone of the era was anti Hearst.

People are fickle and columnists back in the day carried more clout and could ruin a career.

To quote the Project Runway(much to my chagrin)tagline:

One day you're in. And the next day, you're out.

Yes, even if Davies had done a good "A" film after CITIZEN KANE, whether as a lead or supporting player, I think reviewers would not have been able to resist attacking her. They would have enjoyed being Jed Leland to her Susan Alexander Kane.

Her career was essentially doomed after Welles had skewered her. No chance for a comeback.

Later Welles had difficulty get his films made so there was a sort of karmic justice.

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Interesting point. There's no way, of course, to know but maybe her career fate was sealed by KANE. Of course Hollywood knew the no-talent image was wrong, and when Kane came out Davies was still very much part of the Hollywood social scene and war efforts. A big part of the KANE backlash was due to what was perceived as the negative image of Davies, not of Hearst.

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37 minutes ago, drednm said:

Interesting point. There's no way, of course, to know but maybe her career fate was sealed by KANE. Of course Hollywood knew the no-talent image was wrong, and when Kane came out Davies was still very much part of the Hollywood social scene and war efforts. A big part of the KANE backlash was due to what was perceived as the negative image of Davies, not of Hearst.

Though KANE can be seen as a form of artistic slander/libel against Davies, it ironically provides an ongoing recognition for her. It can be a gateway for people to discover her films.

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On 11/20/2018 at 1:19 PM, drednm said:

 

TCM has access to the following Davies sound films: Ever Since Eve, Cain and Mabel, Hearts Divided, Page Miss Glory, Operator 13, Going Hollywood, Peg o' My Heart, Blondie of the Follies, Polly of the Circus, Five and Ten, The Bachelor Father, The Florodora Girl, Not So Dumb, Marianne, and The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

TCM has access the the following Davies silent films: Show People, The Patsy, Quality Street, The Red Mill, When Knighthood Was in Flower, Beauty's Worth, The Bride's Play, and Enchantment.

... more than enough for a month-long SOTM salute.

I know that you are correct about her sound films - I think they were all done at either MGM or WB. But does TCM really have access to all of her silents? I know she did Show People, The Patsy, and The Red Mill at MGM, but don't some of those other films belong to other studios?  They for sure exist, because Blus and DVDs of her other silents have been coming out over the last few years. When Buster Keaton was SOTM, I think his day was Sunday so they could show the sound films before midnight and then his silents for Silent Sunday nights. They might have a difficult time doing that for Marion Davies. I know you wrote the book on the subject - literally - but I was just wondering about the logistics of honoring her.

I think TCM is trying to leave silents behind too. I have quite a few old DVD-Rs of silent films that were recorded in 2007 and 2008 in the middle of the day. TCM hardly plays a silent in the daytime anymore. Also, I found an old DVD-R of the silent version of "The Unholy Three" that was recorded during - believe it or not - TCM Underground! That would never happen today.

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33 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

I know that you are correct about her sound films - I think they were all done at either MGM or WB. But does TCM really have access to all of her silents? I know she did Show People, The Patsy, and The Red Mill at MGM, but don't some of those other films belong to other studios?  They for sure exist, because Blus and DVDs of her other silents have been coming out over the last few years. When Buster Keaton was SOTM, I think his day was Sunday so they could show the sound films before midnight and then his silents for Silent Sunday nights. They might have a difficult time doing that for Marion Davies. I know you wrote the book on the subject - literally - but I was just wondering about the logistics of honoring her.

I think TCM is trying to leave silents behind too. I have quite a few old DVD-Rs of silent films that were recorded in 2007 and 2008 in the middle of the day. TCM hardly plays a silent in the daytime anymore. Also, I found an old DVD-R of the silent version of "The Unholy Three" that was recorded during - believe it or not - TCM Underground! That would never happen today.

TCM has access the the following Davies silent films: Show People, The Patsy, Quality Street, The Red Mill, When Knighthood Was in Flower, Beauty's Worth, The Bride's Play, and Enchantment.

I did limited DVDs of The Restless Sex, April Folly, and Buried Treasure, but these have quality or completion issues. Warners owns the other copyrighted MGM silents which are housed at Library of Congress. There are a couple others that exist in lousy prints and were issued on VHS decades ago.

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14 minutes ago, drednm said:

I did limited DVDs of The Restless Sex, April Folly, and Buried Treasure, but these have quality or completion issues. Warners owns the other copyrighted MGM silents which are housed at Library of Congress. There are a couple others that exist in lousy prints and were issued on VHS decades ago.

What does that mean? The films are missing footage? Or there are other problems?

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

What does that mean? The films are missing footage? Or there are other problems?

April Folly is missing the first reel, Buried Treasure is missing the final reel. I did sunopses to fill in the missing plot points. The Restless Sex is complete but has a few areas of decomp, though most of the film is fine.

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3 hours ago, drednm said:

April Folly is missing the first reel, Buried Treasure is missing the final reel. I did sunopses to fill in the missing plot points. The Restless Sex is complete but has a few areas of decomp, though most of the film is fine.

Thank you for explaining.

So who owns the rights to JANICE MEREDITH, my favorite Davies silent film. I watched it on YouTube about two years ago. There's a print floating around. I assume it's not in the public domain or it would be more widely available.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Thank you for explaining.

So who owns the rights to JANICE MEREDITH, my favorite Davies silent film. I watched it on YouTube about two years ago. There's a print floating around. I assume it's not in the public domain or it would be more widely available.

Some sources state Yolanda and Janice Meredith are in the public domain, and others say they are not. So who knows. Generally, films dates 1923 and earlier are in the public domain as of January 1, 2019.

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43 minutes ago, drednm said:

Some sources state Yolanda and Janice Meredith are in the public domain, and others say they are not. So who knows. Generally, films dates 1923 and earlier are in the public domain as of January 1, 2019.

I see both those titles were produced in 1924 by Hearst. YOLANDA through Metro-Goldwyn; and JANICE MEREDITH through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 

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Hearst produced all of Davies' films which the exception of Runaway Romany and The Hollywood Revue of 1929. Davies was also listed as a producer on at least 15 films. She was a producer and partner in Cosmopolitan Productions and likely had a larger "hands-on" role in the making of her films than she's ever gotten credit for.

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1 minute ago, drednm said:

Hearst produced all of Davies' films which the exception of Runaway Romany and The Hollywood Revue of 1929. Davies was also listed as a producer on at least 15 films. She was a producer and partner in Cosmopolitan Productions and likely had a larger "hands-on" role in the making of her films than she's ever gotten credit for.

Producing them and owning them, however, are two different things. So I am wondering if MGM still retains the rights to YOLANDA and JANICE MEREDITH. I had thought MGM'S later 1945 film YOLANDA AND THE THIEF was a remake of YOLANDA but I can see the stories are quite dissimilar.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Producing them and owning them, however, are two different things. So I am wondering if MGM still retains the rights to YOLANDA and JANICE MEREDITH. I had thought MGM'S later 1945 film YOLANDA AND THE THIEF was a remake of YOLANDA but I can see the stories are quite dissimilar.

Yolanda and Janice Meredith may be owned by Warners  or maybe the copyrights lapsed. I think it would take a full legal copyright search to determine the status.

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