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MARION DAVIES for STAR OF THE MONTH


drednm
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This coming January will mark the 120th birthday of Marion Davies. I think it's about time TCM had Davies for Star of the Month. To make it even better, there two new DVDs of her silent films being released later this year. I am releasing The Bride's Play (1922) a nice romance film with stunning sets and seascapes, and Ben Model is releasing When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922) the mega-hit costume drama that made Davies a superstar. Both films, I am pleased to say, will be scored by the talented Ben Model.

 

This will be the first time Knighthood has been released on DVD/BLU and will recreate some of the hand tinting done on the original film. The film has been available only in prints made from a muddy old VHS released in the 1970s. The Bride's Play has not been seen since its original release, but will be shown at this year's "Lost 5" symposium in Culpeper, VA. Both prints are from 35MM elements from the Library of Congress.

 

TCM debuts of these films would make for a very special Davies tribute. They could also show my 2014 project Enchantment (1921) again ... not seen since November 2014.

 

It's the perfect time to recognize and celebrate this wonderful actress.

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This coming January will mark the 120th birthday of Marion Davies. I think it's about time TCM had Davies for Star of the Month. To make it even better, there two new DVDs of her silent films being released later this year. I am releasing The Bride's Play (1922) a nice romance film with stunning sets and seascapes, and Ben Model is releasing When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922) the mega-hit costume drama that made Davies a superstar. Both films, I am pleased to say, will be scored by the talented Ben Model.

 

This will be the first time Knighthood has been released on DVD/BLU and will recreate some of the hand tinting done on the original film. The film has been available only in prints made from a muddy old VHS released in the 1970s. The Bride's Play has not been seen since its original release, but will be shown at this year's "Lost 5" symposium in Culpeper, VA. Both prints are from 35MM elements from the Library of Congress.

 

TCM debuts of these films would make for a very special Davies tribute. They could also show my 2014 project Enchantment (1921) again ... not seen since November 2014.

 

It's the perfect time to recognize and celebrate this wonderful actress.

 

I just posted about Davies as a pre-code star that is often forgotten and that sadly most folks only know her related to her associated with Hearst.  

 

If TCM was to have Davies as SOTM,  they could do 4 days (one day a week),  where two days are devoted to silent films and two days to her sound films.

 

But I'm not so sure your average TCM viewer would welcome so many silent films.   Of course TCM could feature her on Sunday, which already features a silent film or two  (therefore reducing the net increase in silent films being played during the month).

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I agree, but nothing says they have to show a block of silent films. Most of the Davies silents are MGM films which are unrestored.  But TCM could premiere When Knighthood Was in Flower and The Bride's Play and also show The Red Mill or The Patsy along with Show People. Four silents, one a week, along with the talkies.

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I love Davies and she's on my list of top classic film actresses (see my profile). 

 

But unfortunately, I think TCM's programming department is going to get caught up in two 100th birthdays. They will make Kirk Douglas Star of the Month in December (a shoo-in since he's still living and a friend of the channel). And I think it seems likely that Jane Wyman will be Star of the Month in January, on her 100th. They have never missed her birthday since I started watching TCM in 2008. Every January without fail she gets a spotlight on her birthday, and she literally has dozens of films from her Warner Brothers days that are in the TCM/Turner library. Plus unlike Davies, she earned an Oscar. And this channel likes to play up the Oscar connection, especially leading into February and the 31 Days of Oscar hoopla.

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I'm wondering if it's a rights issue;All these films are not Lost--Davies films were "Cosmopolitan" (Hearst)/MGM productions.  I was checking MovieCollectorOH's webpage, and he lists these silents and one sound film as never having been shown on TCM.  Marion Davies had her film debut in 1917: his statistics start in 1925.

 

"Lights of Old Broadway" (1925)

"Zander The Great" (1925)

"Beverly of Graustark" (1926)

"The Fair Co-Ed  (1927)--This was/is(?) available on YT.

"Quality Street" (1927)--This is supposed to be Much better than the 1937 version.

"The Cardboard Lover" (1928)--This Was available on another website--uncertain of its' status.

"It's A Wise Child" (1931)--as drednm mentioned.

 

I wonder if any of her earlier films (with the exception of 1921's "Enchantment) have been shown on TCM?  1923's "Little Old New York" is available on another website.  Some of her films (I don't know about all of them) are waiting to be viewed.

 

Again, much thanks and all credit to MovieCollectorOH for compiling these and many other statistics.

 

TCM, any chance of seeing any of the listed films in the future?

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"Lights of Old Broadway" (1925)

"Zander The Great" (1925)

"Beverly of Graustark" (1926)

"The Fair Co-Ed  (1927)

"Quality Street" (1927)

"The Cardboard Lover" (1928)

 

Add Tillie the Toiler and Janice Meredith and Little Old New York. And the silent version of Marianne.

 

From 1923 on, all her silent films were produced/released thru Goldwyn which merged with Metro and eventually became MGM. Warners owns the MGM library. None of these listed films have been on TCM, and only Quality Street has been released on DVD (as an extra on the Davies bio DVD).

 

All of these films exist but have not been restored. They have no official music tracks. Until/unless Warners wants to put some money into these, they'll likely never been seen, although copies of various quality are floating around. Yolanda (1924) exists but has not surfaced.

 

Pre-MGM and public domain, Beauty's Worth (1922) is around. I released Getting Mary Married (1919) thru Grapevine and may do something more with it in future. I also released The Restless Sex (1921) on DVD from a non-restored print I had to heavily edit. These are both good films, not classics of cinema, but important films in the Davies cannon.

 

As I said When Knighthood Was in Flower and The Bride's Play will be released later this year.

 

Show People, The Patsy, and The Red Mill are the only Davies silents TCM has shown along with Enchantment.

 

All the rest of the Davies silents exist in incomplete form or are lost ... so far as we know.

 

 

 

 

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Would think they could come up with enough films for SOTM, even if many of her silents are unavailable. She made quite a few sound films.

And all her sound films are in the TCM/Turner library since they were MGM and WB releases. 

 

I am going to say something out-of-the-box here-- but I think an evening of programming could also look at Davies the person, who served as an inspiration for other movies. It could lead off with a discussion and showing of a documentary, then go into a film like UPPER WORLD where Ginger Rogers' character is clearly based on her, leading up to Comingore's portrayal in CITIZEN KANE. 

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And all her sound films are in the TCM/Turner library since they were MGM and WB releases. 

 

I am going to say something out-of-the-box here-- but I think an evening of programming could also look at Davies the person, who served as an inspiration for other movies. It could lead off with a discussion and showing of a documentary, then go into a film like UPPER WORLD where Ginger Rogers' character is clearly based on her, leading up to Comingore's portrayal in CITIZEN KANE. 

 

It's a Wise Child isn't available and may not be complete.

 

It's too bad we can't divorce Davies from the Hearst/Kane connections and let her work stand on it's own merits but I suppose that ain't gonna happen. TCM did make a documentary film years ago....

 

That's part of the reason I think Marion Davies should have a Star of the Month tribute with as little mention of Hearst/Kane as possible.

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It's a Wise Child isn't available and may not be complete.

 

It's too bad we can't divorce Davies from the Hearst/Kane connections and let her work stand on it's own merits but I suppose that ain't gonna happen. TCM did make a documentary film years ago....

Don't you think it's a double-edged sword? Without Hearst, she would more quickly slip into obscurity. But with Hearst, she is an appendage to his world--and her own accomplishments are largely overshadowed. 

 

TCM could rerun that documentary and then air the films where characters are allegedly based on her. She was a muse for other writers and filmmakers, there's no doubt about it. Whether they characterized her correctly is another matter.

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Maybe.... but I'd rather see the films and let them stand on their own merit. After all, Hearst never directed her an any film and wasn't in the scene with her when the cameras were rolling. That's all Davies.

 

 

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Maybe.... but I'd rather see the films and let them stand on their own merit. After all, Hearst never directed her an any film and wasn't in the scene with her when the cameras were rolling. That's all Davies.

 

It would be nice if TCM should feature Davies with no connection to Hearst but that may be wishful thinking.   If it takes having such a connection for TCM to honor her,  that would be worth it.   

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Maybe.... but I'd rather see the films and let them stand on their own merit. After all, Hearst never directed her an any film and wasn't in the scene with her when the cameras were rolling. That's all Davies.

Are you sure about that? I thought he directed scenes from JANICE MEREDITH...maybe those were battle scenes where she was not on camera?

 

But he did have a guiding hand over all her films. So the Hearst-Davies connection is always going to be there in a discussion of this nature.

 

I don't think Hearst is an impediment to Davies' career at all. It's like Vera Ralston's career benefitting from her marriage to Herbert Yates at Republic. Ginny Simms' career benefitting when she was romantically involved with Louis B. Mayer. Or Carole Landis and Darryl Zanuck. These were relationships, personal and professional, that resulted in what we see on screen.

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Hearst kibbitzed and was involved in all areas of many of the films but I don't think he actually directed anything... he tended to fight with the directors and especially with designer Joseph Urban, whose splendid work gives many of the early Davies silents a unique look.

 

I realize the link will always be there, but if I were introducing a block of Davies films, I'd mention it once up front and then concentrate of her work in the films themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hearst kibbitzed and was involved in all areas of many of the films but I don't think he actually directed anything... he tended to fight with the directors and especially with designer Joseph Urban, whose splendid work gives many of the early Davies silents a unique look.

 

I realize the link will always be there, but if I were introducing a block of Davies films, I'd mention it once up front and then concentrate of her work in the films themselves.

I love JANICE MEREDITH. It was on YouTube a few months ago, not sure if it's been taken down-- but what a real treat! It would be nice for more of her silent films to air on TCM.

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I love JANICE MEREDITH. It was on YouTube a few months ago, not sure if it's been taken down-- but what a real treat! It would be nice for more of her silent films to air on TCM.

 

Wait til you see the new print of When Knighthood Was in Flower....

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My Kickstarter campaign has closed and successfully funded. DVDs of The Bride's Play with a new score by Ben Model will be in the mail later this summer.

 

When Knighthood Was in Flower will also be released (by Ben) later this summer.

 

A great summer for Marion Davies fans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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