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SHOW PEOPLE (1928)


Guest dredagain
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Well I just had to watch this one again today with its "good score." I love this film. A sweet spoof of Hollywood, a terrific little love story, and with two of the great comic actors (along with Mary Pickford) in silent films: Marion Davies and William Haines. What's not to like?

 

Also of interest is the parade of cameos, the look at studio lots circa 1928, and even the lighting and camera set-ups. We see a little of everything as we follow Peggy Pepper (Davies) from her start in cheap comedies to her ascent at High Art Films (and a name change to Patricia Pepoire).

 

I wonder why Douglas Fairbanks is wearing a black arm band (a sign of mourning) in the luncheon scene?

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What a deliciously funny study of human nature. I'm already looking forward to watching it again to see what I missed and to see Paul Ralli as Andre Telfair (Andre d'Bergerac, le compte d'Avignon). Hilarious and clever all around. Marion and William Haines are sympatico here and I wonder if a random poll was taken today, how many people would know who Marion Davies is. The content of this film would work in any context not just Hollywood- great writing and what Marion could do with those eyes!

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one of my favorite silent films....

 

and as Jeffrey mentioned there's a clip of BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT (starring John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman) where Davies and Haines go to the movies. This is the long-lost Gilbert film that might have been found in Europe a few months ago, but news seems to be spotty.

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Ed,

The glum group of 'talent' in the casting office has some cameos I can't figure out...maybe you could help me with those? This brief scene is just too funny, every seat is taken, such a grim mood- gosh, it's funny especially as Marion and her father arrive Beverly Hillbilly style.

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Gulch, I didn't recognize anyone in that scene... the casting director was played by Tenen Holtz..... I didn't scan the group of applicants very closely...

 

Message was edited by: drednm

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Ed,

 

Did you notice that the final reel on the Vintage track version is way out of Synch? Prior to that the few scattered sound effects seemed to line up properly with the action on screen. Hopefully, this can be fixed for any potential DVD release.

 

While many people seem to favor the Thames version of this movie, and as much as I like Carl Davis, I kind of still prefer the Vintage Track one that TCM airs. Probably because this was the first version of the film that I saw. The Thames print does have a few bit's of scattered footage not found in this one though.

 

I have always figured that Peggy Pepper must have rolled into town about 1925. After a year of Two-reel comedies she moves on to a bigger studio. Indeed her and Billy Boone (William Haines), attend the preview of BARDELEY'S THE MAGNIFICENT with John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman, which was released in 1926. Over the next couple years Billy struggles to get a foot in the door, while Patricia's career takes off!

 

It's also interesting that at the end of the picture King Vidor's appears to be producing a sequel to THE BIG PARADE, with Peggy (Davies) in place of Renee Adoree, and Billy (Haines), in place of John Gilbert? In the Vintage track version, even the vaunted love theme from THE BIG PARADE thunders briefly as Peggy rushes to meet the returning Billy from the front. Soon it blends into their very own love theme the haunting melody "Crossroads"! Such clever scoring!

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no I didn't notice it was out of synch....

 

The film is so clever it's hard to take it all in.... You're right, I think, about the Vidor bit being a nod to THE BIG PARADE... Vidor is certainly one of the great directors, and he was a huge fan of Davies.

 

I still wonder about the Gloria Swanson "theme" in the film. My vote is that Mae Murray was the model for Patricia Pepoire. The toothy smile Davies does when she's being imperious is the same she used when she impersonated Murray in THE PATSY. Murray was also married to European "royalty" in the mid-20s (as was Swanson). And Murray famously became quite haughty (if not outrightly nuts) after the tremendous success of THE MERRY WIDOW in 1925. Plus Davies and Swanson were good friends so it seems unlikely Davies would have used Swanson as the model.And by 1928 Murray was sort of outside the mainstream Hollywood crowd.

 

In the long run it doesn't really matter... SHOW PEOPLE still ranks as one of my personal faves... and I agree the original score is just fine.

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Scottman,

 

Only the last reel is noticeably out of Synchronization with the Vintage track. I am sure that this can be fixed. The rest of the film, despite several Jump-cuts on the first reel is still synched up pretty well with the film.

 

My impression is that the Thames version probably precedes the one TCM now shows? In other words, the sound disc's probably were not found for SHOW PEOPLE until some years after Carl Davis scored the Kevin Brownlow-David Gill version back in 1982.

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Wonderfully funny comedy "Show People" was the first Marion Davies silent I ever saw because it was the only one released on video back then. Lotsa fun slapstick and a little romance too from William Haines who is great. Harry Gribbon as the director laughing at his own comedy at the preview and still sorta trying to guide his characters on the screen, made for a really funny bit. And Peggy sees Marion Davies in the distance and kinda smurks at her (herself) Funny ... It was neat too to see Chaplin out of character ...

 

Okay to the song ...

 

I was amazed to notice at IMDb that the theme song "Cross Roads" for "Show People" is not posted in the soundtrack listing. In case anyone was curious about the lyrics ...

 

Photobucket

 

Male vocal at opening credits ...

 

I'm at the cross roads, life's cross roads, and we must drift apart

Where e'er you go dear, I know dear, that you'll be in my heart

I'll always come to you no matter how far

My thoughts will be with you where ever you are

Here at the cross roads, love's cross roads, we'll meet someday

 

.

.

.

 

ensemble vocal at interlude ...

 

There'll be a day, we'll meet again, so please don't say good-bye

There'll be a day, a clear new day, when we return and smile

You go off and find your way, we will long and laugh someday

There'll be a day, we'll meet again, so please don't say good-bye

 

Female vocal ...

 

The time has come for you and I to say good-bye

Now nothing but dreary days and lonesomeness

will be mine I know for I'll miss you so

In my dreams a rendezvous I'll keep with you

And I will wait here forever dear for your smile to appear

 

I'm at the cross roads, life's cross roads, and we must drift apart

Where e'er you go dear, I know dear, that you'll be in my heart

I'll always come to you no matter how far

My thoughts will be with you where ever you are

Here at the cross roads, love's cross roads, we'll meet someday

 

Male vocal ...

 

Cross roads, love's cross roads, and we must drift apart

Where e'er you go dear, I know dear, that you'll be in my heart

I'll always wait for you dear when you are far

My thoughts will be with you where ever you are

Here at the cross roads, love's cross roads, we'll meet someday

 

Additional verse not heard in film ...

 

Our happiness will come I guess some other day

For love like ours finds a way let come what may

I'll still dream of you

Till my dreams come true thru the years, thru sighs and tears your memory

will be with me tho' we're far apart

I'll be waiting sweetheart

 

Both singers are really excellent and the song is good ... I wonder who they are ?

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