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scottman1932

The Godless Girl in December

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I see that TCM will be showing THE GODLESS GIRL (1929) in December. I wonder if this will have the Carl Davis score or the piano score by Martin Marks?

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Scottman,

 

Yes, It wiill be the 1928 Silent cut of the film. TCM programmer told me a couple months ago, that they inked a pact with Photo-play Productions for the American premier of the Carl Davis scored version! Don't forget the Photo-play ORPHANS OF THE STORM debuting in November either!

 

And have you heard two rare John Gilbert features MONTE CHRISTO, and BARDLEYS THE MAGNIFICENT will be released on DVD by Flicker Alley, in the early Spring! Hard to believe that BARDLEYS is the very first King Vidor Silent to make it to DVD so far! Send me a PM, or an E-mail. There is much more to tell you about.

 

Incidentaly, for people who would like to see the restored WINGS with a live orchestral performance of Carl Davis score, there is a screening coming up in Febuary of next year in Wisconsin. Here is the lnk.

 

http://www.beloitjanesvillesymphony.org/performances.html

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The day has come! Cecil B. De Mille's final and perhaps finest Silent feature, THE GODLESS GIRL (1928) with Lina Basquette, Tom Keene, the delightful Marie Prevost, and Noah Beery makes it's TCM, and North American Broadcast premier on TCM's Silent Sunday Nights this evening! Yes, that's Tonight people!

 

This is the 2007 Photo-play Productions Presentation that first ran on Film 4 in Britain last year. It has not been released on DVD in this form. The picture has a brand new score by the great Carl Davis. This film is an absolute Masterpiece. Be sure not to miss the broadcast.

 

Despite what the write-up says in the Silent Sundays Profiles, the feature was originally released in the Summer of 1928, and not 1929. As this is the Silent version not the later re-edited part-talkie hybrid, it is indeed the 1928 cut of the film that TCM will be airing.

 

While Basquette wasn't exactly Corinne Griffith, or Delores Costello in the looks department, she still gives a great performance in this film. Keene being billed as George Duryea is excellent as well.

 

While some people find the religious overtones and message of the picture heavy-handed, frankly I'm tired of hearing that stuff! This is far less preachy than the vast majority of De Mille's other work. As a staunch Catholic I don't see the film in the same light as some other people do. Rather, I find it most inspiring.

 

The film is an emotional powerhouse. The climax is quite startling. Marie Prevost steals as much of the film as she is on camera as the feisty "Mame". Prevost is completely hilarious. Just her mear presence is funny! I won't review the movie now, but be sure to tune in and, or record this one!

 

 

 

LINABASQUETTE-GodlessChick.jpg

 

*Lina Basquette She's THE GODLESS GIRL*

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"THE GODLESS GIRL" is released here in the states on dvd(as part of the American Treasures collection)and it's the restored 35mm print from the UCLA Film And Television Archive that contains the talking sequences.Me personally, I have been waiting for years to get my hands on this film and it will be great to own both film versions of this rare DeMille feature.

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krazykatclassics,

 

Yes, I have the set, but that version has only a lone piano score. The Carl Davis orchestral score is far more dramatic and impactful. De Mille was not even involved in the sound re-edit of the picture as I understand it. That was completed by someone else.

 

Here is a vintage Lobby-Card.

 

TheGodlessGirlVintagePoster-1928.jpg

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I have a quick question regarding last night's airing of "The Godless Girl".

 

Robert Osbourne, during his introduction, spoke about the film having a version with spoken dialog during the final scenes. It made it sound as though they were going to air the sound/silent version, but the film remained silent throughout.

 

Did I misunderstand the intro, or did they air the wrong version? Either way, I was entertained.

 

The score was gorgeous, by the way. Beautiful throughout, as was the film.

 

Thanks!

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>Robert Osbourne, during his introduction, spoke about the film having a version with spoken dialog during the final scenes. It made it sound as though they were going to air the sound/silent version, but the film remained silent throughout.

 

I thought so too. I kept waiting for the sound part, but there wasn't any.

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I'd be curious to know which parts might have had sound, although the film didn't need it. The music score was so good during the fire, I felt like I was watching a sound movie anyway. Interesting to see that Tom Keene could really act. Too bad he ended up in crap like Plan 9 From Outer Space. Also interesting to see Eddie Quillan in a silent.

 

These actors certainly did not look like high schoolers.

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I was very disappointed in this film. The script was no good. It insulted everyone. It was irritating all the way through. Should have been cut down to 1 hour.

 

I was just about ready to shut off the TV after about three hours into the fire sequence. Enough is enough.

 

This film was mostly a prison film. The theme, promotion, and posters were frauds. Demille had no idea what to do with this story.

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For those of you wondering where the talking footage went, it wasn't there yet, since this was the 1928 Silent version of the film. Not the 1929 hybrid. Though the Goat-gland tacked on dialogue sequences still survive, I have never seen them. As I understand it, the film was heavily re-edited, and the plot changed somewhat in the partial talkie version. The ending was entirely different too.

 

The film in it's original form pretty much what you saw last night, was released as strictly a Silent In August of 1928. Intended to be played with live Orchestra. As the film was a De Mille, it wouldn't have ran in cheap theaters for several months, and probably never did? Since it was subsequently pulled from release and re-vamped. The synchronized track edition came out much later in the Spring of 1929. Carl Davis magnificent score in the Photo-play Productions presentation gives the film truly staggering emotional power.

 

I sure hope more people got to see this incredible film last night. TCM programmer went out of his way to sign the Kevin Brownlow-Patrick Stansbury restoration and Davis scored version. I'm sure at great expense! So if you missed it, that's really a shame.

 

Fred,

 

People seem to either love the film or hate it. I happen to love it. I don't see what De Mille could have done any different. And the movie is nowhere near 3 hours long? Exactly how did He "insult everybody"?

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>People seem to either love the film or hate it. I happen to love it. I don't see what De Mille could have done any different. And the movie is nowhere near 3 hours long? Exactly how did He "insult everybody"?

 

This is just my personal opinion, but everyone in the audience was insulted, because the film insulted school teachers and principals, the atheist students, the religious students, the cops, the courts, the juvenile jail system, the prison guards and matrons, etc., etc.

 

It portrayed the atheists as evil people led by the devil, while the ?Christians? were a gang of Nazi-like hooligans.

 

The ?love? that The Girl came to understand was basically only her romantic love for a young man, which was not related to the topic of the film. The biggest ?convert? in the film was the head guard, Noah Beery, but I?ll bet a lot of people in the original audience didn?t want to see him physically saved, since both sides (assuming the audience was made up of mainly two sides) would have disliked him more than anyone else in the film. Thus, DeMille promised an interesting debate about religion and non-religion, but he gave us an overly-long prison movie that made everyone in the audience feel miserable for more than two hours.

 

As far as the promised theme goes, he could have had both teen groups reconcile their differences, something like in the way Selznick had the Southern soldiers and Northern soldiers get along with each other after the Civil War, and the way Melanie Hamilton treated the wounded Northern soldiers with respect and dignity. The same way the Northern and Southern troops got along in-between battles in ?The Red Badge of Courage?. In Red Badge, everyone in the audience, both Northern and Southern, surely liked the way the Northern soldier shouted across the lake at night to warn the Southern soldier to get out of the moonlight so he wouldn?t be such a good target. This was humanitarianism at its best.

 

Hollywood producers, directors, and screenwriters were famous for showing opposite sides of various issues getting together ? such as the way the chief of the Maori natives allowed Van Heflin and his friends to walk out of the stockade in ?Green Dolphin Street?, because the chief respected Heflin for the kind and fair way Heflin had treated the Maoris ? but in this De Mille film, De Mille failed miserably.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> This film was mostly a prison film. The theme, promotion, and posters were frauds. Demille had no idea what to do with this story.

 

Actually, you're right about the story. It was mainly a prison film, with a bit of religious symbolism thrown in (the burnt crosses on the girl's hand, their prison numbers representing words/symbols). I think the film could have been better had the locale stayed in the school/town, with people taking up opposite sides in the atheist/God debate. That's what I was expecting. Instead, it seemed like the whole point of prison was to get the girl to realize there is a God.

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As far as the sound version goes, I want to see it. Sometimes studio heads who make changes in films and re-issue them as shorter films with different endings, actually do know what they are doing.

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I have to admit that I wasn't too enthused about viewing this movie from what I had read about it. I didn't think I'd care for it considering the religious overtones and other than Marie Prevost I had never heard of any of the other principal actors. But I did decide to watch it and record it too. I am so glad I did. Once I began watching it I couldn't keep myself away from the TV set. It was fabulous. The movie itself was in pristine condition. The recorded music was pretty good and I thought all the principal actors were marvelous.The scenes with the fire kept me spellbound as it was all so realistic. After the movie was over I couldn't wait to check the Internet Movie Database to find out more about the actors. All in all I am very glad I decided to stay up and watch it. Even better, I have a copy recorded to watch it again and again whenever I want.

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I felt the same way when I watched Pollyanna for the first time, a couple of weeks ago. The reviews I read about it back in 1960 caused me to not go see it at that time. Those reviews suggested that Pollyanna was unreasonably optimistic, to the point of being insane.

 

But when I finally saw the film, I found it to be completely different from that. I found her character to be pleasantly optimistic in a world filled with grouches and grumps. In my lifetime I?ve met a few people like her, and, if given a choice, I would prefer to be around them than around the grouches and grumps, which seem more numerous in this world than the Pollyannas.

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i thought it was a really good film, definitely one of the more exciting prison-themed movies i've seen. the escape scene and the fire scene had me on the edge of my couch, very nicely done. good casting too. i especially loved Marie Prevost. i want to see more of her films.

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vitaphony,

 

I have only seen Lina Basquette the Star of THE GODLESS GIRL in one other film. That would be Frank Capra's THE YOUNGER GENERATION (1929), with Ricardo Cortez, and Jean Hersholt. Another partial talkie. As a Silent it is quite good, but the talking sequences really disrupt the pace of the film. They add nothing to it. Basquette apparently had a solid hit with SHOW FOLKS in 1927, which is probably a lost film. I have seen a few posters. Not sure which of her other movies still survive.

 

George Duryea who became a popular Western Star at RKO as Tom Keene was equally good in Allan Dwan's TIDE OF THE EMPIRE (1929) opposite my beloved Renee Adoree. This is another great film that TCM runs from time to time, but not in a good long while. So please put in a request.

 

To me THE GODLESS GIRL is among the very best films of the late Silent period. To describe the picture as being "not an epic" I would consider quite a misnomer. As it most certainly is. Strangely, people either seem to go wild over the movie, or they simply loath it? I think allot of those people are just unfairly looking to chastise De Mille? I can't really see it any other way? Doesn't help that so many people don't believe in Sin these days. Evil is acknowledged, and undeniable, but Sin is not accepted.

 

Fred,

 

I love Pickford's POLLYANNA (1920), and it has never been shown on TCM. Nor has it had a proper DVD release either. The Old AMC ran it a few times Back in the day. I have the long out of print Laser-disc release from Image.

 

Pickford deserves a big tribute in 2009. The year marks the 30th Anniversary of her death. Milestone is releasing POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL, and THE HOODLUM, both new to DVD, plus a newly restored and scored version of SPARROWS.The later with new music by Jeffrey Mark Silverman. This will be a new print, re-mastered in 2006. I'm anxious to see it. I hope there will be a few more titles, but these are the only ones that I know about so far.

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Ok, I'm beginning to change my mind.

 

As a "youth-in-prison" film, I think it's pretty good. :)

 

Excellent editing. Photography fine. Great acting.

 

The modern music is just right because it doesn't sound modern.

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Fred,

 

It's gratifying to see you starting to warm up to the movie more. Don't focus on the negative aspects, when there are so many positive ones. As pure Cinema it blows away most of the mindless drek of today! There is an actual compelling and complex story with a plot! That's more than can be said of 90% of current movies!

 

Wow, I Just checked the TCM-Movie Data Base and THE GODLESS GIRL is the number one most searched movie-title at the moment! So allot of people must have really enjoyed the broadcast. It's just to bad that this version of the film is not on commercial DVD. All the Thames/Photo-play Silents should be, but only a very few have been released.

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busterchaplin,

 

Err, an a Merry Christmas to you too! Mr. Scrooge!!!!! Be careful now that someone doesn't poison your Eggnog!

 

With respect, I would much rather watch THE GODLESS GIRL than THE GENERAL! To me the latter is vastly overrated, and among the dullest films ever made. And that's coming from a big Keaton fan! Give me SEVEN CHANCES any day, which for some reason has yet to be shown on TCM???

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Well, I finally watched this film on the DVR last night! (I had recorded it and just had the opportunity last night to sit down and watch it.) All I can say about the film is "Oh, my God!" This is one hell of a powerful movie!

 

I kind of put this in the same category as *Sparrows*, due to its nature and theme. It explored current topics which are still current in today's world, and I also think it was somewhat graphic for its time. Nonetheless, Lina Basquette and Tom Keene packed great performances! I liked Marie Prevost's part in the film too, and as for Noah Beery ... GEEZ!!! His role reminded me of the role Gustav Von Seyffertitz played in *Sparrows* as the evil Mr. Grimes!

 

Great job, Mr. DeMille!

 

http://www.larrys66diner.com/

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Larry,

 

I'm glad that you fianlly got to see this picture! Hope that It made your season brite? I can't unerstand any one not being blown away by this movie? People either get it or they don't. Fortunately, I think more people do get it, than those that do not? So at least that's a good thing.

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Jeffrey, I was extremely blown away by this movie! It had me "hooked" from the time of the opening credits!!!

 

My only curiosity was that Robert Osborne hinted in his monologue about part of the film (near the end?) being in sound. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the sound portion, but it never came. To be perfectly honest with you, however, I was not looking forward to it though, because if I wanted to watch a sound film, I would have watched a sound film! I don't watch silents to hear sound, so I wasn't exactly disappointed!

 

Larry

 

http://www.larrys66diner.com/

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Love this film, the lighting and "prowling camera" as Scott Simmon describes in the program notes (included in the Treasures III) set are so distinctive, along with the splendid piano score by Martin Marks, who also contributes to those excellent program notes. I look forward to watching it again with the Carl Davis score, through the perspective of principals and teachers, who are personal heroes to most of us.

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