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Marion Davies for Star of the Month


drednm
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Marion Davies was a star from 1917 to 1937. She starred in about 45 films, silents and talkies. Her co-stars included Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Robert Montgomery, William Haines, Leslie Howard, Billie Dove, Mary Astor, William Powell, Nils Asther, Johnny Mack Brown, Marie Dressler, W.C. Fields, Forrest Stanley, Lawrence Gray, Jetta Goudal, Ray Milland, Clark Gable, Dick Powell, Pat O'Brien, Patsy Kelly, Norman Kerry, Jean Parker, and Claude Rains.

 

With the possible TCM debut later this year of Enchantment (1921), it would be the perfect occasion to honor Davies with a Star of the Month tribute. It's long ovderdue.

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Yes, she was a big star, and merits the recognition.

A reason I think think she deserves the recognition is to remind audiences that there were females who excelled at comedy in the silent and talkie film era, it wasn't all just Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd. Of course, she was much more than a clown, but she definitely proved herself in comedy roles. And many see her as the first screwball comedienne paving the way for Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow and Lucille Ball.

 

Plus there is all her personal history with Hearst-- there is so much to discuss about her.

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Davies was indeed one of the silent screen's best comediennes. She certainly ranks with Mabel Normand, Dorothy Gish, and Constance Talmadge in the comedy department, but she also had a wider range of roles than the others with quite a few costume and romantic dramas to her credit. Other than Mary Pickford, I can't think of any other star actress of the era who had more dual roles and male impersonations than Marion Davies.

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I don't think there are enough Chaney films extant and in good shape (and complete) to have a SOTM tribute to him.

 

I count 19 or 20 Davies films, almost all of which have aired on TCM, which does not mean TCM has a current licensing agreement for them all.... but the potential is there.

 

And with silent films, even if there's a really good (or restored) copy available, it's most likely mute. I have no idea how much it costs for TCM to commission music for silent features.

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I don't think there are enough Chaney films extant and in good shape (and complete) to have a SOTM tribute to him.

 

I count 19 or 20 Davies films, almost all of which have aired on TCM, which does not mean TCM has a current licensing agreement for them all.... but the potential is there.

 

And with silent films, even if there's a really good (or restored) copy available, it's most likely mute. I have no idea how much it costs for TCM to commission music for silent features.

Right. And these are separate issues anyway. It is highly unfair to say, Person X cannot be SOTM until Person Y and Person Z. Their careers are independent of each other. All may be equally deserving, but because Person X gets chosen before Y and Z, why should we let that cast a cloud over the accomplishments and honors bestowed on Person X?  We need to stop placing conditions on this and celebrate each one-- not in spite of or in the shadow of the others.

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My guess is that there are quite a few big-name silent stars who'll never get a SOTM tribute because they don't have enough extant films (silents and talkies) that can be licensed. To be licensed, they'd need to be extant, in great shape, be public domain or have no copyrights issues, and, and are not part of a corporate library.

 

Correct me if any of these stars have been SOTM: Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks, Norma Talmadge, Constance Talmadge, Ramon Novarro, Richard Barthelmess, Clara Bow, William Haines, John Gilbert, Rudolph Valentino, Mae Murray, Colleen Moore, Corinne Griffith, Janet Gaynor, William S. Hart, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Mabel Normand, Betty Compson, Emil Jannings, Pola Negri, Vilma Banky, Rod LaRocque, Bessie Love, Blanche Sweet, Eleanor Boardman, Laura La Plante ??

 

Maybe by combing some of these as they did for the Barrymores a few years back, some of these great stars could be recognized.....

 

 

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I agree. Marion Davies would be an excellent SOTM.

It's kind of sad to think that there have been quite a few that have been chosen three times, and she has been overlooked. Also, most if not all her films are in the Turner Library, since Hearst had deals with MGM and Warners to distribute the majority of her pictures.

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