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Silence to Sound: The Resilience of Marion Davies

Silence to Sound: The Resilience of Marion Davies C U RIO C AB I N E T SILENCE TO SOUND THE RESILIENCE OF MARION DAVIES Lara Gabrielle Fowler Marion Davies in Hearts Divided (1936), courtesy of the collection of Marion Lake Canessa I thought I didn’t want to go back. I thought I’ d like to jump off the boat and wished the earth would open up, because I said “I cannot do sound pictures.” While much of America was caught in the economic downturn of the late 1920s, Marion Davies’s film career was soaring. She had managed to convince William Randolph Hearst, her studio boss and real-life ro- mantic partner, to cast her in comedies instead of the heavy romantic dramas that had defined her film career up to this point. The results were spectacular. In 1928 alone, Davies made three of her best films, proving her abilities as a mimic and her gifts as a physical comedienne. Silent film was still the industry norm in 1928, though the release of The Jazz Singer the previous October had called its future into question. In the spring of 1928, Davies took a trip to Europe with Hearst and a large group of friends, including close friend Maury http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

Silence to Sound: The Resilience of Marion Davies

The Missouri Review , Volume 41 (2) – Jul 20, 2018

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Publisher
University of Missouri
Copyright
Copyright © The Curators of the University of Missouri.
ISSN
1548-9930

Abstract

C U RIO C AB I N E T SILENCE TO SOUND THE RESILIENCE OF MARION DAVIES Lara Gabrielle Fowler Marion Davies in Hearts Divided (1936), courtesy of the collection of Marion Lake Canessa I thought I didn’t want to go back. I thought I’ d like to jump off the boat and wished the earth would open up, because I said “I cannot do sound pictures.” While much of America was caught in the economic downturn of the late 1920s, Marion Davies’s film career was soaring. She had managed to convince William Randolph Hearst, her studio boss and real-life ro- mantic partner, to cast her in comedies instead of the heavy romantic dramas that had defined her film career up to this point. The results were spectacular. In 1928 alone, Davies made three of her best films, proving her abilities as a mimic and her gifts as a physical comedienne. Silent film was still the industry norm in 1928, though the release of The Jazz Singer the previous October had called its future into question. In the spring of 1928, Davies took a trip to Europe with Hearst and a large group of friends, including close friend Maury

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Jul 20, 2018

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