Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Show People

Show People ~ While for most folks who know the name, Marion Davies is the notorious mistress of William Randolph Hearst, but for me I also know her as a great silent comedic actress.  She had her flops, yes, and infamous critical failures, and was always overshadowed by her personal life, but I could watch her forever in films like Show People

Released a year after the first talkie, The Jazz Singer, this 'silent' movie has a synchronized score with music and sound effects while much of the dialogue is carded the story is told principally in visuals.  This was the end of the silent era, and Show People thoughtfully used the best of both worlds. 

Davies plays Peggy Pepper, a young Georgia girl who wants to be a movie star, so her father drives her across the country to Hollywood.  She starts her career in slapstick comedy, moving up to higher class dramas, before returning to her first love with seltzer bottles and pies to the face.  Sadly it mirrors Marion Davies' own life to a point, while she was forced into serious roles, she loved the sillier ones. 

Her hand is well visible here as she was a co-producer along with director King Vidor.  The flick is a great time capsule of Hollywood of the time and features many cameos by stars like Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert, Louella Parsons, and even Davies herself playing herself. 

Marion Davies is a delight here, vivacious and funny, has great chemistry with comic William Haines and her other co-stars.  She's having fun, and so are we.  So much to love about this flick, check it out, recommended. 

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