Saturday, January 15, 2022

365 Days: #15 Souls for Sale (1923)

Here's yet another movie about the movie industry. This is my first time viewing this silent movie about Hollywood.  

#16 Souls for Sale

"I must have work. I know that I must pay 'the price'."

Remember 'Mem' Steddon gets hitched to Owen Scudder, but while on the train to their new life together, she gets the heebie-jeebies and hops off while her new husband is in the bathroom. It turns out he is a serial killer who has taken out insurance on his new wives and then murdered them. Meanwhile, Mem wanders through the desert and is rescued by actors filming on location. She tries to find 'respectable' work, but then decides to try and make a career as an actress, with some benefactors to help her out. Events take a dramatic turn during filming, when her serial killer husband comes calling, wanting to reclaim his wife.

"O Hollywood! Hollywood! Thou movie-mammon that leadest our children astray, and teachest them wickedness! O Los Angeles, thy name should be Los Diaboles!"

I enjoyed the score and thought it really enhanced the movie. This is a fascinating film with a unique storyline. I was not expecting the serial killer, and enjoyed the surprising turnabout when he gets conned. It details the realities of movie making and is enhanced by footage of real directors filming movies that are now lost. 

Runaway bride

Saved by a sheik.

The magic of makeup.

His next victim.

Old Hollywood

Erich von Stroheim directs Jean Hersholt in Greed.

Charles Chaplin directing A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate


Fred Niblo directing The Famous Mrs. Fair

Collecting more insurance.

Mem's disastrous screen test.

"I'll make an actress of you if I have to break your heart
and every bone in your body."

T. Roy Barnes and Zasu Pitts

Kathlyn Williams, June Mathis, Elliot Dexter,
Barbara Bedford, John Sainpolis, Chester Conklin

"But when an actor gets into trouble, they blame the screen.
A scandal is fatal to any one in the moving pictures."

Predator becomes prey.

Late night Hollywood jazz party.

The dangers of the film industry.

Marshall Neilan directs The Eternal Three with 
Claire Windsor, Raymond Griffith and Hobart Bosworth

Her murderous husband returns to reclaim his wife.

She would rather die.

Keep the cameras rolling.

Calamity on the set.

Hollywood ending.

"They are only players, after all; but they mean well and work hard, spinning pictures for the amusement of strangers. And they can never know, until it is too late to change, whether their toil will win them censure or applause."

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