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On board a train en route to Los Angeles, runaway bride Remember Steddon, believing now that she married in haste, abandons her husband, Owen Scudder, not knowing at the time that Scudder had previously married and murdered solely for money. Unprepared to be on her own, Mem, as she is known to her friends, accidentally stumbles across the outdoor set of a Hollywood movie directed by Frank Claymore. Mem is welcomed onto the set by the cast and crew. But as the shooting moves on, Mem decides to pursue other avenues, as she had been taught by her conservative parents that movie acting was a disreputable occupation. But needing work, Mem decides to try her hand at being an actress. This task is easier said than done, until she runs across Claymore again, he who is determined to make her a star. As her movie stardom does indeed rise, so does the admiration of adoration of legions, including her director Claymore, and her leading man Tom Holby. A further consequence of her stardom is that ... Written by
The character of Owen Scudder, played by Lew Cody, may have been inspired by a real life bigamist and murderer James 'Bluebeard' Watson (1870-1939). Watson traveled the United States under several aliases, marrying 19 different women between 1918 and 1920 and murdering several of them for financial gain. He was apprehended in April, 1920, in Los Angeles. See more »
Beautiful Eleanor Boardman (as Remember "Mem" Steddon) has just married amorous Lew Cody (as Owen Scudder). But, contemplating her coming honeymoon nights makes Ms. Boardman recoil from Mr. Cody. Suddenly, Boardman jumps off the train carrying the unhappily married couple through the desert of early Los Angeles, California. Almost dead from struggling through the Hollywood sand, Boardman collapses on the location setting for a movie directed by Richard Dix (as Frank Claymore). Boardman reluctantly decides to bloom where she is planted; and, she becomes a movie star. Boardman is romanced by "director" Dix and matinée idol Frank Mayo (as Tom Holby). Meanwhile, estranged husband Cody plans his "comeback"
The melodramatic "Souls for Sale" moves way too quickly, and is not structured for easy viewing. For example, details about the characters played by Boardman and Cody are revealed too late for full dramatic impact. The story is more interesting during a second viewing. Writer Rupert Holmes (uncle of eccentric Howard Hughes) didn't direct many movies, but he does exceptionally well, helming his own "Souls for Sale". The direction of the "circus" scenes is filled with exciting, memorable moments. And, the calmer scenes aren't bad either, like the scene wherein Cody holds framed photographs of his handsome rivals (Dix and Mayo) up to Boardman's mirror. Big names in 1923 filmdom appear in supporting and cameo roles.
******* Souls for Sale (3/27/23) Rupert Holmes ~ Eleanor Boardman, Lew Cody, Richard Dix, Frank Mayo
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