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The Patsy
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The Patsy (1928) More at IMDbPro »


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Barry Conners (story) (play)
Agnes Christine Johnston (adaptation)
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Release Date:
22 April 1928 (USA) See more »
An awkward teenager hopelessly in love with her elder sister's boyfriend tries to make him notice her. | Add synopsis »
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Davies & Dressler: A Dynamite Duo See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order)

Marion Davies ... Patricia Harrington
Orville Caldwell ... Tony Anderson

Marie Dressler ... Ma Harrington
Lawrence Gray ... Billy Caldwell
Dell Henderson ... Pa Harrington

Jane Winton ... Grace Harrington
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William H. O'Brien ... Waiter (uncredited)
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Directed by
King Vidor 
Writing credits
Barry Conners (story) (play)

Agnes Christine Johnston (adaptation and continuity)

Ralph Spence (titles)

Produced by
Marion Davies .... producer (uncredited)
William Randolph Hearst .... producer (uncredited)
King Vidor .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Vivek Maddala 
Cinematography by
John F. Seitz 
Film Editing by
Hugh Wynn 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Gilbert Clark 
Music Department
Richard Bronskill .... orchestrator
Vivek Maddala .... conductor

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:78 min | 77 min (TCM print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The original Broadway production of "The Patsy" by Barry Conners opened on December 22, 1925 at the Booth Theater and ran for 245 performances.See more »
Billy Caldwell:[Pretending to be a waiter, offering an appetizer to Ma Harrington] Noiseless celery from contented farms?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "MGM: When the Lion Roars" (1992)See more »


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Davies & Dressler: A Dynamite Duo, 14 September 2004
Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA

A kooky younger daughter becomes THE PATSY of a social-climbing family when she falls in love with her older sister's beau.

The delightful Marion Davies gets to exhibit her considerable comedic skills in this very enjoyable silent film from MGM. Often dismissed as merely the pretty mistress of one of the nation's most powerful men, William Randolph Hearst, Davies was actually a very skilled actress. Better known for her stodgy costume dramas, director King Vidor invited her to star in THE PATSY after seeing her personality & talents unbridled whilst a guest at the fabulous home she shared with Hearst at San Simeon. Watching Marion moon over the man she secretly loves, acquire a very peculiar new personality, or attempt a riotous seduction of a notorious Lothario, is to see a very fine artist at her best.

Davies has her work cut out for her: playing her mother is the formidable Marie Dressler, who steals every scene with galumphing grace. With her large shapeless body and a face that probably scared dogs and small children, the marvelous Marie puts her genius for physical comedy into high gear as she grimaces, glares, pouts & flounces her way across the screen. This film is actually credited with saving her life: according to Hollywood legend the out-of-work Dressler was eating her last meal before committing suicide when she was spotted in the restaurant by Alan Dwan and offered the role of Davies' Ma. The rest is history--within a couple of years Dressler would be the movies' most popular star, a status she would hold until her untimely death in 1934.

Dell Henderson plays Davies' lovable, but thoroughly henpecked, father. Glamorous Jane Winton has the role of her spoiled older sister. Orville Caldwell is the earnest fellow Davies adores. Lawrence Gray is hilarious as the lively playboy who gets a late-night visit from Davies he'll never forget.

The three contemporaries which Davies mimics with such precision during the seduction scene are Mae Murray, Lillian Gish (amazing) and Gloria Swanson.

Vivek Maddala has contributed a perky score for the film's restoration.

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