A once-great silent film director, unable to make the transition to the new talkies, lives as a near-hermit in his Hollywood home, making cheap, silent sex films, and suffering in the knowledge of his sexual impotence, and apathetic about the plans to demolish his home to make way for a motorway. His producer and his producer's girlfriend come by to see how he is doing (and to supply heroin to the actress as her payment). The girlfriend stays to watch them filming, and is deeply impressed by his methods. When the actress goes to the bathroom, and dies there of an overdose, the girlfriend takes her place in the film. Then the producer returns... Written by
Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>
Neither of the two Transamerica United Artists logos used during the 1970s were featured at the movie's beginning. The old black-and-white UA logo, the first, is displayed at the start of the film instead. This was the one that was used between 1919 and 1967, and was the logo used during the 1930s era when the movie was set. See more »
Sitting at piano, Boy Wonder plays song Moonglow, written in 1934. The movie takes place at least three or four years earlier (characters repeatedly talk about a then-unknown actor named Clark Gable, already a big star by time song was written).
NOTE: "Moonglow" is not explicitly referenced as such, and is virtually identical to 1929's "Sweeter Than Sweet", so this may not be a goof. See more »
The day Wally Reid died, I was having lunch with Griffith, Gish and Hayes. Somebody came in and told us what happened, and Gish started crying, right away. She said, "Poor Wally. Poor Wally. What am I going to do now?" Had to leave the table, she was crying so hard. Old Will Hays, of course, got up to go after her. She used to bring that out in people. And as he left, he turned to us and he shot this out like spit, and he said, "Good riddance. Good riddance to bad rubbish." After they were gone...
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The end credits are shown in black-and-white, against a backdrop of a silk cloth. It is also grainier and scratched in spots compared to the rest of the film. It is very reminiscent of the credits of vintage 30's melodramas. See more »
"Inserts" has long been one of my favorite films, a comic-tragic meditation on art, sex, self-delusion, acting, and the magic of Hollywood. Its complex themes are woven through the "shocking" theme of pornography in the silent era. This film has always gotten a raw deal from critics. One way that would be helping in approaching this film is to think of it as a filmed drama. I actually think it would work much better on the stage. In fact, for years I've been trying to locate the script. (Anyone got any ideas on that?) If you've only seen it once, and didn't like it, see it again and think of some of what I've said. You'll find it bold, rich, provocative, and unique.
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