I was never a Marion Davies fan so you may find my review biased...
Growing up, all I ever knew about MARION DAVIES was that she was the protégé and mistress of William Randolph Hearst and there were rumors galore that Orson Welles based his CITIZEN KANE on the relationship between the real life newspaper magnate and an untalented actress by the name of Marion Davies.
When finally I did get to see a few films of Marion Davies, I remained unimpressed by her so-called "talent" as a comedienne that others refer to. Only one of her pictures, THE RED MILL, even made a favorable impression on me. The rest were mired in old-fashioned acting techniques and staging that belonged more to the silent period than "talkies". In other words, I never warmed up to Miss Davies as an actress. In sound films, there's certainly nothing special about her speaking voice or her appearance and whatever talent she had seemed minimal to me.
Still curious, I viewed the documentary to get a better overall view of the woman and her career and to see whether I would come away with a better impression. I didn't. They say she was the forerunner of the sort of beautiful, funny comedienne that Carole Lombard was. Well, I'll take Carole any day--both as an actress and comedienne.
I'm still left with the impression that MARION DAVIES was a mediocre screen personality with minimal talent and find it difficult to believe that people are talking about her as if she was a truly dazzling comic talent. I just don't see it that way.
And the documentary itself is a disjointed thing--full of film clips, still photos, audio voice-over of Davies expressing thoughts about herself and her career (bad recordings), and a few remarks by people like RUTH WARRICK and CONSTANCE MOORE that bear no more weight than feathers.
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