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In November of 1924, a mysterious Hollywood death occurred aboard media mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht. Among the famous guests that weekend were: film star Charlie Chaplin; starlet Marion Davies (who was also Hearst's mistress at the time); silent-film producer Thomas H. Ince (known for creating the first Hollywood-studio facility and for creating an "assembly line" system for filmmaking); and feared gossip columnist, Louella Parsons.Written by
Carol Lewis, Producer
Joanna Lumley's bits of narration at the beginning and end of the film were recorded in a single take. See more »
The recording of Al Jolson singing "Avalon" that is heard over the opening credits is not his 1920 version, but rather from 1946. See more »
Man in crowd:
Stop pushing! Stop pushing!
[unintelligible yells from crowd]
Man in crowd:
Please, calm down!
In November of 1924, during a weekend yacht party bound for San Diego, a mysterious death occurred within the Hollywood community. However there was no coverage in the press, no police action, and of the fourteen passengers on board only one was ever questioned by authorities. Little evidence exists now or existed at the time to support any version of those weekend events. History has been ...
[...] See more »
Thanks to the people of Kyparissi; Captain Kostas and the crew of the yacht "Marala" See more »
I am abhorred that the Oscars could ignore this film for all the categories it so well deserved:
Best Actress (Kirsten Dunst) Best Actor (Edward Herrmann) Best Costume Design Best Cinematography
And those are just the obvious ones!
Peter Bogdanovich is one of my favorite Directors. He has an amazingly vast Encyclopedia of knowledge about Hollywood during this time. He was good friends with the master Orsen Wells and even did the Commentary for Citizen Cane in Wells' place. He was unquestionably the perfect Director for putting this story to screen.
Kirsten Dunst is remarkable playing 24 year-old Marion Davies at only 18. She does a superb job in the role and deserved a lot more attention than she was awarded.
I strongly disagree with comments that the supporting cast was bad. Everybody was perfect for their role! The sax player WAS a sax player (not an actor) from Berlin (where most of the movie was filmed) and he did fantastic! (He only had one line for goodness sake!)
Though I would concur that Jennifer Tilly played Louella Parsons a bit unlike we would expect, I support her decision to treat her this way for the sake of this film. She lightened up the film with her bumbling silliness. So what if Lolly wasn't like that in real life? It worked well for the movie.
My only (slight) complaint was the decision to have one of the flappers briefly flash us (show her chest) during a party scene with her, the other flapper, the sax player and Chaplin. It was unnecessary and felt out of place with an otherwise clean movie. My guess is this was the reason for the PG-13 rating.
There is hardly any language - in fact Bogdanovich changed the film's only F-word to "screw" to clean it up even more than the original script. This works much better for the period than filling it with 21st century language.
Anybody interested in the 20's, William Randolph Hearst or 'The Golden Age of Hollywood' MUST see this movie!
8½ out of 10. (I can't decide between 8 and 9!)
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