Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies

By Louis Pizzitola | Go to book overview

12
Fire and smoke
1922–1925

THE GOLDWYN-COSMOPOLITAN DEAL

In January 1923 a brief letter marked “Personal” was sent to Will Hays by John Eastman, a journalist from the Chicago Daily Journal:” Your January 24 letter has been received. I am almost inclined to ask what will be your plan when the Marion Davies scandal breaks. I assume you are aware that it is imminent, and that when the ‘blow-off’ comes it will create a bigger sensation than many of the meretricious doings at Hollywood.”

The meaning of the letter is unknown. There is no correspondence elsewhere in the Will Hays papers—including the January 24 letter mentioned here—to indicate what “scandal” Eastman had in mind. Marion Davies's comings and goings in January and early February do not seem to be particularly unusual. In January she was busy working on her latest Cosmopolitan picture, Little Old New York. She took a break to visit New York radio station WEAF, as a guest of the Rankin advertising agency, to give a ten-minute talk called “How I Make Up for the Movies.” After plugging Cosmopolitan Productions and a product called Mineralava, Davies offered a free autographed photograph to listeners and the radio station was bombarded with hundreds of requests. In early February, just days after Eastman wrote Hays, Variety reported that Davies was forced to halt work at the film studio and remain at home for several days after a fellow actor accidentally fell on top of her during a stunt. Was Davies's sudden seclusion related to

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Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Film and Culture - A Series of Columbia University Press ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Behind the Scenes 1880S–1890S 1
  • 2 - The Artist Journalist 1895–1898 17
  • 3 - Film News 1898–1906 40
  • 4 - Midium for a New Cntury 1900–1907 73
  • 5 - It Pays Ot Advertise 94
  • 6 - When Men Betray 1915–1918 111
  • 7 - Perils of Passion 1915–1918 126
  • 8 - Trader 1914–1918 135
  • 9 - The Perils of Propaganda 1917–1918 148
  • 10 - Fits and Starts 1917–1919 162
  • 11 - Over Production 1919–1922 179
  • 12 - Fire and Smoke 1922–1925 207
  • 13 - Industry 1925–1929 230
  • 14 - Above the Law 1929–1934 260
  • 15 - Remote Control 1934–1940 326
  • 16 - Hollywood Isolationist 1940–1947 370
  • 17 - No Trespassing 1947–1951 419
  • Notes 443
  • Index 501
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