She starts all of this and her theme was “Be natural.” That’s what she was teaching actors because they came to film with that theatricality that you can’t do on film. Be natural. Be a little more normal. That’s what we want to see. so, it’s really Alice that we credit now with getting fictional filmmaking started. She came to America and started the Solax Company and they were doing films here and started to distribute them. They were starting to make some good money. The problem is her husband became the President of the company and her husband had a gambling problem and the profits of the company started to go away and then they got a reputation for not finishing things on time because they ran out of money and that pretty much destroyed her career, but she is — in film histories now — being credited more and more. There’s a new documentary coming out about her shortly.
Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars. Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.
* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library