Manslaughter (1922)

Drama | 25 September 1922

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Producer:

Cecil B. DeMille

Cinematographers:

Guy Wilky, Alvin Wyckoff

Editor:

Anne Bauchens

Production Designer:

Paul Iribe

Production Company:

Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
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HISTORY

Alice Duer Miller's novel, Manslaughter, was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from 6 Aug--3 Sep 1921. Paramount filmed another screen adaptation in 1930, under the same title, directed by George Abbott, and starring Claudette Colbert and Fredric March. In 1931, Paramount released foreign-language versions of the 1930 version. For information on those films, see entries for Manslaughter (1930) and La Incorregible (1931).
       News items in the 28 Jan 1922 and the 4 Feb 1922 Exhibitors Herald announced that Cecil B. DeMille would begin production on Manslaughter after his return from Europe. At that time, Alice Duer Miller’s novel was being adapted by Jeanie Macpherson. The May 1922 Photoplay reported that DeMille arrived in the U.S. from his European holiday on a stretcher, suffering from inflammatory rheumatism, which caused a delay in the start of production. The 31 Mar 1922 Var reported that DeMille was recovering from a tonsillectomy, as his tonsils were believed to be the source of his recent illnesses. Principal photography was announced to begin the following week.
       According to the Apr 1922 Photoplay, lead actress Leatrice Joy spent three days in the Los Angeles County Jail to prepare for her role, and even posed for a mug shot. The Jun 1922 Photoplay announced that writer Jeanie Macpherson also spent time in a NY women’s prison to conduct research. She reportedly asked that her identity not be revealed to the other inmates, and made arrangements to be incarcerated for ten days, or released whenever “she’d had enough.” After forty-eight hours, Macpherson was ready to ... More Less

Alice Duer Miller's novel, Manslaughter, was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from 6 Aug--3 Sep 1921. Paramount filmed another screen adaptation in 1930, under the same title, directed by George Abbott, and starring Claudette Colbert and Fredric March. In 1931, Paramount released foreign-language versions of the 1930 version. For information on those films, see entries for Manslaughter (1930) and La Incorregible (1931).
       News items in the 28 Jan 1922 and the 4 Feb 1922 Exhibitors Herald announced that Cecil B. DeMille would begin production on Manslaughter after his return from Europe. At that time, Alice Duer Miller’s novel was being adapted by Jeanie Macpherson. The May 1922 Photoplay reported that DeMille arrived in the U.S. from his European holiday on a stretcher, suffering from inflammatory rheumatism, which caused a delay in the start of production. The 31 Mar 1922 Var reported that DeMille was recovering from a tonsillectomy, as his tonsils were believed to be the source of his recent illnesses. Principal photography was announced to begin the following week.
       According to the Apr 1922 Photoplay, lead actress Leatrice Joy spent three days in the Los Angeles County Jail to prepare for her role, and even posed for a mug shot. The Jun 1922 Photoplay announced that writer Jeanie Macpherson also spent time in a NY women’s prison to conduct research. She reportedly asked that her identity not be revealed to the other inmates, and made arrangements to be incarcerated for ten days, or released whenever “she’d had enough.” After forty-eight hours, Macpherson was ready to be released, but could not find the assistant superintendent, who had been suddenly fired. She was forced to remain behind bars until the matter was resolved. Additionally, the 27 May 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review noted that Macpherson had “disguised herself as a crook, committed a petty crime in Detroit, was sentenced to the city prison and served three days.” Additionally, DeMille’s assistant, Cullen Tate, spent two weeks in NY researching prison life at The Tombs prison, and at a women’s prison in Auburn, NY, as stated in the 6 May 1922 Exhibitors Herald. The 27 May 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that exterior shots of The Tombs prison and Auburn State Prison were used onscreen.
       According to the 25 Mar 1922 Exhibitors Herald, principal photography was scheduled to begin that month. However, an article dated 2 May 1922 in the 13 May 1922 Exhibitors Herald announced that DeMille had finally recovered from an illness, and production was expected to begin that Monday, 8 May 1922 for Lasky Studios. The 20 May 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review stated that principal photography began with a two-day location trip to San Francisco, CA, where Leatrice Joy and Jack Mower filmed a sequence before production returned to Hollywood, CA. On stage four at Lasky Studios in Hollywood, DeMille shot a lavish Roman sequence as “a brief historical cutback” employing 300 background actors, according to the 17 Jun 1922 and the 8 Jul 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review.
       Another news item in the 8 Jul 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that principal photography had completed in “record” time for a DeMille production. “Cutting and titling” were expected to follow for several weeks. The 5 Aug 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review reported that DeMille oversaw post-production remotely, using a radio to communicate with Jeanie Macpherson and editor Ann Bauchens while vacationing at his mountain ranch. DeMille installed a “complete radio outfit” like the one at Lasky Studios, and Manslaughter was given the distinction by Exhibitors Trade Review as being “the first motion picture to be cut and titled by radio.”
       According to notes kept by Cecil B. DeMille, the original 35mm release length of the film was 9,680 feet, and the film was later cut to 9,218 feet. It is available on YouTube in 2016. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
28 Jan 1922
p. 78.
Exhibitors Herald
4 Feb 1922
p. 38.
Exhibitors Herald
25 Mar 1922
p. 67.
Exhibitors Herald
6 May 1922
p. 65.
Exhibitors Herald
13 May 1922
p. 36.
Exhibitors Trade Review
20 May 1922.
---
Exhibitors Trade Review
27 May 1922.
---
Exhibitors Trade Review
17 Jun 1922
p. 150.
Exhibitors Trade Review
8 Jul 1922
p. 328.
Exhibitors Trade Review
8 Jul 1922
p. 330.
Exhibitors Trade Review
5 Aug 1922.
---
Film Daily
24 Sep 1921
p. 2.
New York Times
18 Sep 1922
p. 14.
Photoplay
Apr 1922
p 34.
Photoplay
May 1922
p. 87.
Photoplay
Jun 1922
p. 85.
Photoplay
Nov 1922
p. 65.
Variety
22 Sep 1922
p. 41.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Cecil B. DeMille Production
A Paramount Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost
DANCE
Choreog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Manslaughter by Alice Duer Miller (New York, 1921).
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 September 1922
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 September 1922
Copyright Number:
LP18327
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
With color tinted sequences
Length(in feet):
9,061
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Lydia Thorne, a wealthy girl who loves speed and thrills, is unsympathetic when Evans, her maid, is jailed for stealing her jewels. District Attorney Daniel O'Bannon visits Lydia to make her see the error of her own ways, but instead views a scene of Lydia and her friends that reminds him of a Roman orgy. O'Bannon feels it is his duty, therefore, to send Lydia to jail for her own good when her automobile driving causes the death of a motorcycle policeman. Lydia is resentful, and her rebuff of O'Bannon, who has come to love her, causes him such remorse that he turns to drink and dissipation. Meanwhile, Lydia reforms, realizes she loves O'Bannon, and resolves to do charitable work. She and Evans open a soup kitchen after their release, and a chance meeting with O'Bannon starts him on the road to recovery. With Lydia's encouragement he becomes himself again, runs for governor, but withdraws his candidacy to marry Lydia when he sees that her record would be a liability to him in ... +


Lydia Thorne, a wealthy girl who loves speed and thrills, is unsympathetic when Evans, her maid, is jailed for stealing her jewels. District Attorney Daniel O'Bannon visits Lydia to make her see the error of her own ways, but instead views a scene of Lydia and her friends that reminds him of a Roman orgy. O'Bannon feels it is his duty, therefore, to send Lydia to jail for her own good when her automobile driving causes the death of a motorcycle policeman. Lydia is resentful, and her rebuff of O'Bannon, who has come to love her, causes him such remorse that he turns to drink and dissipation. Meanwhile, Lydia reforms, realizes she loves O'Bannon, and resolves to do charitable work. She and Evans open a soup kitchen after their release, and a chance meeting with O'Bannon starts him on the road to recovery. With Lydia's encouragement he becomes himself again, runs for governor, but withdraws his candidacy to marry Lydia when he sees that her record would be a liability to him in politics. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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