Director:

Ray Smallwood

Cinematographer:

Rudolph Bergquist

Production Designer:

Natacha Rambova

Production Company:

Nazimova Productions
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HISTORY

On 19 Oct 1920, Wid’s Daily reported that Metro Pictures Corp. intended to purchase the motion picture rights to Alexandre Dumas’s 1848 novel, La Dame aux camélias from the Famous Pictures-Lasky Corp. Following the acquisition, a 1 Jan 1921 Motion Picture News item announced Metro’s intention to move the project up in the studio roster, with filming set to begin by early the following month. The 5 Mar 1921 Motion Picture News estimated a lengthy production schedule and high budget rivaling those of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921, see entry), which took six months and cost more than $1 million to complete. However, a 23 Apr 1921 Camera item mentioned that "Madame Nazimova" had completed her filming.
       While actress-producer Nazimova told the 12 Nov 1921 Motion Picture News that the film was a close adaptation of Dumas’s original novel, several contemporary sources stated that Nazimova’s work was notable for its “ultra-modern” retelling of a familiar story. According to the 5 Mar 1921 Moving Picture World and 19 Mar 1921 Exhibitors Herald, Nazimova collaborated with the costume department to design all the gowns worn in the picture, while sets were designed by Natacha Rambova. Exhibitors Herald claimed that some of the draperies were taken from Nazimova’s personal home furnishings, while the others were imported specially from Paris, France.
       The Aug 1921--Jan 1922 issue of Motion Picture Magazine announced that a premiere screening was scheduled to take place 7 Sep 1921 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City.
       Although her appearance could not be confirmed, the ... More Less

On 19 Oct 1920, Wid’s Daily reported that Metro Pictures Corp. intended to purchase the motion picture rights to Alexandre Dumas’s 1848 novel, La Dame aux camélias from the Famous Pictures-Lasky Corp. Following the acquisition, a 1 Jan 1921 Motion Picture News item announced Metro’s intention to move the project up in the studio roster, with filming set to begin by early the following month. The 5 Mar 1921 Motion Picture News estimated a lengthy production schedule and high budget rivaling those of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921, see entry), which took six months and cost more than $1 million to complete. However, a 23 Apr 1921 Camera item mentioned that "Madame Nazimova" had completed her filming.
       While actress-producer Nazimova told the 12 Nov 1921 Motion Picture News that the film was a close adaptation of Dumas’s original novel, several contemporary sources stated that Nazimova’s work was notable for its “ultra-modern” retelling of a familiar story. According to the 5 Mar 1921 Moving Picture World and 19 Mar 1921 Exhibitors Herald, Nazimova collaborated with the costume department to design all the gowns worn in the picture, while sets were designed by Natacha Rambova. Exhibitors Herald claimed that some of the draperies were taken from Nazimova’s personal home furnishings, while the others were imported specially from Paris, France.
       The Aug 1921--Jan 1922 issue of Motion Picture Magazine announced that a premiere screening was scheduled to take place 7 Sep 1921 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City.
       Although her appearance could not be confirmed, the 17 Dec 1921 Moving Picture World reported that Camille was one of the first feature films of Andrée Tourneur, who worked two days as a background actor in the gambling hall sequences. Tourneur made her theatrical motion picture debut in The Conquering Power (see entry), released earlier that summer.
       For information on other versions of Camille , please consult the entries for the 1914 Shubert Film Corp. production, directed by Albert Capellani, starring Paul Capellani and Clara Kimball Young, and the 1937 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production, directed by George Cukor and starring Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Camera
23 Apr 1921
p. 4.
Exhibitors Herald
19 Mar 1921
p. 89.
Motion Picture Magazine
Aug 1921--Jan 1922.
---
Motion Picture News
1 Jan 1921
p. 417.
Motion Picture News
5 Mar 1921
p. 1813.
Motion Picture News
12 Nov 1921.
---
Moving Picture World
29 Jan 1921
p 578.
Moving Picture World
5 Mar 1921
p. 78.
Moving Picture World
28 May 1921
p. 421.
Moving Picture World
17 Dec 1921
p. 794.
Variety
16 Sep 1921
p. 35.
Wid's Daily
19 Oct 1920.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils (Paris, 1848) and his play of the same name (Paris, 2 Feb 1852).
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 September 1921
Premiere Information:
New York City premiere: 7 September 1921
Copyright Claimant:
Nazimova Productions
Copyright Date:
21 September 1921
Copyright Number:
LP17932
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
5,600
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Armand Duval, a young and unsophisticated law student, falls passionately in love with Marguerite Gautier, known as Camille, a notorious Parisian courtesan. Armand forsakes his family and career, Marguerite abandons her friends for him, and they pass the days happily in a country retreat. They soon find themselves without money; consequently, Armand arranges for Marguerite to receive his small legacy, and, unknown to him, Marguerite plans to sell her possessions. Armand's father learns of the situation and determines to save the family name from disgrace. He persuades Marguerite to give up Armand, and she reverts to her former life of debauchery. Visiting a gambling house one evening she encounters Armand; believing himself abandoned for the Count de Varville's wealth, he denounces her before the crowd. Abandoned and ill, Marguerite finally dies in her home, clasping Armand's only gift, a copy of Manon Lescaut. ... +


Armand Duval, a young and unsophisticated law student, falls passionately in love with Marguerite Gautier, known as Camille, a notorious Parisian courtesan. Armand forsakes his family and career, Marguerite abandons her friends for him, and they pass the days happily in a country retreat. They soon find themselves without money; consequently, Armand arranges for Marguerite to receive his small legacy, and, unknown to him, Marguerite plans to sell her possessions. Armand's father learns of the situation and determines to save the family name from disgrace. He persuades Marguerite to give up Armand, and she reverts to her former life of debauchery. Visiting a gambling house one evening she encounters Armand; believing himself abandoned for the Count de Varville's wealth, he denounces her before the crowd. Abandoned and ill, Marguerite finally dies in her home, clasping Armand's only gift, a copy of Manon Lescaut. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.