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HISTORY

The 3 Jan 1924 FD noted that director George Fitzmaurice began filming the first scenes for Cytherea the previous day at the Biograph Studios in New York. However, as reported in the 24 Jan 1924 and 27 Jan 1924 issues of FD, producer Samuel Goldwyn scrapped the project after three weeks, including the original script by Ouida Bergère, at a cost of $80,000, and moved the entire production to Hollywood, CA. Mary Alden and Howard Merrill, two actors originally in the cast, are not listed in the final credits, and it cannot be determined how much, if any, of settings director Clark Robinson’s work survived. Fitzmaurice’s original plan to film in Paris, France, was also abandoned.
       According to the 16 Feb 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review and the 1 Mar 1924 Moving Picture World, shooting was scheduled to resume “within the next ten days” at United Studios (Paramount) in Hollywood. Samuel Goldwyn traveled to Hollywood to watch the film being made, the 6 Feb 1924 FD noted. The 16 Mar 1924 FD announced that Fitzmaurice was “completing” the production.
       According to the 29 Mar 1924 Motion Picture News, color photography would “figure prominently” in Cytherea. Studio promotional materials promised “three distinct innovations.” First, a prologue in which “Cytherea,” a mythical goddess of love, emerged “from her shell in a storm-lashed sea,” would be shot using new technology that created a “misty” effect as sunlight shimmered on the water. Second, the film’s Cuban sequences would be shot in fuller, sharper color to reveal “the full impact of the glowing and colorful romance of ...
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The 3 Jan 1924 FD noted that director George Fitzmaurice began filming the first scenes for Cytherea the previous day at the Biograph Studios in New York. However, as reported in the 24 Jan 1924 and 27 Jan 1924 issues of FD, producer Samuel Goldwyn scrapped the project after three weeks, including the original script by Ouida Bergère, at a cost of $80,000, and moved the entire production to Hollywood, CA. Mary Alden and Howard Merrill, two actors originally in the cast, are not listed in the final credits, and it cannot be determined how much, if any, of settings director Clark Robinson’s work survived. Fitzmaurice’s original plan to film in Paris, France, was also abandoned.
       According to the 16 Feb 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review and the 1 Mar 1924 Moving Picture World, shooting was scheduled to resume “within the next ten days” at United Studios (Paramount) in Hollywood. Samuel Goldwyn traveled to Hollywood to watch the film being made, the 6 Feb 1924 FD noted. The 16 Mar 1924 FD announced that Fitzmaurice was “completing” the production.
       According to the 29 Mar 1924 Motion Picture News, color photography would “figure prominently” in Cytherea. Studio promotional materials promised “three distinct innovations.” First, a prologue in which “Cytherea,” a mythical goddess of love, emerged “from her shell in a storm-lashed sea,” would be shot using new technology that created a “misty” effect as sunlight shimmered on the water. Second, the film’s Cuban sequences would be shot in fuller, sharper color to reveal “the full impact of the glowing and colorful romance of the lovers.” The third effect would be the death of Cytherea, using a secret “color scheme” to make it “beautiful rather than sorrowful.” The article added that the subtitle “Goddess of Love” would be used to explain the meaning of Cytherea, and many magazine advertisements did in fact refer to the film as Cytherea, Goddess of Love.
       In order to make Cytherea filmable, Frances Marion wrote an ending different than the one in Joseph Hergesheimer’s novel, by making “Lee Random” return to his wife instead of abandoning her. Marion first “secured the approval of the author,” the Jun 1924 Picture-Play noted, and Hergesheimer agreed that if he were writing the novel again, he would probably “end it the same way” as she did. A review in the 20 Apr 1924 FD lauded the new ending “for avoiding censorship difficulties and sending audiences home feeling good.”
       he film opened simultaneously in sixty cities on 4 May 1924, beginning what the studio designated “Love Week.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
16 Feb 1924
p. 14.
Film Daily
3 Jan 1924
p. 1.
Film Daily
6 Jan 1924
p. 2.
Film Daily
9 Jan 1924
p. 4.
Film Daily
24 Jan 1924
p. 7.
Film Daily
27 Jan 1924
p. 11.
Film Daily
6 Feb 1924
p. 1.
Film Daily
16 Mar 1924
p. 2.
Film Daily
16 Apr 1924
p. 5.
Film Daily
18 Apr 1924
p. 4.
Film Daily
20 Apr 1924
p. 5.
Motion Picture News
29 Mar 1924
p. 1419.
Moving Picture World
1 Mar 1924
p. 41.
Photoplay
Jul 1924
p. 45.
Picture-Play
Jun 1924
p. 70.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Cytherea, Goddess of Love
Release Date:
4 May 1924
Copyright Claimant:
Madison Productions
Copyright Date:
24 April 1924
Copyright Number:
LP20119
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black & white with color sequences
Technicolor
Length(in feet):
7,400
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Lee Randon, weary of business duties and his conventional home life, acquires a long-lost sense of excitement and romance with young flapper Claire Morris. However, when he meets her married aunt, Savina Grove, the older woman appears to be the figure he imagines whenever he gazes at a doll he has christened Cytherea, goddess of love. Breaking past ties, Lee and Savina begin an intense affair, and their search for a romantic paradise in Cuba leads to Savina's tragic death. Lee returns home, repents, and is reunited with his wife and ... +


Lee Randon, weary of business duties and his conventional home life, acquires a long-lost sense of excitement and romance with young flapper Claire Morris. However, when he meets her married aunt, Savina Grove, the older woman appears to be the figure he imagines whenever he gazes at a doll he has christened Cytherea, goddess of love. Breaking past ties, Lee and Savina begin an intense affair, and their search for a romantic paradise in Cuba leads to Savina's tragic death. Lee returns home, repents, and is reunited with his wife and children. +

GENRE
Genre:


Subject

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.