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HISTORY

Director Maurice Tourneur’s purchase of motion picture rights for Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne’s 1920 novel, The Foolish Matrons, was announced in the 4 Feb 1921 Var. Principal photography began in late Feb 1921 at Thomas H. Ince Studios in Culver City, CA, as indicated by a production chart in the 2 Apr 1921 Camera. The 12 Mar 1921 edition credited Milton Monasco as set designer. An item in the 2 Apr 1921 Motion Picture News confirmed that there was no connection between Tourneur’s project and the recently completed Universal Film Mfg. Co. production, Foolish Wives (1922, see entry).
       On 23 Apr 1921, Motion Picture News reported that co-director Clarence L. Brown was shooting the final scenes along fashionable Fifth Avenue in New York City. Brown was accompanied by cast members Doris May, Kathleen Kirkman, Mildred Manning, and Michael Dark. Lead actor Hobart Bosworth remained in California, as his scenes had already been completed. Additional cast members included child actor Don Marion, billed as John Henry, Jr., and a dog named “Teddy.” It was also noted that the title of the film was temporarily changed to Bright Lights. Doris May’s return from New York City was reported in the 7 May 1921 Camera, concluding approximately ten weeks of production. Editing and titling were underway the following week, as noted in the 14 May 1921 issue.
       The Foolish Matrons was released on 19 Jun 1921, followed by openings at the Broadway Theatre in New York City during the week of 20 Aug 1921, and ...

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Director Maurice Tourneur’s purchase of motion picture rights for Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne’s 1920 novel, The Foolish Matrons, was announced in the 4 Feb 1921 Var. Principal photography began in late Feb 1921 at Thomas H. Ince Studios in Culver City, CA, as indicated by a production chart in the 2 Apr 1921 Camera. The 12 Mar 1921 edition credited Milton Monasco as set designer. An item in the 2 Apr 1921 Motion Picture News confirmed that there was no connection between Tourneur’s project and the recently completed Universal Film Mfg. Co. production, Foolish Wives (1922, see entry).
       On 23 Apr 1921, Motion Picture News reported that co-director Clarence L. Brown was shooting the final scenes along fashionable Fifth Avenue in New York City. Brown was accompanied by cast members Doris May, Kathleen Kirkman, Mildred Manning, and Michael Dark. Lead actor Hobart Bosworth remained in California, as his scenes had already been completed. Additional cast members included child actor Don Marion, billed as John Henry, Jr., and a dog named “Teddy.” It was also noted that the title of the film was temporarily changed to Bright Lights. Doris May’s return from New York City was reported in the 7 May 1921 Camera, concluding approximately ten weeks of production. Editing and titling were underway the following week, as noted in the 14 May 1921 issue.
       The Foolish Matrons was released on 19 Jun 1921, followed by openings at the Broadway Theatre in New York City during the week of 20 Aug 1921, and at the Symphony Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, that same month. Reviews were generally favorable. The 21 Jan 1922 Exhibitors Herald noted that the National Board of Review included the title among its list of productions containing “points of exceptional merit.”
       An advertisement in the 5 Nov 1921 Motion Picture News announced that the film was currently available on the “wide open market” through Associated First National Pictures, Inc., along with several other Associated Producers releases.
       Nearly two years after the picture’s release, the 12 May 1923 Film Daily reported that play broker Laura D. Wilke had obtained “an attachment” against Donn-Byrne, claiming she was owed ten percent of the $10,000 the author received from Tourneur. Wilke had only received a commission of $200 before the director resold the rights to an unnamed third party for 6,500. Donn-Byrne argued that his novel had been worth $15,000 before the broker negotiated a lower price, and dismissed her $800 claim as “unparalleled effrontery.”

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Camera
12 Mar 1921
p. 4
Camera
2 Apr 1921
p. 12
Camera
16 Apr 1921
p. 12
Camera
7 May 1921
p. 8, 12
Camera
14 May 1921
p. 15
Camera
2 Jul 1921
p. 5
Exhibitors Herald
28 May 1921
p. 12
Exhibitors Herald
25 Jun 1921
p. 65
Exhibitors Herald
21 Jan 1922
p. 26
Film Daily
12 May 1923
---
Motion Picture News
2 Apr 1921
p. 2480
Motion Picture News
23 Apr 1921
p. 2700
Motion Picture News
27 Aug 1921
p. 1073
Motion Picture News
10 Sep 1921
p. 1368
Motion Picture News
5 Nov 1921
---
Moving Picture World
23 Apr 1921
p. 869
Moving Picture World
2 Jul 1921
p. 114
Variety
4 Feb 1921
p. 45
Wid's Daily
20 Apr 1921
p. 2
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Bright Lights
Release Date:
19 June 1921
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 20 Aug 1921; Los Angeles opening: late Aug 1921
Production Date:
late Feb--early May 1921
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Maurice Tourneur Productions
7 June 1921
LP16654
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,544
Length(in reels):
6-7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Three women, each living in a separate social sphere, live out their destinies in New York City. Annis Grand, who has achieved great success on the stage, meets Ian Fraser as the result of an automobile accident. After they are married, the overworked Ian resorts to drugs, and Annis gives up her career for their mutual happiness. Georgia Wayne, from a small southern town, marries Lafayette Wayne, a plodding young lawyer. After she is compromised by wealthy promoter Chester King, both men discard her. Sheila Hopkins, a young newspaperwoman who marries to escape being an old maid, is selfishly concerned only with her career. Her lack of sympathy for her sensitive husband, Anthony “Tony” Sheridan, drives him to alcoholism. Tony returns to his hometown to die, leaving Sheila to recognize her ...

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Three women, each living in a separate social sphere, live out their destinies in New York City. Annis Grand, who has achieved great success on the stage, meets Ian Fraser as the result of an automobile accident. After they are married, the overworked Ian resorts to drugs, and Annis gives up her career for their mutual happiness. Georgia Wayne, from a small southern town, marries Lafayette Wayne, a plodding young lawyer. After she is compromised by wealthy promoter Chester King, both men discard her. Sheila Hopkins, a young newspaperwoman who marries to escape being an old maid, is selfishly concerned only with her career. Her lack of sympathy for her sensitive husband, Anthony “Tony” Sheridan, drives him to alcoholism. Tony returns to his hometown to die, leaving Sheila to recognize her loss.

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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.