“Male and Female” (1919)

A film of great importance in the career of Gloria Swanson, Male and Female was her third with the great epic director Cecil B. DeMille. The pair first worked with one another on For Better For Worse and didn’t stop making films together for a whole year. Male and Female was the third in a string of five consecutive releases, three of which were released in 1919. Male and Female was quintessentially DeMille but would also become representative of Gloria’s early work as she would go on to portray enviable, exotic and beautifully gowned women that would make her a poster-girl for glamour which later would be a reputation she struggled to build upon… … More “Male and Female” (1919)


Event: Sunset Boulevard (1950) [Screening, Sept. 2018]

I was delighted to have been invited to a public screening of Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950) over the weekend where I was given the opportunity to introduce the feature and speak candidly about the career of Gloria Swanson… … More Event: Sunset Boulevard (1950) [Screening, Sept. 2018]

Feminist Icon or Damsel in Distress? — The Plunge Into Hollywood

Gloria would be picked up by Jack Conway and the Triangle company shortly after Teddy and in her first role with them she would perform a death-defying stunt in which she would leap 15-feet off a dock into icy waters below. Soon Gloria would be taking a different kind of plunge as she stood on the precipice of stardom, about to leap into the uncertain waters of Hollywood, and she couldn’t even swim… … More Feminist Icon or Damsel in Distress? — The Plunge Into Hollywood

“The Trespasser” (1929) – Movie Review

Marion Donnell is in many ways much like the real-life Gloria Swanson. Tabloid headlines, pregnancy out of wedlock, rumours of affairs and illegitimate children with prominent aristocracy along with brushes with bankruptcy were all realities that Miss Swanson faced in just a few short years, yet like Marion Donnell she was a woman uninterested in what society deemed acceptable… … More “The Trespasser” (1929) – Movie Review

“The Danger Girl” (1916) – Movie Review

Gloria Swanson roared onto the Keystone set one day in 1916 at top speed in her sports car, nearly hitting several people as she screeched to a halt. She found driving a car to be exhilarating and though she didn’t have a license the car was now rightfully half-hers as her new husband, Wallace Beery, was using her salary to pay for it. If it was half-hers, she thought, then she was going to drive it… … More “The Danger Girl” (1916) – Movie Review

‘Zaza’ (1923) – Movie Review

Gloria Swanson lied to studio executives to get herself to New York City in 1923 knowing that an exciting new project was in the works with director Allan Dwan. After having her first child she had needed corrective surgery but with such a busy schedule she was never treated. Knowing that the desired script lay in waiting for her collection in New York she told the studio she must leave at once for two weeks to undergo the procedure, though she secretly planned to be away for much longer… … More ‘Zaza’ (1923) – Movie Review

Feminist Icon or Damsel in Distress? – 100 years on from ‘Teddy at the Throttle’

The Mack Sennett comedy ‘Teddy at the Throttle’ became a centenary picture this year and one hundred years on from its original release the image of Gloria Swanson tied to the railroad tracks is still a silent-era cliché etched into collective memory; but even by 1917 a young Miss Swanson was already making a name for herself, but not for being a ‘damsel’. In a year that saw the beginnings of the Russian Revolution and Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of war on Germany something else of great importance was beginning to unfold in the United States… … More Feminist Icon or Damsel in Distress? – 100 years on from ‘Teddy at the Throttle’