‘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...

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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...

“Teddy at the Throttle” (1917) – Movie Review

Released in 1917 by Keystone Studios, Teddy at the Throttle is one of many Mack Sennett comedies in which Gloria Swanson stars opposite Bobby Vernon; another young actor of the silent era famous for his appearances in these kinds of two-reel shorts. Together, Gloria and Bobby made a delightful on-screen couple and they starred in a string of successful films together. While this was just before Gloria’s graduation to the feature-film, Bobby would have no feature length successes, tragically dying in 1939...

Beyond ‘Sunset’ – Who is Gloria Swanson?

...Miss Swanson stands before us now, not the ageing Norma Desmond, but the Mesopotamian goddess of 'Male and Female' forced to yield willingly to a strident Babylonian king named Hollywood or face being eaten alive by the ravenous Lions of Ishtar. She removed her hand from the outstretched one of a male dominated world and marched willingly toward the black gate of uncertainty and the world sank its teeth into her...