Hugh Munro Neely – Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001)


“Narrated by actress Charlize Theron, Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001) is a documentary about the Hollywood legend whose acting career was overshadowed by her much-criticized love affair with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The film features the final on-camera interview with Davies’ biographer Fred Guiles as well as interviews with film historians Kevin Brownlow, Jeanine Basinger, and Cari Beauchamp; former film critic Charles Champlin; and actress Virginia Madsen, who researched Davies for her portrayal of the star in the made-for-TV movie The Hearst and Davies Affair (1985). First-hand accounts of events in Davies’s life will be shared by Carl Roup, a studio newspaper boy who was chosen by Davies to appear as an extra in The Red Mill (1927); Davies’s friends, including actress Constance Moore and King Vidor’s daughter, Belinda Vidor Holiday; and Life magazine correspondent Stanley Flink, who taped interviews with Davies in 1951, excerpts which are heard in the documentary.

While the press and the film Citizen Kane (1941) served to paint Davies as a hard-drinking golddigger with no talent, Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies will reflect her true nature – a talented, hard-working actress and shrewd businesswoman. The documentary chronicles Davies’s career and her relationship with Hearst, from their meeting in New York to his death in 1951, and contains rare clips from some of Davies’s earliest films, recently rescued from nitrate decomposition, including The Cardboard Lover (1928), The Patsy (1928), When Knighthood Was in Flower. (1922) and Quality Street (1927), as well as rare, never-before-seen home movies from the Hearst castle and from the couple’s European travels”


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