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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program present

Lights of Old Broadway / The Patsy

Marion Davies sitting in front of a typewriter.
February 26, 2023 - 7:00 pm

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Free tickets must be obtained on a first come, first served basis at the box office, where seating will be assigned.

Live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick!

Lights of Old Broadway

U.S., 1925

Marion Davies exuded a universal charm whether playing an aristocrat or a waif. In Lights of Old Broadway she plays both as twins separated at birth, one brought up in high society, the other in the tenements. Fate, of course, brings them together against the backdrop of electrical lighting coming to New York City. This new restoration from the Library of Congress features a stunning finale shot in two-color Technicolor along with hand-tinting. The film’s success helped Davies negotiate a better contract with MGM the following year, including producer credit on all her subsequent films.

35mm, b&w, silent, 70 min. Director: Monta Bell. Screenwriter: Carey Wilson, Joseph W. Farhnham. With: Marion Davies, Conrad Nagel, Frank Currier.

Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The Patsy

U.S., 1928

As he told William Randolph Hearst, King Vidor’s plan for his first time directing Marion Davies was simple: “Why don’t we forget the play that’s written and let Marion do as she does?” And boy does she! The Patsy shines as a showcase for Davies emerging comic persona as she stirs up romantic chaos as a younger, put upon daughter who hatches a plan to win away her older, pampered sister’s beau. It’s Cinderella meets Dale Carnegie as she endeavors to “cultivate a personality” culminating in the film’s most famous sequence in which Davies whips through her repertoire of celebrity impressions including Mae Murray, Lillian Gish and Pola Negri.

35mm, b&w, silent, 70 min. Director: King Vidor. Screenwriter: Agnes Christine Johnston, Ralph Spence. With: Marion Davies, Orville Caldwell, Marie Dressler.