- Manslaughter (1922 film)
Manslaughter Directed by Cecil B. DeMille Produced by Cecil B. DeMille
Jesse L. Lasky
Written by Jeanie MacPherson
Alice Duer Miller
Starring Leatrice Joy Cinematography L. Guy Wilky
Editing by Anne Bauchens Distributed by Paramount Pictures Release date(s) 24 September 1922 Running time 100 minutes Country United States Language Silent
Budget $385,000 
A wild, wealthy woman is brought to heel by a sermonizing district attorney after she accidentally hits and kills a motorcycle cop.
- Leatrice Joy - Lydia Thorne
- Thomas Meighan - Daniel J. O'Bannon
- Lois Wilson - Evans (Lydia's maid)
- John Miltern - Gov. Stephan Albee
- George Fawcett - Judge Homans
- Julia Faye - Mrs. Drummond
- Edythe Chapman - Adeline Bennett
- Jack Mower - Drummond (policeman)
- Dorothy Cumming - Eleanor Bellington
- Casson Ferguson - Bobby Dorest
- Michael D. Moore - Dicky Evans (as Mickey Moore)
- James Neill - Butler
- Sylvia Ashton - Prison matron
- Raymond Hatton - Brown
- Mabel Van Buren - Prisoner
- Ethel Wales - Prisoner
- Dale Fuller - Prisoner
- Edward Martindel - Wiley
- Charles Ogle - Doctor
- Guy Oliver - Musician
- Shannon Day - Miss Santa Claus
- Lucien Littlefield - Witness
To get a better understanding of the experience of a woman in prison, screenwriter Jeannie MacPherson arranged to 'steal' a fur piece from a friend, and to be arrested for the theft. MacPherson was 'apprehended' in Detroit and spent three days in prison before the hoax was revealed.
According to Leatrice Joy, the filming of the car chase scene was extremely nerve-wrecking because she herself had to drive the car, which had been fitted with a platform to support two cameramen and the director, plus equipment. Their safety depended entirely upon her skills as a motorist. Joy did most of her own driving, though in some shots the car was driven by stunt double Leo Nomis. During the shooting of a prison sequence, Joy burned her hand accidentally with soup in a prop cauldron; assistant director Cullen Tate had neglected to inform her that the soup was scalding hot.
Manslaughter is thought of by historians as one of De Mille's lesser efforts as a director. Historian Kevin Brownlow notes that Joy and Wilson "both give far better performances than the film deserves." "It is hard to believe that such a crude and unsubtle film could come from a veteran like De Mille," said a 1963 Theodore Huff Society program note for the film, "harder still to believe that this came from the same year that Orphans of the Storm, Down to the Sea in Ships", and Foolish Wives. The amateurish and crudely faked chase scenes that start the film are of less technical slickness than Sennett had been getting ten years earlier. Manslaughter is exactly the kind of picture that the unknowing regard as typical of the silent film - overwrought, pantomimically acted, written in the manner of a Victorian melodrama, the kind of film that invites laughter at it rather than with it."
When a print was screened by William K. Everson for Joy's daughters birthday, the star of the film attended and saw it for the first time in forty years. According to Kevin Brownlow, "Miss Joy thought it hilarious."
- ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Manslaughter". Silent Era. http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/M/Manslaughter1922.html. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013372/trivia
- ^ a b Brownlow, K.; The parade's gone by...; University of California Press, 1976; p. 185
- ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013372/fullcredits#cast
- ^ a b c Brownlow, K.; The parade's gone by...; University of California Press, 1976; p. 184
- Manslaughter at the Internet Movie Database
- Manslaughter is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
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