- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 29 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: March 23, 2009
- Originally Released: 1923
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
The souls in question are silver-screen hopefuls in this witty, insightful glimpse at the early movie business. Feared lost for decades, it includes unique working cameos of director Erich von Stroheim and a non-Tramp Charlie Chaplin, and features starlet Eleanor Boardman, the "Cinderella of Hollywood" whose rags-to-riches story echoed her character's. Escaping from a train journey with her sinister new husband, Mem Steddon (Boardman) crawls across the California desert and spies her salvation: an Arab sheik riding a camel! The location movie crew brings Mem to Tinseltown, where bit parts and acting lessons lead her to starring roles - and a fiery finale with her murderous spouse Lew Cody). If you like classic Hollywood, you'll love this picture, full of carefully observed detail, warmth and plenty of soul.
This comedy-melodrama, based on the novel by Rupert Hughes (who also directed), blends fiction and reality to tell the story of a young woman's rise in Hollywood; the film uses real stars and productions (even Charles Chaplin filming A WOMAN OF PARIS) as its backdrop. Eleanor Boardman plays Remember Steddon, better known as Mem. Mem is a small-town girl who marries slick bad guy Owen Scudder (Lew Cody); Owen insures his brides and then murders them for the money. After the wedding, Mem starts to have her doubts about him and runs away while their train is chugging through the desert. She happens on a film crew and gets work as an extra, later becoming a famous dramatic actress in Hollywood with the help of director Frank Claymore (Richard Dix). Scudder finally tracks her down during a shoot involving a circus tent; when a storm sets the tent on fire, Scudder loses his life saving Mem from a wind machine's propeller. Freed from her marriage, Mem is able to choose between Claymore and her leading man. Boardman, whose first starring role finds her surrounded by a long and impressive supporting cast, wound up at the Goldwyn studios through a "New Faces" contest. Her co-winner, future star William Haines, also had a bit part as the company's assistant director.