Profile

Frances Marion
Frank M. Clifton (pseudonym used 1925–1928)
Francis Marion
Frances Marion Owen(s)
Marion Benson Owens
Marion Frances Owens
producer
In 1919, when <em>Moving Picture World</em> asked her what her work meant, Frances Marion said, “Stories, working scenarios ready for the director to proceed, tarrying with him through every scene as it is filmed; editing and cutting the complete product and title-writing every bit of it.”
DOB: 11/18/1888
US

Frances Marion

Lived:
November 18, 1888 - May 12, 1973
Also Known As:
Frank M. Clifton (pseudonym used 1925–1928), Francis Marion, Frances Marion Owen(s), Marion Benson Owens, Marion Frances Owens
Worked as:
adapter, co-director, director, film actress, scenario writer, screenwriter, writer
Worked In:
United States
by JoAnne Ruvoli
Frances Marion (p/d/w/a) publicity photo, c. 1918, PC

Frances Marion (d/w/a) publicity photo, c. 1918. PC

In 1919, when Moving Picture World asked her what her work meant, Frances Marion said, “Stories, working scenarios ready for the director to proceed, tarrying with him through every scene as it is filmed; editing and cutting the complete product and title-writing every bit of it.” The native San Franciscan, born Marion Benson Owens, worked in every facet of film production and wrote the stories and scenarios for over three hundred films in a career that spans from early cinema to the sound era and netted her two Academy Awards for screenwriting. Trained by director-producer Lois Weber, Frances Marion worked with nearly every major player over the years, and maintained ongoing collaborations with Mary Pickford, Irving Thalberg, and William Randolph Hearst. She excelled at writing scripts that accentuated the strengths of specific actors and is often credited with defining the careers of Marie Dressler, Greta Garbo, Marion Davies, and Mary Pickford as well as her husband, cowboy star actor Fred Thomson.

Mary Pickford (a/p/w/o) with Frances Marion (p/d/w/a). PC

Mary Pickford (a/p/w/o) with Frances Marion (d/w/a). PC

Marion’s high profile during her own lifetime and her close relationships with star actresses such as Pickford — for whom she wrote character-defining films including The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), and The Little Princess (1917) — have resulted in a well-documented life and career. In addition to several period articles and interviews she conducted for magazines such as Photoplay, we are fortunate to have Marion’s own engaging memoir Off With Their Heads! as well as Cari Beauchamp’s definitive biography Without Lying Down and its 2001 companion documentary film. The available material on Marion goes far beyond recovering the historical record of her career. Her own writings, as well as Beauchamp’s work, restore the cultural contexts of the silent cinema era and open up the field for new angles of analysis, exemplified by Jennifer Parchesky’s recent discussion of Marion’s use of automobiles in the 1925 film Zander the Great (180).

Throughout her career, which spanned 1915–1946, Frances Marion both adapted other texts and wrote original scenarios, sometimes as a freelance writer but most notably under studio contract. Her Hollywood tenure was spent mostly in the screenwriting department at the premiere major studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where she worked closely with producers Samuel Goldwyn and Irving Thalberg. Marion’s relationships with writers, actors, directors, and executives as well as the crew and staff show an enormous generosity that extended beyond position or power. Her attempts to revive the career of comedienne Marie Dressler and to improve the fortunes of failing screenwriter Lorna Moon are legendary. The published letters of Valeria Belletti, Samuel Goldwyn’s secretary, also illustrate the way Marion’s generosity extended to all studio employees in the story of how she encouraged Belletti’s writing ambitions.

Prolific and skilled in the craft of scenario writing, Frances Marion taught, wrote a textbook, How to Write and Sell Film Stories, and in interviews often commented not only on the evolution of screenwriting, but on the writers’ working conditions as well. For instance, she told Elizabeth Peltret of Photoplay in 1917 that she preferred writing at home, asking, “how can they expect a poor scenario writer to plunge into deep and silent study when Rome is burning on the lot across the street” (31). Eventually, in 1933, she was instrumental in urging the Screen Writer’s Guild to address the more serious of these conditions (Beauchamp 1997, 307). But the socially conscious side of Frances Marion was not made available to the public; rather, the articles in fan magazines and trade publications like Moving Picture World treat her in a fashion similar to the motion picture stars for whom she wrote, publishing glamorous photos and reporting on her industry successes, personal milestones, and every career move, as in the 1919 article, “Frances Marion Returns to Task” (1013).

Frances Marion (p/d/w/a) publicity photo, c. 1924,PC

Frances Marion (d/w/a) publicity photo, c. 1924. PC

Frances Marion is credited with directing two motion pictures—The Love Light (1921) and Just Around the Corner (1921). During World War I, she had filmed women’s contributions at the front for the US government and, on this assignment, became the first woman to cross the Rhine after the Armistice (Beauchamp 1997, 98). From a story she heard in Italy after the war, she wrote the script for The Love Light, a project that would capitalize on the public’s fascination with Mary Pickford ’s marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and present Pickford in an adult role as a young woman who discovers that her lover is a German spy (Beauchamp 1997, 124). Pickford insisted that her friend direct The Love Light, and Marion began by moving the production to Monterey, California, where the cypress trees on the coast stood in for those in Italy (Beauchamp 1997, 128).

Advertising The Love Light (1921), Frances Marion (d/w), PC

Advertising The Love Light (1921), Frances Marion (d/w/a). PC

Using the Pickford-Marion formula of adding slapstick comedy to drama, the film begins with Angela (Pickford) as an Italian peasant girl chasing her brothers around several inebriated farm animals. This scene is singled out by the Photoplay reviewer as the best thing he remembers except that the film “takes the nation’s sweetheart out of her curls and short frocks and makes a woman of her” (77). Marion uses beautifully framed long shots of the coastal overlook to show the lighthouse, which is left for Angela to manage when her brothers go off to war. One day, after a storm, Joseph (Fred Thomson) washes up on shore and is taken in by Angela, who does not know that he is a German spy. Thinking that he is a deserter from the American Navy, she hides him, but they quickly fall in love. Beauchamp reports stories of friction on set between Pickford, Thomson—by now married to Marion—and the first-time director, but suggests that these stories originated from a crew who may have had difficulty taking commands from a woman (1997, 129). Pickford’s performance shifts from passion, as Angela and Joseph secretly marry, to heroic pathos, as she finds out that he has tricked her into using the lighthouse to send messages to German submarines.

Scene The Love Light (1921), Frances Marion (d/w), PC

Scene The Love Light (1921), Frances Marion (d/w/a). PC

She turns him over to the angry villagers and again Marion’s chiaroscuro exterior shots tell the story of his death. The last part of the film shifts again as Angela gives birth to Joseph’s baby and is stricken with grief at the loss of her two brothers, who die in the war. The plot devolves to a climatic shipwreck, which Marion chose to film during a real storm with a real ship, putting her assistant director in peril (Beauchamp 1997, 129). In Off With Their Heads! Marion writes, “If only women’s lib had been active in those days!” in response to a reviewer who nearly fifty years earlier had dismissed the scene with “A man wouldn’t try to get away with that phony miniature” (103). The visual aspects of Marion’s direction as well as Pickford’s performance have perhaps been underrated and deserve further study. Cari Beauchamp claims Marion was never again the sole director, but just how much she contributed to the direction of other films in a collaboration with others warrants more attention.

Frances Marion (p/d/w/a), PC

Frances Marion (d/w/a). PC

Despite evidence of Marion’s hands-on involvement in many stages of the motion pictures she wrote, she is credited with codirecting only the extant film The Song of Love (1923), on which she worked with Chester M. Franklin. Later in Frances Marion’s life, after a career of writing for the film industry, she told DeWitt Bodeen, “[I]t was apparent that if a writer wanted to maintain any control over what he wrote, he would have to become a writer-director, or a writer-producer. Writing a screenplay had become like writing on sand, with the wind blowing” (113).

With additional research by Jane Gaines.


Selected Bibliography

Belletti, Valeria. Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary. Edited by Cari Beauchamp. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997.

Bodeen, DeWitt. More From Hollywood: The Careers of Fifteen Great American Stars. New York: Barnes, 1977.

“Frances Marion Returns to Task.” Moving Picture World (22 February 1919): 1013.

Mantle, Burns. “The Shadow Stage.” The Love Light. Rev. Photoplay (April 1921): 51-53, 77.

Marion, Frances. How to Write and Sell Film Stories. New York: Covici-Friede, 1937.

------. Off With Their Heads! A Serio-Comic Tale of Hollywood. New York: Macmillan, 1972.

Parchesky, Jennifer. “Women in the Driver’s Seat: The Auto-erotics of Early Women’s Films.” Film History 18 (2006): 174-184.

Peltret, Elizabeth. “Frances Marion—Soldieress of Fortune.” Photoplay (November 1917): 31-33, 124.

Archival Paper Collections:

Cinema Library Clipping Files. USC-CAL.

Frances Marion clippings file. AMPAS-SC.

Frances Marion Collection. USC-CAL.

Gloria Swanson papers. UT-HRC.

Reminiscences of Frances Marion. June, 1958. CUOHRO.

Thomson family letters, private collection of Carson and Mary Thomson.

Complete Project Bibliographies

Filmography

A. Archival Filmography: Extant Film Titles:

1. Frances Marion as Director and Screenwriter

The Love Light. Prod.: Mary Pickford, dir./sc.: Frances Marion (Mary Pickford Co. US 1921) cas.: Mary Pickford, Fred Thomson, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USR, USW, USL, RUR.

Just Around the Corner. Dir./sc.: Frances Marion (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1921) cas.: Sigrid Homquist, Margaret Seddon, Lewis Sargent, Edward Phillips, Peggy Parry, Rosa Rosanova, William Nally, Fred Thomson, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: USW.

2. Frances Marion as Co-Director and Screenwriter

The Song of Love. Dir.: Chester M. Franklin, Frances Marion, sc.: Frances Marion (Norma Talmadge Productions US 1923) cas.: Norma Talmadge, Joseph Schildkraut, Arthur Edmund Carew, Laurence Wheat, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW, DEK.

3. Frances Marion as Screenwriter

Camille. Dir.: Albert Capellani, sc.: Frances Marion (Shubert Film Corp. US 1915) cas.: Clara Kimball Young, Paul Capellani, Frederick C. Truesdell, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: RUR, DEW, DEK

The Dawn of Tomorrow. Dir.: James Kirkwood, sc.: James Kirkwood and Frances Marion (Famous Players/Paramount US 1915) cas.: Mary Pickford, David Powell, Forrest Robinson, Margaret Seddon, Blanche Craig, Robert Cain, si., b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: GBB, SES.

Fanchon, the Cricket. Dir.: James Kirkwood, sc.: Frances Marion (Famous Players Film Co.  US 1915) cas.: Mary Pickford, Jack Standing, Lottie Pickford, si, b&w, 35mm. Archive: GBB, USR, FRC.

Mistress Nell. Dir.: James Kirkwood, sc.: Frances Marion (Famous Players Film Co US 1915) cas.: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, Arthur Hoops, Ruby Hoffman, Amelia Rose, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USM.

Rags. Dir.: James Kirkwood, sc.: E.B. Delano and Frances Marion (Famous Players Film Co. US 1915) cas.: Mary Pickford, Marshal Neilan, Joseph Manning, J. Farrell MacDonald, si., b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW, USR, USL

The Crucial Test. Dir.: John Ince and Robert Thornby, sc.: Frances Marion (Paragon Films, Inc. US 1916) cas.: Kitty Gordon, Niles Welch, J. Herbert Frank, W. Cahill, Winifred Harris, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USR.

The Foundling. Dir.: John B. O’Brien, sc. Frances Marion (Famous Players Film Corp. US 1916) cas.: Mary Pickford, Mildred Morris, Gertrude Norman, Edward Martindel, Maggie Weston, Maria Harris, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW, USR. USL.

The Gilded Cage. Dir.: Harley Knoles, sc.: Frances Marion (Peerless Pictures US 1916) cas.:  Alice Brady, Irving Cummings, Arthur Ashley, Montagu Love, Gerda Holmes, Clara Whipple, Alec B. Francis, Sidney D’Albrook, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW, USR, GBB.

The Heart of a Hero. Dir.: Emile Chautard, sc.: Frances Marion (Peerless Pictures US 1916) cas.: Robert Warwick, Gail Kane, Alec B. Francis, George McQuarrie, Clifford Gray, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USW, USR, USF.

The Hidden Scar. Dir.: Barry O’Neill, sc.: Frances Marion (Peerless Pictures US 1916) cas.: Holbrook Blinn, Ethel Clayton, Irving Cummings, Montagu Love, Madge Evans, Edward W. Kimball, Mrs. Woodward, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USW, CAO.

La Vie de Boheme. Dir.: Albert Capellani, sc. Frances Marion (Paragon Films, Inc. US 1916) cas.: Alice Brady, Paul Capellani, June Elvidge, Leslie Stowe, Chester Barnett, Zena Keefe, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USR, FRL, FRC.

On Dangerous Ground. Dir.: Robert Thornby, sc.: Frances Marion (Peerless/World US 1917) cas.: Gail Kane, Carlyle Blackwell, William Bailey, Stanhope Wheatcroft, Frank Leigh, John Burkell, Florence Ashbrook, si, b&w; 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW

The Rise of Susan. Dir.: Stanner E. V. Taylor, sc.: Frances Marion, cost.: Lucy Duff-Gordon (Peerless Pictures US 1916) cas.: Clara Kimball Young, Eugene O’Brien, Warner Oland, Jenny Dickerson, Marguerite Skirwin, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW, USR.

A Girl’s Folly. Dir.: Maurice Tourneur, sc.: Frances Marion (Paragon Films, Inc. US 1917) cas.: Robert Warwick, Doris Kenyon, June Elvidge, Jane Adair, Johnny Hines, Chester Barnett, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW, USM, ITG, GBB, USL

The Little Princess. Dir.: Marshall Neilan, sc.: Frances Marion (Mary Pickford Film Corp US 1917) cas.: Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, Zasu Pitts. si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USR, USW, NLA, ESB, USL

The Poor Little Rich Girl. Dir.: Maurice Tourneur, sc.: Frances Marion (Artcraft Pictures Corp. US 1917) cas.: Mary Pickford, Charles Wellesley, Frank Mcglynn, Emile LaCroix, Charles Craig, Gladys Fairbanks, Herbert Prior, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: USW, USM, USR, ITG, USF

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Dir.: Marshall Neilan, sc.: Frances Marion, cost.: Lucy Duff-Gordon (Mary Pickford Film Corp. US 1917) cas.: Mary Pickford, Eugene O’Brien. si, b&w, 35mm., 6 reels. Archive: USW, USR, NLA, USF, USL.

The Stolen Paradise. Dir.: Harley Knoles, sc.: Frances Marion (World Film Corp. US 1917) cas.: Ethel Clayton, Edward Langford, Pina Nesbit, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW.

Tillie Wakes Up. Dir.: Harry Davenport, sc.: Frances Marion (World Film Corp. US 1917) cas.: Marie Dressler, Johnny Hines, Frank Beamish, Rye de Remer, Ruth Barrett, Jack Brown, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USM, BEB, USL, USF, FRL.

Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley. Prod.: Mary Pickford, dir.: Marshall Neilan, sc.: Frances Marion (Mary Pickford Film Corp US 1918) cas.: Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, Kate Price, si, b&w, 35mm., 5 reels. Archive: USR, USW, USM, USL, USB

The Goat. Dir.: Donald Crisp, sc.: Frances Marion (Famous Players-Lasky Corp. US 1918) cas.: Fred Stone, Fanny Midgely, Charles McHugh, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: GBC

Johanna Enlists. Prod.: Mary Pickford; dir.: William Desmond Taylor, sc.: Frances Marion (Pickford Film Corp. US 1918) cas.: Mary Pickford, Monte Blue, Douglas McLean, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USR, USW, USL.

M'liss. Prod.: Mary Pickford, dir.: Marshall Neilan, sc.: Frances Marion (Famous Players-Lasky Corp US 1918) cas.: Mary Pickford, Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USR, USW, USL

Stella Maris. Prod.: Mary Pickford, dir.: Marshall Neilan, sc.: Frances Marion, cost.: Lucy Duff-Gordon (Famous Players-Lasky Corp. US 1918) cas.: Mary Pickford, Conway Tearle, Marcia Manon, si, b&w; 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USR, USW, USM, ITG, AUC

Captain Kidd, Jr. Prod.: Mary Pickford, dir.: William Desmond Taylor, sc.: Frances Marion (Pickford Film Corp. US 1919) cas.: Mary Pickford, Douglas MacLean, Marcia Manon, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USW, USR.

The Flapper. Dir.: Alan Crosland, sc.: Frances Marion (Selznick Pictures Corp. US 1920) cas.: Olive Thomas, Theodore Westman, Norma Shearer, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USR.

Humoresque. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1920) cas.: Vera Gordon, Gaston Glass, Alma Rubens, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USL, CAQ.

Pollyanna. Prod.: Mary Pickford, dir.: Paul Powell, sc.: Frances Marion (Mary Pickford Co. US 1920) cas.: Mary Pickford, Katherine Griffith, Herbert Prior, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: BEB, USR, USW, RUR, USL, USF

Straight is the Way. Dir.: Robert G. Vignola, sc.: Frances Marion (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1921) cas.: Matt Moore, Gladys Leslie, Mabel Bert, Emily Fitzroy, Van Dyke Brooks, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USW.

Back Pay. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1922) cas.: Seena Owen, Matt Moore, J. Barney Sherry, Ethel Duray, Charles Craig, Jerry Sinclair, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: USW.

East is West. Dir.: Sidney A. Franklin, sc.: Frances Marion (Constance Talmadge Film Co./First National US 1922) cas.: Constance Talmadge, Edward Burns, E.A. Warren, Warner Oland, si, b&w, 8 reels. Archive: NLA.

The Eternal Flame. Dir.: Frank Lloyd, sc.: Frances Marion (Norma Talmadge Films Co. US 1922) cas.: Norma Talmadge, Conway Tearle, Adolphe Menjou, Kate Lester, Irving Cummings, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW.

The Toll of the Sea. Dir.: Chester Franklin, sc.: Frances Marion (Technicolor Corp. US 1922) cas.: Anna May Wong, Kenneth Harlan, Beatrice Bentley, si, color, 35mm, 5 reels. Archive: USL, NLA, GBB, FRL.

The French Doll. Dir.: Robert Z. Leonard, sc.: Frances Marion (Tiffany Productions US 1923) cas.: Mae Murray, Orville Caldwell, Rod La Rocque, Rose Dione, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: RUR, YUB.

The Nth Commandment. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1923) cas.: Collen Moore, James Morrison, Edward Phillips, Charlotte Merriam, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW.

Potash and Perlmutter. Dir.: Clarence G. Badger, sc.: Frances Marion (Goldwyn Pictures Corp. US 1923) cas.: Alexander Carr, Berney Bernard, Vera Gordon, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW.

Within the Law. Dir.: Frank Lloyd, sc.: Frances Marion (Joseph Schenck Productions US 1923) cas.: Norma Talmadge, Jack Mulhall, Eileen Percy, Lew Cody, Joseph Kilgour, Helen Ferguson, Lincoln Plummer, Ward Crane, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: CNC, RUR, FRB, USW.

In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter. Dir.: Alfred E. Green, sc.: Frances Marion (Goldwyn Pictures Corp. US 1924) cas.: Alexander Carr, George Sidney, Vera Gordon, Betty Blythe, Belle Bennett, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW.

Secrets. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Joseph Schenck Productions US 1924) cas.: Norma Talmadge, Eugene O’Brien, Claire McDowell, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: BEB, RUR, USM, USW.

Sundown. Dir.: Laurence Trimble, sc.: Frances Marion (First National US 1924) cas.: Bessie Love, Roy Stewart, Hobart Bosworth, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW.

Graustark. Dir.: Dimitri Buchowetzki, sc.: Frances Marion, Lenore J. Coffee (Joseph M. Schenck Prod.. US 1925) cas.: Norma Talmadge, Eugene O’Brien, Wand Hawley, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: USW.

The Lady. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Norma Talmadge Productions US 1925) cas.: Norma Talmadge, Wallace MacDonald, Brandon Hurst, Alf Goulding, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW.

Lightin’. Dir.: John Ford, sc.: Frances Marion (Fox Film Corp. US 1925) cas.: Jay Hunt, Madge Bellamy, J. Farrell MacDonald, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USM, BEB, DKK.

Zander the Great. Dir.: George W. Hill, sc.: Frances Marion, Lillie Hayward (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1925) cas.: Marion Davies, Holbrook Blinn, Harrison Ford, Harry Myers, Hedda Hopper, Harry Watson, Hobart Bosworth, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW, BEB, USM.

Lazybones. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Fox Film Corp. US 1925) cas.: ZaSu Pitts, Buck Owens, Madge Bellamy, Edythe Chapman, si, b&w, 35mm., 8 reels. Archive: USM, FRB, BEB, USR, USW.

Stella Dallas. Dir.: Henry King, sc.: Frances Marion (Samuel Goldwyn Inc. US 1925) cas.: Lois Moran, Belle Bennett, Ronald Colman, Jean Hersholt, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Vera Lewis, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USM, BEB, GBB, AUC, USL.

The First Year. Dir.: Frank Borzage, sc.: Frances Marion (Fox Film Corp US 1926) cas.: Matt Moore, John Patrick, Kathryn Perry, Frank Currier, Frank Cooley, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: USM, USR.

The Scarlet Letter. Dir.: Victor Sjöström, sc.: Frances Marion (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures US 1926) cas.: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B Walthall, William H. Tooker, si, b&w, 35mm, 9 reels. Archive: USW, USM, USR, BEB, SES, ITN, GBB, USB, DKK, AUC, YUB.

The Son of the Sheik. Dir.: George Fitzmaurice, sc.: Frances Marion (Feature Productions, Inc. US 1926) cas.: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky, Montagu Love, Agnes Ayres, si, b&w, 35mm., 7 reels. Archive: BGS, GBC, BRR, SES, ITG, USR, USW, GBB, ITN, ITC, ROB, USL, USF, ESM, CAO, DKK, USI, FRC, YUB, FRL.

The Winning of Barbara Worth. Dir.: Henry King, sc.: Frances Marion (Samuel Goldwyn, Inc. US 1926) cas.: Ronald Colman, Vilma Banky, Gary Cooper, si, b&w, 35mm., 9 reels. Archive: ITG, USW.

The Callahans and the Murphys. Dir.: George Hill, sc.: Frances Marion (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp US 1927) cas.: Marie Dressler, Polly Moran, Sally O’Neil, si, b&w, 16mm 7 reels; 6126 ft. Archive: USW (fragment).

Love. Dir.: Edmund Goulding, sc.: Frances Marion (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. US 1927) cas.: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, George Fawcett, Emily Fitzroy, Brandon Hurst, si, b&w, 35mm, 8 reels. Archive: USW, USR, ITG, FRC.

Madame Pompadour. Dir.: Herbert Wilcox, sc.: Frances Marion (Paramount US 1927) cas.: Dorothy Gish, Antonio Moreno, Henry Bosc, Jeff McLaughlin, Nelson Keys, Cyril McLaglen, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: GBB.

The Red Mill. Dir.: William Goodrich, sc.: Frances Marion (Cosmopolitan Productions US 1927) cas.: Marion Davies, Owen Moore, Louise Fazenda, Karl Dane, Snitz Edwards, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: USW, USL.

Bringing Up Father. Dir.: Jack Conway; sc.: Frances Marion (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. US 1928) cas.: J. Farrell MacDonald, Jules Cowles, Polly Moran, Marie Dressler, Gertrude Olmstead, Grant Withers, si, b&w, 35mm, 7 reels. Archive: USR.

The Cossacks. Dir.: George W. Hill, sc.: Frances Marion (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.  US 1928) cas.: John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, Ernest Torrence, Dale Fuller, Mary Alden, Paul Hurst, si, b&w, 35mm, 10 reels. Archive: USR.

The Wind. Dir.: Victor Seastrom, sc.: Frances Marion (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. US 1928) cas.: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Dorothy Cumming, Montagu Love, si, b&w, 35mm., 8 reels. Archive: ITN, BEB, ROB, ITG, MXU, USR, GBB, DKK, SES, FRC, AUC, YUB, USW, FRL.

B. Filmography: Not Extant Titles:

1. Frances Marion as Actress

A Girl of Yesterday, 1915; The Wild Girl from the Hills, 1915.

2. Frances Marion as Screenwriter

A Daughter of the Sea, 1915; Esmeralda, 1915; Little Pal, 1915; All Man, 1916; The Battle of Hearts, 1916; Bought and Paid For, 1916; The Feast of Life, 1916; Friday the 13th, 1916; The Revolt, 1916; The Social Highway Man, 1916; The Summer Girl, 1916; Tangled Fates, 1916;  Then I’ll Come Back to You, 1916; A Woman’s Way, 1916; The Yellow Passport, 1916; The Amazons, 1917; As Man Made Her, 1917; The Beloved Adventuress, 1917; The Crimson Dove, 1917; Darkest Russia, 1917; The Divorce Game, 1917; Forget-Me-Not, 1917;  The Hungry Heart, 1917; The Social Leper, 1917; A Square Deal, 1917; The Web of Desire, 1917; A Woman Alone, 1917; The City of Dim Faces, 1918; He Comes Up Smiling, 1918;  How Could You Jean?, 1918; The Temple of Dusk, 1918; Anne of Green Gables, 1919; The Cinema Murder, 1919; The Misleading Widow, 1919; A Regular Girl, 1919; The Restless Sex, 1920;  The World and His Wife, 1920; Minnie, 1922; The Primitive Lover, 1922; Sonny, 1922; The Stranger’s Banquet, 1922; The Famous Mrs. Fair, 1923; The Love Piker, 1923; The Voice from the Minaret, 1923; Cytherea, 1924; The Flaming Forties, 1924; Tarnish, 1924; Through the Dark, 1924; His Supreme Moment, 1925; The Dark Angel, 1925; Simon, the Jester, 1925;  Thank You, 1925; A Thief in Paradise, 1925; Paris at Midnight, 1926; Partners Again—Potash and Perlmutter, 1926; The Awakening, 1928; Excess Baggage, 1928; The Masks of the Devil, 1928.

C. DVD/VHS Sources:

Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley. DVD (Image Entertainment US 2000).

The Flapper. DVD in The Olive Thomas Collection (Milestone US 2005) DVD.

A Girl's Folly. on Before Hollywood, There Was Fort Lee, N.J. DVD. (Image Entertainment US 2003)

The Winning of Barbara Worth. on Gary Cooper MGM Movie Legends Collection DVD (MGM US 2007) DVD.

Stella Maris. DVD (Image Entertainment US 2000)

The Son of Sheik. DVD (Image Entertainment US 2002)

A Little Princess. DVD (Milestone US 2003)

The Scarlet Letter. DVD (Reel Classic Films US 2007).

D. Streamed Media:

Excerpt of The Love Light (1921)

Trailer for EYE Filmmuseum's recent restoration of East is West (1922)

Credit Report

While Frances Marion was working at Bosworth in 1914, both Lois Weber and Elsie Janis made a number of films that Marion likely worked on as a writer and/or an actress, however, these titles can’t be confirmed. Several titles are now incomplete: Just Around the Corner, The Rise of Susan, The Stolen Paradise, Straight is the Way, The Eternal Flame. FIAF does not list the following films on its website: Fanchon, The Cricket, Dawn of Tomorrow, Camille, La Vie de Boheme, The Crucial Test, The Goat, Captain Kidd, Jr., East is West, In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter, Sundown. Marion is not credited on FIAF for the following films: The Flapper, Straight is the Way, French Doll, Lazybones, Madame Pompadour, Bringing Up Father, The Callahans and the Murphys, and The Cossacks.

Citation

Ruvoli, JoAnne. "Frances Marion." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013. Web.   September 27, 2013.   <https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-frances-marion/>

Related

Below are lists of other pioneers that are related to Frances Marion by occupation or geography.

Occupation: adapters


Occupation: co-directors


Occupation: directors


Occupation: film actresses


Occupation: scenario writers


Occupation: screenwriters


Occupation: writers


Place: United States