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Essays

Josephine Lovett

Salerno, Abigail

Reviews of Lovett’s films repeatedly emphasized her ability to create heroines who could both please censors and appeal to female fans. Lovett’s greatest success was probably the story and scenario for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production Our Dancing Daughters (1928), a film promoted as featuring the new “sound,” but for all intents and purposes still a silent motion picture. In June 1928, as Don Crafton tells us, MGM followed Warner Brothers in announcing that it would begin to use talking sequences, but their facilities for recording synchronized sound had not yet been built (206). In this transitional period, while MGM was still producing silent films, Our Dancing Daughters attempted sound effects and a music track, but dialogue was still “seen” on screen in intertitles not heard as the lip-synchronized speech that defined the new rage, the “Talkies.” For Our Dancing Daughters, Lovett was nominated for the first Academy Award in writing achievement. Alexander Walker’s popular biography claims that Joan Crawford lobbied for the role of Diana after reading Lovett’s story in a newspaper serial (42).

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Academic Units
Film
Libraries
Series
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019