Academic Commons

Essays

Frances Marion

RuVoli, JoAnne

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, 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 Pickford as well as her husband, cowboy star actor Fred Thomson.

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