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Essays

Lillian Ducey

Bajar, Daniela; Bloom, Livia

“The skeptical may not believe it… Hundreds of directors may scoff—But—There is one director who is efficient—and without the aid of puttees. Introducing Lillian Ducey, directing Youth Triumphant for the newly formed Fisher Productions. Efficiency plus is said to be Miss Ducey’s middle name,” heralded the Los Angeles Times in reference to Ducey’s first job as a motion picture director in 1923 (III34). With silent star Anna Q. Nilsson in the lead role, Youth Triumphant, alternately titled Enemies of Children, was a melodrama about “a street waif of questionable parentage [who] is taken into a wealthy home,” according to Variety’s summary (26). Distributed by Mammoth Pictures and released on December 13, 1923, the black-and-white six-reeler was based on the 1921 novel by George Gibbs. The film was expected to be the first of many, and as the Los Angeles Times announced a few months later: “Mrs. Ducey’s next production will be an original story of her own … .” (II10). Yet despite these announcements of her directorial debut and the possibility of other films, Lillian Ducey’s only association with directing is a single feature. In this, she can be compared to other writers like Frances Marion and Eugenie Magnus Ingleton who had one opportunity to direct. However, unlike Marion and Ingleton, Ducey’s credit has not been verified. In the American Film Institute Catalog, Ducey is not even credited as the sole author of Youth Triumphant; John M. Voshell receives equal billing for both direction and adaptation.

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More About This Work

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