The Olive Thomas Collection: The Flapper/Olive Thomas - Everybody's Sweetheart
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(Apr 26, 2005)
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It's necessary to say "film history records" because the films themselves, by and large, do not survive. One that does, pristinely, is The Flapper (1920), Thomas's next-to-next-to-last movie. Written by the estimable Frances Marion, it's an easygoing comedy about a Southern teen who, sent to a ritzy boarding school up North, gets into mischief while acting the sophisticated grownup to impress a suave gentleman and match wits with a pair of jewel thieves. She's lovely to look at, and there's an exhilarating sequence shot atop a double-decker bus as it bears her along Fifth Avenue--an innocent girl in a vibrant metropolis she had already seduced years earlier.
Completing the Collection is Olive Thomas: Everybody's Sweetheart, an hourlong documentary chronicling the actress's life and career--including her relationships with Flo Ziegfeld and the three Selznicks, Lewis J., Myron, and David--and affording glimpses of some of her other movies. Much of the commentary is supremely fatuous, but not the legend that her ghost haunts the New Amsterdam Theatre where her star first rose. --Richard T. Jameson
Top Customer Reviews
Judging from the film THE FLAPPER which makes up more than half this disc, Olive Thomas was a gifted performer who combined the madcap qualities of Mabel Normand with the affable sincerity of Mary Pickford. The film is an occasionally witty somewhat clever comedy about a naive young girl at boarding school who gets mixed up with thieves. It was written by Frances Marion (the top screen writer of the silent era), directed by Alan Crosland (THE JAZZ SINGER), and produced by Lewis Selznick (father 0f Myron and David O.). That's a pretty good pedigree and shows how highly Olive was regarded by her contemporaries. It would be her penultimate film.
At this time Olive had been married to Jack Pickford (Mary's brother) for a few years. It was on a second honeymoon trip to Paris that she suddenly died after taking bichloride of mercury. Was it suicide, murder, or just a horrible accident? We will never know although the Timeline Films documentary OLIVE THOMAS: EVERYBODY'S SWEETHEART that fills out the DVD does draw its own conclusion. It is informative and well produced although a little shallow. There are a wealth of clips and photos and it features narration from Rosanna Arquette.
But back to THE FLAPPER. The print from the George Eastman House is absolutely first rate with hardly a blemish and it's even color tinted and has the original illustrated title cards.Read more ›
and I feel that she would have succeeded. When she is on screen, she dominates every scene she is in and that is star quality. I do hope Milestone will release more of the existing Olive Thomas films. Her talent is on the level of Mary Pickford, Marion Davies, and Clara Bow. It is time for Olive Thomas to receive the credit she deserves. I have become an Olive Thomas fan after seeing only one film of hers. That says a lot. It is tragic that she died just prior to her 26th birthday. Before stars were truly stars, seeing Olive in this superbly directed comedy leaves one wondering, "What if she had lived longer?" It made me think of the great Jean Harlow who died near Olive's age. Both had a great deal more to offer and both had great talent. I am very glad I have "discovered" Olive Thomas and may more of her films be released on DVD and may more that are "presumed lost" be found. I am ready to see more of this actress' work!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film and documentary on this beautiful silent screen star.
Almost forgotten today but with this set hopefully Olive Thomas
will be re-discovered.
I first became acquainted with Olive Thomas as a teen when I read the horrible (and mostly false) Hollywood Babylon. Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by Jungle Red
Chances are...that many people today have never heard of the silent actress Olive Thomas. If anything, for most people who frequent the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City, her... Read morePublished on April 28, 2010 by [KNDY] Dennis A. Amith
Loved the documentary and movie on a forgotten beauty of the silent era. Olive led a very interesting life, that like so many of that time, came to a tragic end. Read morePublished on April 5, 2010 by A. Pasqualini
First watch the bio on Olive Thomas, then her films.
Not remembered today, none the less, she was a beauty during her short life. Read more
The majority of silent films are lost forever and this one starring Olive Thomas, who died two years later in Paris under mysterious circumstances, is a good addition to your film... Read morePublished on June 7, 2009 by Terry Nelson
I heard about Olive Thomas through the internet, because I'm interested in silent movies. This DVD is great - one of her famous movies, "The Flapper" and a story about her life. Read morePublished on May 4, 2009 by Sally Quick
THE FLAPPER is the only widely available film starring the lovely starlet Olive Thomas whose tragic, mysterious death later in 1920 has perversely kept the star's name alive more... Read morePublished on August 18, 2007 by Tee
THE FLAPPER was one of the first silent movies I watched. In fact, I still haven't watched a whole lot of them, but I am starting to, and though I haven't watched many silents like... Read morePublished on March 4, 2007