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Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 475 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reprint edition (April 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520214927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520214927
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Screenwriter Frances Marion (1888-1973) is the central subject of this excellent book, but mega-star Mary Pickford, journalist Adela Rogers St. Johns, bit-player-turned-gossip-columnist Hedda Hopper, and other high-powered female friends get nearly equal time. The author's skillful mix of biography with Hollywood history results in a densely textured portrait of an industry in formation and the intelligent, ambitious women who seized the opportunities it offered them for creative expression and financial independence. The text also instills new appreciation for the artistry of silent movies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Film journalist Beauchamp's book is aptly subtitled, for this is not only about the pioneering screenwriter Frances Marion, whose credits range from silent classics to Garbo's first "talkie" to sophisticated comedy. This is also the story of the women with whom Marion worked, who creatively and symbiotically sustained one another. Chronicled here are her intimate working relationships with Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler, and Irving Thalberg; her qualified disdain of Louis B. Mayer and Joseph P. Kennedy; and her marriages, especially to cowboy film star Fred Thomson. Occupying the margins?but rarely marginalized?Marion cultivated power that often translated into casting decisions and salary negotiations on her own terms. She made the transition from silents to sound motion pictures and likewise survived the industry's swing from early respect for the director's vision to a later reverence for bottomline returns. To dub Beauchamp's work "revisionist" is inadequate: this is a welcomed rediscovery. For all film collections and larger public libraries.?Jayne Kate Plymale-Jackson, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Cari Beauchamp is a fourth generation Californian who brings her love of history and dedication to women's rights to her writing about film. Her award winning books have been named to many "best of" lists and she is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar. She lives in Los Angeles and her website address is caribeauchamp.com

Customer Reviews

I was looking for books on some of the great silent stars..
Jennifer L. Williams
The lack of respect afforded to Ms. Marion by modern cinephiles as a pioneer in film-making is a true travesty.
julip510
The story moves along at a nice pace and the book is well written.
giotto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer L. Williams on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on a whim. I was looking for books on some of the great silent stars..Marion Davis, Mary Pickford, Colleen Moore, Olive Thomas, etc. I find it incredibly hard to find books about the Golden Age of Hollywood. After reading this work, I was taken back to a time when flickers were just coming in to vogue and when women could thrive in a burgeoning industry! The author - Cari Beauchamp did an excellent job of capturing the feel of the Golden age of Hollywood. I thought that her research was extensive and considering the limited amount of information available on women in this era, very complete. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in recapturing the essence of the Golden Age of Hollywood in their very modern living rooms of today.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Hunter on February 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Cari Beauchamp has written a fascinating biography of early Hollywood through the life of Frances Marion, one of its most powerful and highly paid screenwriters, Without Lying Down, Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood. The working life of Frances Marion has the advantage of coinciding with the birth of movies as Marion began working on scripts for silent movies in the teens and continued into the sound era and the advent of World War II. This biography also has the joy of highlighting many of the other unique women of Hollywood as Frances Marion traveled in a powerful Hollywood clique. It is a wonderful look at Hollywood between the wars from the vantage point of Frances Marion. Occasionally, it would have been helpful if the author could have expanded the view a little to give a larger context outside of Frances Marion's own sphere of influence and given a broader perspective of the film industry. But what is seen in both entertaining and informative. There was for me real sadness at the end of this book as all these great women pass away but, now at least, one of them is captured lovingly and brilliantly in this fine biography.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By t.bourgeois@mailcity.com on September 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! The author recognizes the greatness of her subject and rises to the occasion, writing in a highly engaging style. I was most impressed with Marion's deep friendships with her female co-horts through the years from Mary Pickford to newspaper columnist Jill Jackson (still active, by the way). Thoroughly entertaining, interesting, and moving at times. Anybody who believes there is no such thing as friendship in Hollywood has obviously never read this book. I only wish Mary Pickford had as sympathetic a personal biographer as the author is here. She, like, Frances Marion, was one of the greats.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By julip510 on September 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After reading Ms. Beauchamp's biography of Frances Marion, I felt that I knew Frances...and felt a bit sad that we would no longer "hang out" within these pages.
Frances was not only an intelligent and witty screenwriter but a woman with principles and a giving heart.
The lack of respect afforded to Ms. Marion by modern cinephiles as a pioneer in film-making is a true travesty.
These pages made me wish that I could have been friends with Frances Marion...and in another life, I think I would.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By onaellen@aol.com on June 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I knew Frances well when she lived in Woodbridge,CT, to be near her son Fred who was teaching at Yale...She was a remarkable women and I still treasure her friendship...GREAT BOOK, Cari
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to this bio about writer Frances Marion, but I couldn't help but be disappointed. It's certainly a complete and scholarly work, but I came away with very little sense of what Marion was really like as a person, what her writing was like or her wit. She was at one time the highest paid writer in Hollywood, but I felt barely acquainted with her when I had finished the book. I have found other books (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.'s for example) which give a closer look at early Hollywood. What I did like however was the wealth of information about Marion's famous friends such as Marie Dressler, Mary Pickford and Hedda Hopper. And the bibliography is excellent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Frances Marion knew EVERYONE! Mary Pickford was her best friend; Louis Mayer was her boss for years; Anita Loos was a pal. Who knew? I kept marveling at what an unsung influce she was.

The book is thoroughly detailed and a nice read. Ms. Beauchamp maybe doesn't pay off the "powerful women" part of her title; the book is really just about one of the powerful women (Marion). Though Pickford, Loos, Meredyth, Dressler et al are all a major part of FM's life, their role in the power structure of early Hollywood isn't explored all that much. But so what? The title may be a little off; the content of the book is spot on. A must-read for any Hollywood buff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By giotto on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
With great appreciation, Without Lying Down tells the story of how women influenced the movie industry in its infancy. The author clearly admires the women she writes about without appearing to compromise her objectivity. The book is well-researched and rich with entertaining details about the world of Frances Marion. The story moves along at a nice pace and the book is well written. It was easy to imagine the challenges and adventures Frances encountered in the days when Hollywood was still taking shape. It is difficult to read the book and not feel a little sad that women don't enough influence in the stories Hollywood tells today.
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