Daddy's Gone a Hunting (1925) Metro-Goldwyn Pictures. Presenter: Louis B. Mayer. Director: Frank Borzage. Adaptation: Kenneth B. Clarke. Photography: Chester Lyons. Sets: Cedric Gibbons. Editor: Frank Sullivan. Asst. Director: Bunny Dull. Cast: Alice Joyce, Percy Marmont, Virginia Marshall, Helena D'Algy. Ford Sterling. Holmes Herbert, Edythe Chapman. 6 reels. 5,851 ft. A copy of this film is located at the Narodni Filmovy Archiv in Prague (somewhat abridged, German intertitles) and the Filmoteca Española in Madrid (Unconfirmed)
|Seems like a chilly encounter between husband and wife, though it takes place earlier in the film when they are first getting together. This film was her last teaming with Percy Marmont, who later told Anthony Slide of their awkward meeting--multiple retakes of a kissing scene.
(Thanks to Gail Orwig for this picture)
|Looks like Daddy's leaving home.
(Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this picture and the next ones)
|More family strife|
See more stills at The Silent Film Still Archive
Frank Borzage production released by Metro-Goldwyn, featuring Alice Joyce and Percy Marmont. Adapted from the play of Zoe Akins. Shown at the Capitol, New York, week of Feb. 22. Running time, 67 min.
|Mrs. Greenough||Edythe Chapman|
|Colonel Orth||James Barrows|
|Mrs. Wethers||Martha Mattox|
In adapting "Daddy's Gone A-Hunting" for the screen a great deal of what was mighty good dialog in the play itself has been lost. It was the dialog that made this play possible, and there was seemingly nothing left but the basic drama when it got to the screen, and all of the lighter touches were missing. The result is a picture that gives you the weeps at the end, but which is a long, long while getting to the end, and in the meantime there is little or nothing doing.
The story is that of the artist who, after seven years of married life, decides that for real inspiration he will have to go abroad and study. He packs off and leaves his wife and child behind. The wife goes to business and supports herself and daughter while daddy is away. When he comes back he frankly confesses that he has undergone a change of ideas in regard to his wife and that he has been unfaithful. But they go on living under the same roof, the wife trying to win back his affection and he roistering with Bohemian companions. Finally the wife leave him and goes to live with wealthy friends, taking along her daughter. After the separation the husband realizes he has finally discovered his real love only when he has lost it.
As a result of an accident, the daughter dies, and this brings about a reconciliation, the wife spurning the love and affection of a wealthy man, the son of her benefactress, to return to the worthless husband after the death of the baby.
Alice Joyce gives a performance that has nothing particularly brilliant in it at any time. She plays the wife in an even tone that has no color or fire at any time, although there were a couple of opportunities where she should have flashed. Percy Marmont as the worthless husband does the best work. Little Virginia Marshall in the role of the daughter proved a pretty child that acted capably.
A fair program production that no one is going to go particularly wild about, at least from a box office standpoint. It is a little picture as far as productions that are usually shown at the Broadway pre-release houses are concerned. In all it is a film that has more or less of a depressing effect on the audience, judging from the manner in which it was accepted by the audience at the Capitol at the second afternoon performance Sunday. Incidentally, the Capitol's business for the matinee was considerably below the usual done there in some time, but Sunday was fine weather for New York.
"Daddy's Gone a Hunting"
Metro-Goldwyn Offers Percy Marmont and Alice Joyce in Pathetic Story of a Neglected Wife.
Reviewed by C.S. Sewell.
Based on a play by Zoe Akins, the Metro-Goldwyn production, "Daddy's Gone a'Hunting," has the advantage of excellent direction by Frank Borzage, who is one of the screen's best directors; fine work by Alice Joyce in a role that excites deep sympathy and exceptionally good work by a clever little girl.
The story concerns an artist who seeks inspiration, believes he finds it with marriage but again feels dissatisfied. A year spent in the Bohemian section of Paris is without result so far as his art is concerned and causes him to cease to love his wife, and it is only when she leaves him and their child is killed that he realizes his loss and out of his suffering is born his great picture. This is followed by reconciliation.
Percy Marmont's work as the husband is sincere and high class, but his role is one not only absolutely devoid of sympathy, but he is made to appear a regular cad whose actions arouse your contempt, and his neglect of his wife has note even the excuse of another love affair.
Almost from the first, Alice Joyce's role is that of the long-suffering and neglected wife, and except for a few comedy touches by Ford Sterling this drab tempo is unrelieved throughout the picture. One wonders at a woman of her type standing for so much and there is apt to be distinct disappointment when she turns down another man, a fine young chap, who loves her, and goes back to the husband who has treated her so shamefully, although this is probably in accord with a certain kind of feminine psychology.
There are a lot of good human touches to this picture, particularly in the scenes between the wife and her little girl, and the wife's disappointment and heartache at her husband's indifference is very effective and will tug at the heart-strings, but it is a pathetic little story and a sad one at best and one that takes its characters through much apparently pointless suffering.
Because of the extreme sympathy around for the wife, this picture will doubtless prove attractive to emotional women, but its general appeal will depend on whether, even when a story is as well handled as this one is, its pathos, sympathy and heart-interest are sufficient to overbalance the absence of the amusing, the thrilling or the bright and sunshiny angles of life.Cast.
|Mrs. Greenough||Edythe Chapman|
Based on play by Zoe Akins.
Directed by Frank Borzage.
Length, 5,851 feet.
Julian, an artist was always looking for inspiration and thought he had found it when he again met his childhood sweetheart Edith, but after several years of married life he was no nearer the goal. Finally his self-sacrificing wife got a position and arranged for Julian to spend a year in Paris, when [sic] he became a regular Bohemian. Returning home, he was so changed that Edith was heartbroken. He confessed his feelings toward her were not the same. At his desire, they moved into the artist's colony and Edith became more unhappy the only bright spots being her little daughter and the friendship of Mrs. Greenough and her son who loved Edith. Even a frame-up love scene with Greenough did not arouse Julian's jealousy. Unable to stand it any longer Edith left. Then Julian realized his loss and painted a picture that was widely acclaimed. Edith promised to marry Greenough, but just then her little girl was injured so badly she died. Julian, though broken in spirit, came to Edith and then decided to start life anew.
There seems to be a sub-genre of Frank Borzage films in which a long-suffering heroine is married to an irresponsible jerk, and sticks with him through everything, even which she has much better prospects (like the ubiquitious nice rich guy who is in love with her). Such is this film. Percy Marmont's character is so insufferable that he is devoid of sympathy--at least until his scene at his daughter's bedside late in the film where he shows off his considerable acting chops and make you think the character may be human after all. Alice Joyce's role is basically to be the patient, loving wife, though even her character briefly loses her cool. Ford Sterling has a role as Marmont's annoying friend. Despite the fine performances, though, the premise of the film is so irritating that the film has a very downbeat feel. The print I viewed was from the Narodni Filmovy Archiv in Prague. It has German intertitles and ran only 69 minutes and seems quite abrupt in places. I believe some of the details mention in the reviews are missing. There are a couple minutes of severe decomposition in the second reel. The video dub i saw was very fuzzy and contrasty, so I'm not sure what shape the original print is in.
Last revised August 5, 2009