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Cordelia the Magnificent (1923)

Cordelia the Magnificent (1923) Samuel Zierler Photoplay Corp. Distributor: Metro Pictures. Director: George Archainbaud. Scenario: Frank S. Beresford. Camera: Charles Richardson. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Huntley Gordon, Carol Halloway, Lloyd Whitlock Jacqueline Gadsden, Lewis Dayton, Mary Jane Irving, Catherine Murphy, Elinor Hancock. 7 reels. This film is apparently LOST

Unidentified clipping Clipping from Cordelia the Magnificent

Reviews from Moving Picture World
Review from Photoplay
Unidentified Review

Reviews from Moving Picture World

May 26, 1923

"Cordelia the Magnificent"
Metro Production Stars Clara Kimball Young in Society Drama of Many Complications
Reviewed by Mary Kelly

An extremely intricate plot makes Metro's latest feature for Clara Kimball Young absorbing from a dramatic standpoint. It is a strong vehicle for the star, compelling more than average interest and appealing to those who like to be kept guessing.

Miss Young plays a society girl who is forced to work for a living. She acts as a sort of social spy, innocently getting information for a blackmailing lawyer who makes her believe that his motives are honest. There is considerable suspense connected with her discoveries. A mysterious butler, intelligently played by Lewis Dayton, adds an interesting note to her action, the scenes between them being skillfully handled with regard to suspense. The love interest, too, is somewhat involved, as Cordelia has three likely suitors. Everything about the drama conspires to leave one somewhat tantalized as to the outcome.

The social circles through which "Cordelia, the Magnificent," moves afford opportunity for many attractive scenes. Particularly the exteriors appeal. The elaborate dinner scenes and various functions will please others. George Archainbaud has handled the dramatic scenes effectively and has directed the star with far greater success than some of his predecessors. Her role is unusually interesting and her performance more natural and pleasing. The supporting cast has some good types, including Huntly Gordon, Lloyd Whitlock, Jacqueline Gadsdon, and Mary Jane Irving in a small but appealing bit.


Cordelia Marlowe Clara Kimball Young
D.K. Frankin Huntly Gordon
Esther Norworth Carol Rolloway
Jerry Plimpton Lloyd Whitlock
Gladys Northworth Jacqueline Gadsdon
James Mitchell Grayson Lewis Dayton
Francois Mary Jane Irving
"Jackie" Thorndyke Katherine Murphey
Based upon a novel by Leroy Scott.
Scenario by Frank S. Beresford.
Direction by George Archainbaud.
Length, 6,800 Feet

Story: Cordelia, called "The Magnificent" by her friends because of her brains and charm, is reduced suddenly to poverty. Rather than marry Jerry Plimpton merely for money she goes to work. Innocently she gets information regarding one of her friend's family skeletons for a swindling lawyer. The lawyer then threatens to expose her unless she marry him. Plimpton no longer wants her when he hears the truth. Things get complicated, but a startling revelation made by a man whom Cordelia meet as a butler in her friend's house, turns suspicion in the right direction.

Consensus of Published Reviews, July 21, 1924

Cordelia the Magnificent
(Clara Kimball Young--Metro--6,800 Feet)

M.P.W.--Appealing to those who like to be kept guessing.
F.D.--Doesn't make a very attractive entertainment, too much contrary business and lack of sustained interest.
T.R.--A complication of affairs that is rather befuddling to the spectator and is none too convincing during its unraveling to keep up the interest.
E.H.--Well made but it is draggy in spots and not always convincing.
N.--When the story reaches its conclusion we are unable to discern any interesting features which called for such a production.

Straight from the Shoulder Reports (from exhibitors)

July 21, 1923
CORDELIA THE MAGNIFICENT (Metro--Clara K. Young). A real picture. Regular advertising brought good attendance. G.M. Bertling, Favorite Theatre, Piqua, Ohio.

September 8, 1923
CORDELIA THE MAGNIFICENT (6,800 feet). Star, Clara K. Young. Went over fairly well. For classical stuff and superfluous costuming Clara is the "berries." Regular advertising brought fair attendance. Draw rural and small town class in town of 286. R.K,. Russell, Legion Theatre, Cushing, Iowa.

Review from Photoplay, July 1923

Clara Kimball Young in Cordelia the Magnificent


Blackmailing in high society--and everybody doing it, from lawyers and butlers to beautiful young ladies. The plot revolves, not too rapidly, around a girl who loses her fortune and is forced to earn her own living. This she does by becoming the confidential agent of a scheming business man--the blackmailing that she does is unconscious, at least. Badly adapted.

Unidentified review

Leroy Scott's novel is running serially in a fictin magazine, and it makes better reading via the printed page than in its screen adaptation. The story is drawn out and extremely wordy. There is no sharply defined characterization and the plot doesn't seem to get anywhere. Merely a flash of society with a scheming woman or two introduced to hinder the open road to romance. Clara Kimball Young is Cordelia. Her gowns are more important than her acting. The trouble with this picture is its length and the director's flair for introducing burdensome detail. There are no interesting sustaining moents.

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Last revised July 7, 2007