This project is to fund the purchase of a 35MM print of BEAUTY'S WORTH (1922) from the Library of Congress, edit the film, and add a professional music score. The film is in the public domain and is one of hundreds of silent films preserved in archives or in private collections, unseen by the vast majority of film buffs and historians.
Since the cost of producing a professional DVD of a rare film is prohibitive for the individual, I've started this campaign to organize a collective effort to give this film back to the public in a nice print. While the video quality may not match that of ENCHANTMENT (1921), it should be good. There may be some signs of deterioration as is usual with a 95-year-old film.
Once I have obtained the film, I’ll commission a professional music score. This is the same process I pursued for putting GETTING MARY MARRIED (1919), ENCHANTMENT (1921), THE RESTLESS SEX (1920), FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE (1919), DUCKS AND DRAKES (1921), and THE BRIDE'S PLAY (1922) into limited DVD circulation. Indeed, ENCHANTMENT was aired on Turner Classic Movies in November 2014.
Composers I have worked with on past projects include Donald Sosin, David Drazin, and Ben Model.
After I edit the film and attach the music, professional copies will be mailed to those who donated $25 or more. As with ENCHANTMENT, THE RESTLESS SEX, FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, and THE BRIDE'S PLAY, I am offering a new DVD disk in a paper sleeve. Depending on the success of this campaign, I may be able to offer a disk in a DVD case with art (as I have done in all previous campaigns) to domestic donors. Mailing costs will prohibit a DVD case to international donors. The entire process could take up to 3 or 4 months.
BEAUTY'S WORTH has indeed been floating around for years in a grainy print from a VHS release by Videobrary. Not only is the print grainy, but it is run at the wrong speed, making this 7-reel film run almost 2 hours. At the correct speed, it should run aorund 77 minutes.
PLOT: Marion Davies stars as a repressed Quaker raised by two old maid aunts. She is allowed to go to a seaside resort one summer where she follows her childhood friend (Hallam Cooley) who she thinks she's in love with. A gold digger (June Elvidge) however, has designs on the rich man. After being insulted and ridiculed by the gold digger, Davies comes upon a lonely painter (Forrest Stanley) who can't be bothered with the rich young things up at the hotel. He is instantly charmed by the innocent girl and they become friends. When he hears her story of unrequited love he sets out to help her by designing new clothes for her and selecting her to star in his elaborate tableaux at the hotel. Presto chango, Davies becomes a new woman.
Bottom line: Although it is not as elaborate as WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER, which was made later in 1922, this Marion Davies romance does feature sumptuous sets designed by Joseph Urban, who also designed her ENCHANTMENT, the artists' ball in THE RESTLESS SEX, and the medieval castle scenes in THE BRIDE'S PLAY.
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges There really are no risks or challenges to this project. I have already contacted LOC and have the basic information with which to move forward. The great majority of donors (if not all) are knowledgeable about silent films and the various kinds of deterioration that can afflict them. No one will be expecting a pristine print. Composing a score can be an enormous and time-consuming task, and the overall turnaround time could be up to 90 days. Once I have the master DVD, I should be able to make copies and mail them to qualifying donors within a few weeks. If the project does not fund, no donor pledges are completed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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