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To buy, edit, and score this 1919 film starring Gloria Swanson and get it back into circulation.
To buy, edit, and score this 1919 film starring Gloria Swanson and get it back into circulation.
111 backers pledged $2,876 to help bring this project to life.

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$2,876

111

This project is to fund the purchase of FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE (1919) from a private collector in Europe, edit the film, and add a professional music score. The film is in the public domain and has been virtually unseen since 1919. It's an important work in the filmography of director Cecil B. De Mille and star Gloria Swanson and should be accessible to film scholars. It's 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 While the video quality is unlikely to match that of ENCHANTMENT (1920), the quality is surprisingly good for a film that has not been professionally restored. There will be some signs of deterioration as is usual with a 96-year-old film. But the overall quality is very good.

Once I have submitted a check and obtained the film, I’ll work toward obtaining a professional music score. This is the same process I pursued for putting GETTING MARY MARRIED (1919), ENCHANTMENT (1921), and THE RESTLESS SEX (1920) into limited DVD circulation. Indeed, ENCHANTMENT was aired on Turner Classic Movies.

I will also hire a professional composer to create a score for this film and will put this element of the film out for bid to give composers a chance to have their work attached to this film.

With that is done, I will make copies and mail them to those who donated $25 or more. As with ENCHANTMENT and THE RESTLESS SEX, 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 to domestic donors. Mailing costs will prohibit a case to international donors. The entire process could take up to 3 months.

The plot of the film has Gloria Swanson as a young woman torn between two men. She admires a local doctor (Elliott Dexter) and his friend (Tom Forman), but when WW I breaks out and both men are about to go off to war, Dexter decides he’s needed more at home. In a snit, Swanson marries Forman and cheers him off to war. After Forman is listed as dead, Swanson goes back to Dexter. But everyone is in for a big surprise at the party to announce their engagement. Wanda Hawley co-stars.

Bottom line: This was the second film collaboration among De Mille, Swanson, and Dexter, following their big success with DON’T CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND. Swanson eventually made six films with De Mille, which established her as one of the biggest stars in films.

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.

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges
There really are no risks or challenges to this project. 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.

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