This project is to fund the purchase of THE RESTLESS SEX (1920) from the Library of Congress, edit the film, and add a professional music score. The film is in the public domain and has been virtually unseen since 1920. It's an important work in the filmography of Marion Davies and should be accessible to film scholars. It's one of hundreds of silent films locked away in archives, 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. I will make necessary contacts with LOC staff to ensure the film is public domain and that there are no donor restrictions.
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 95-year-old film. But the overall quality is very good. Once I have submitted a check covering the costs, LOC staff will create a master DVD from the best surviving materials and mail it to me. This is the same process I pursued in obtaining a copies of GETTING MARY MARRIED (1919) and ENCHANTMENT (1921) from LOC in the past few years.
Once I have the master DVD, I will delete existing duplicate scenes and re-sequence the closing segments which are now out of order. I will also hire a professional composer to create a score for this film. With that is done, I will make copies and mail them to those who donated $25 or more. As with ENCHANTMENT, 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 Marion Davies as a young woman torn between two men. She was raised in a household with one of the men, whom she considers to be like a brother. The other is a rather wild young man. Highlight of the film may be the extended wild Artists’ Ball dedicated to Pallas Athena. Co-stars include Ralph Kellard and Carlyle Blackwell. The film is based on the novel by Robert Chambers.
Bottom line: Marion Davies was a major film star for 20 years, spanning the silents to the talkie era at MGM and Warners. Unfortunately, most of her silent films have never been released in any format for home theater. Making THE RESTLESS SEX accessible to film scholars, movie buffs, and the general public will help repair a reputation that was unwittingly tarnished by CITIZEN KANE. Davies was in the front ranks of America's first movie stars, and this project aims to enhance her reputation.
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
- (30 days)