Posts Tagged ‘Betty Compson’

The ‘lost’ British silent film Woman to Woman

July 11th, 2014

Considered to be one of the most important ‘lost’ British silent films, Woman to Woman (1923) was directed by Graham Cutts for Balcon-Saville-Freedman.

The American actress Betty Compson was the star and here she is in her stunning ostrich-feather dress designed by Dolly Tree composed of over 200 ostrich feather plumes and 1,000 pearls.

Betty Compson in the 'lost' British silent film Woman to Woman (1923)

Betty Compson in the ‘lost’ British silent film Woman to Woman (1923)

Filmed at the Islington studio in the summer of 1923 it had an estimated budget of £40,000 and when released was thought to be an outstanding British silent film and called a triumph.

Perhaps most poignantly the film did ‘one important thing astonishingly well – it forever blasts the delusion that a production, technically perfect, cannot come out of a British studio’.

Cutts liked music in the studio and was pleased that Betty was not just a tireless worker but also a wonderful violinist. She spent most of her time when she was not working playing the violin in a little orchestra, endeavouring to act as an inspiration to her director. The three-piece orchestra (piano, cello and violin) was there to aid Betty’s acting for she was incapable of registering emotion without the aid of it. Throughout the production the orchestra would play specific tunes such as ‘Mighty Like a Rose’ and then she could cry. But it didn’t go down well with Michael Balcon, who would wince whenever he heard the tune thereafter!


London’s Hollywood: The Gainsborough Studio in the Silent Years 

will be published 15th July 2014

A detailed look at the British Silent Film industry with this first ever evaluation of the history, output and achievement of the most iconic film studio in England during the silent era. 

Available in the following formats:

Hardback, £27, ISBN 9781909230132
Paperback, £14.99, 
ISBN 9781909230101
From The Book Depository (hardback)
From The Book Depository (paperback)

Amazon Kindle ebook, £8.99, 

ISBN 9781909230125
Apple ebook, £8.99, 
ISBN 9781909230118
(Through Apple / iTunes – search for title on iTunes bookstore)