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December 21, 2020





The Humming Bird released in Finland and Brazil but not in France

In the twenties Gloria Swanson is one of the biggest stars of American cinema. Her films, produced by Paramount, were shown all over the world. In general, after the United States, they are released a few weeks later in Great Britain and then in France and throughout Europe, Australia and South America. Sometimes it takes several months.
Between the beginning of 1923 and the end of 1925, the diva was in thirteen films. Here is the list with the dates of their American and French releases:

My American Wife (February11, 1923) by Sam Wood
La Dictactrice (13/02/1925)
Prodigal Daughters (April 15, 1923) by Sam Wood
Les Femmes libres (21/11/1924)
Hollywood (August 11, 1923) by James Cruze
Hollywood (17/10/1924)
Bluebeard's 8th Wife (September 9, 1923) by Sam Wood
La Huitième femme de Barbe Bleue (24/10/1924)
Zaza (September, 1923) by,Allan Dwan
Zaza (9/01/1925)
The Humming Bird (January 13, 1924) by Sidney Olcott
Les Loups de Montmartre
A Society Scandal (March 24, 1924) by Allan Dwan
Scandale (13/11/1925)
Manhandled (August 4, 1924) by Allan Dwan
Tricheuse (18/09/1925)
Her Love Story (October 6, 1924) by Allan Dwan Larmes de Reine (4/08/1925)
Wages of Virtue (November 14, 1924) by Allan Dwan

Madame Sans-Gêne (April 20, 1925) by Léonce Perret
Madame Sans-Gêne (15/12/1925)
Coast of Folly (September 21, 1925) by Allan Dwan
Le Prix d'une folie (20/08/1926)
Stage Struck (November 16, 1925) by Allan Dwan
Vedette (14/05/1926)

Of the thirteen films, two were not released in France: "The Wages of Virtue" by Allan Dwan, Gloria Swanson's favorite director, and "The Humming Bird", directed by Sidney Olcott. The first one he shot for Paramount with whom he has just signed a contract. The latter was presented in London on February 25, 1925; it crosses the Channel but does not stop in Paris. However, it will be screened in Belgium and Switzerland under the title "Les Loups de Montmartre" (The Wolves of Montmartre).
It is all the more incomprehensible that the action takes place in the Paris of the Apache; that the French actor, Jacques d'Auray who is part of the cast, served as a special adviser to avoid mistakes concerning France. What's up? In French newspapers and professional magazines, I have found nothing on the reasons that pushed Paramount to skip the hexagonal screens. Just these two - murderous - opinions of Robert Florey, the future director, at the time Cinémagazine's private correspondent in America: "Attracted by the enormous publicity given to Gloria Swanson's recent film (...), I paid 1 dollar (24 francs) to see this tape... and I deeply regret it!" (April 11, 1924, p. 82); "(...) one of the most deplorable turnips of the season. (...) It is to be hoped that they {Florey quotes other films} will not be shown in Paris." (June 13, 1924, p. 460). The explanation can probably be found in the Paramount archives in the United States or in Paris. I have yet to consult them.

Not distributed in France, "The Humming Bird" on the other hand was released in Finland under the title "Lockfageln". The film received a one-page review in Filmrevyn, a Finnish weekly in Swedish language, in its issue dated May 1, 1925. It was also released in Brazil under the title "O Beija Flôr", a literal translation of hummingbird.

Sorry for my English

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©2009 Michel Derrien