Manslaughter (1922 film)

Manslaughter (1922 film)
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Produced by Cecil B. DeMille
Jesse L. Lasky
Written by Jeanie MacPherson
Alice Duer Miller
Starring Leatrice Joy
Cinematography L. Guy Wilky
Alvin Wyckoff
Editing by Anne Bauchens
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) 24 September 1922
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent
English intertitles
Budget $385,000 [1]

Manslaughter is a 1922 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Thomas Meighan, Leatrice Joy and Lois Wilson.


Plot summary

A wild, wealthy woman is brought to heel by a sermonizing district attorney after she accidentally hits and kills a motorcycle cop.



To get a better understanding of the experience of a woman in prison, screenwriter Jeannie MacPherson arranged to 'steal' a fur piece from a friend, and to be arrested for the theft. MacPherson was 'apprehended' in Detroit and spent three days in prison before the hoax was revealed.[2]

According to Leatrice Joy, the filming of the car chase scene was extremely nerve-wrecking because she herself had to drive the car, which had been fitted with a platform to support two cameramen and the director, plus equipment. Their safety depended entirely upon her skills as a motorist.[3] Joy did most of her own driving, though in some shots the car was driven by stunt double Leo Nomis.[4] During the shooting of a prison sequence, Joy burned her hand accidentally with soup in a prop cauldron; assistant director Cullen Tate had neglected to inform her that the soup was scalding hot.[3]


Manslaughter is thought of by historians as one of De Mille's lesser efforts as a director. Historian Kevin Brownlow notes that Joy and Wilson "both give far better performances than the film deserves."[5] "It is hard to believe that such a crude and unsubtle film could come from a veteran like De Mille," said a 1963 Theodore Huff Society program note for the film, "harder still to believe that this came from the same year that Orphans of the Storm, Down to the Sea in Ships", and Foolish Wives. The amateurish and crudely faked chase scenes that start the film are of less technical slickness than Sennett had been getting ten years earlier. Manslaughter is exactly the kind of picture that the unknowing regard as typical of the silent film - overwrought, pantomimically acted, written in the manner of a Victorian melodrama, the kind of film that invites laughter at it rather than with it."[5]

When a print was screened by William K. Everson for Joy's daughters birthday, the star of the film attended and saw it for the first time in forty years. According to Kevin Brownlow, "Miss Joy thought it hilarious."[5]


  1. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Manslaughter". Silent Era. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Brownlow, K.; The parade's gone by...; University of California Press, 1976; p. 185
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Brownlow, K.; The parade's gone by...; University of California Press, 1976; p. 184

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Special Delivery (1922 film) — Infobox Film name = Special Delivery image size = caption = director = Fatty Arbuckle (uncredited) producer = writer = narrator = starring = Al St. John music = cinematography = editing = distributor = released = 30 April, 1922 runtime = country …   Wikipedia

  • Manslaughter (disambiguation) — Manslaughter may refer to: Law Manslaughter, a legal term in various jurisdictions for the killing of a human being but different from murder Manslaughter in English law, a homicide offence in English Law which does not amount to Murder in… …   Wikipedia

  • 1922 in film — Events* November 26 The Toll of the Sea , starring Anna May Wong and Kenneth Harlan, debuts as the first general release film to use two tone Technicolor ( The Gulf Between was the first film to do so but it was not widely distributed).Top… …   Wikipedia

  • Manslaughter — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Manslaughter signifie homicide en anglais. Manslaughter est un personnage des comics Marvel ; Manslaughter est le titre original du film américain Le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Le Réquisitoire (film, 1922) — Extrait du film Le Réquisitoire (Manslaughter) est un mélodrame américain réalisé par Cecil B. DeMille en 1922. Le metteur en scène y est accompagné de son équipe habituelle (Jeanie Macpherson, Alvin Wyckoff, Anne Bauchens) et a comme actrice… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cleopatra (1934 film) — Cleopatra Directed by Cecil B. DeMille Produced by Cecil B. DeMille …   Wikipedia

  • North West Mounted Police (film) — Northwest Mounted Police Theatrical release poster Directed by Cecil B. DeMille …   Wikipedia

  • Dynamite (film) — Dynamite Directed by Cecil B. DeMille Produced by Cecil B. DeMille …   Wikipedia

  • Damn Yankees (film) — Damn Yankees 1958 movie poster Directed by George Abbott Stanley Donen Produce …   Wikipedia

  • Cecil B. DeMille — Born Cecil Blount DeMille August 12, 1881(1881 08 12) Ashfield, Massachusetts, United States Died January 21, 1959(1959 01 21) (aged 77) Hollywood, California, United States …   Wikipedia