Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood

Frances Marion was Hollywood s highest paid screenwriter male or female for almost three decades She was the first woman to twice win an Academy Award for screenwriting From 1916 to 1946 she wrote over two hundred scripts covering every conceivable genre for stars such as Mary Pickford, Gary Cooper, Greta Garbo, Marion Davies, Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, Marion DFrances Marion was Hollywood s highest paid screenwriter male or female for almost three decades She was the first woman to twice win an Academy Award for screenwriting From 1916 to 1946 she wrote over two hundred scripts covering every conceivable genre for stars such as Mary Pickford, Gary Cooper, Greta Garbo, Marion Davies, Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, Marion Davies, Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, and Marie Dressler Irving Thalberg adored her and trusted her completely, William Randolph Hearst named her for the head of west coast production for his Cosmopolitan studios, and in 1928, Sam Goldwyn raised her salary to an unparalleled 3,000 a week Her stories were directed by George Cukor, John Ford, Alan Dwan, and King Vidor, and she went on to direct and produce a dozen films on her own On top of all this, she painted, sculpted, spoke several languages fluently, and played concert caliber piano Though she married four times, had two sons, and a dozen lovers, Frances s life story is mostly the story of her female friendships As talented, successful, and prolific as Frances Marion was, these relationships were as legendary as her scripts Without Lying Down is an eminently readable and meticulously documented portrait of a previously hidden era that was arguably one of the most creative and supportive for women in American history.
Without Lying Down Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood Frances Marion was Hollywood s highest paid screenwriter male or female for almost three decades She was the first woman to twice win an Academy Award for screenwriting From to she wrote ove

  • Title: Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood
  • Author: Cari Beauchamp
  • ISBN: 9780684802138
  • Page: 363
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood”

    1. This is my go-to book when I want to be inspired. I've ready it many, many, many times. I find Francis Marion's life and love of writing exhilarating. She paved the road for screenwriters and no one cared if she was female that came later when the businessmen saw how much money was to be had. Ahh, the innocent days. Also, a fun read for old Hollywood lovers.

    2. If you're passionate about the early movie industry, this is the excellent book to read. Before Hollywood was Hollywood, it was orange groves and dirt roads, and a fistful of pioneers, many of whom were women. Frances Marion, Anita Loos, Marion Davies, Mary Pickford (not the shy, petite ingenue we see on the screen). In the early days of the moving picture business, Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter in the world. Women were the directors, the writers, the producers, the people who [...]

    3. Frances Marion was an AMAZING woman and I must say I had never heard of her, had no idea. She was the highest paid screenwriter pretty much ever (a huge deal in 1930's Hollywood) and was also an accomplished sculptor and concert pianist. She and her husband, a movie cowboy, had a huge farm with probably a gazillion animals. She was friends with people in the Algonquin Circle and also worked with most of the big female stars of the time (Mary Pickford, Theda Bara, Greta Garbo)Fascinating descript [...]

    4. My picks in biography tend to be a little on the doomed side (Nijinsky, Louise Brooks, T. E. Lawrence), so it's nice to read a biography of someone who wasn't . . . a mess. (Colette is victorious, but still a mess.) It's also rare to read a really charming biography, so if you're looking for one - here it is.Anyway, I've seen a good chunk of Frances Marion-scripted films, although I don't think any of them hold a special place in my heart, but I didn't know much about her as an individual since [...]

    5. It's hard for me to rate this book, because reading it was such a journey, and so different an experience from all the fiction I've been reading recently. Frances Marion lived a full, impressive, and inspiring life. She was linked with so many interesting people, many of whom I already knew a little about before reading this book, and some of whom were completely new to me. Her cohorts included Marie Dressler, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer, Hedda Hopper, Greta [...]

    6. If you are seeking out info on early Hollywood then this is the book for you. So well researched and written - it is FULL of trivia tidbits that once again prove that truth is stranger than fiction. If looking for companion books to this one, I would suggest reading "A Girl Like I" by Anita Loos, then this one - Without Lying Down - and then read another of Ms. Beauchamp's books, "Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary". The additional books will give you an even more well-rounded view of what "Wit [...]

    7. I was heartened to read in the author notes that Cari Beauchamp called Frances Marion her friend. She feels like a friend to me too. All the credit goes to Beauchamp for such a vivid style which carried over all that dense studio & movie history into something truly entertaining and illuminating. Frances Marion said writing is a refuge for the shy. She was proclaimed to be as beautiful if not more beautiful than the movie stars she wrote for, but she never desired to be in front of the camer [...]

    8. *clap clap clap clap*What a wonderful book written about an amazing woman. I'm always interested in this era of film making and I wasn't aware that women held such a large part, being directors, camera, editors and like the lovely Frances, screenwriting.I couldn't put this down, very well written and I felt myself pulling for Ms. Marion through all the trying times, laughing during silliest and crying a tear or too with her in heartbreak.I highly recommend this bio and it will be on my repeat sh [...]

    9. i did not know she was the screenwriter for so many of my favorite ealy hollywood movies. also didn't know there were so many female screenwriters back then. favorite quote " I spent my life searching for a man I could look up to without lying down" but the title ,of the book, based on the quote, belies the great repect she had for Irving Thalberg and also her husband, Fred Thomson

    10. GREAT chronicle not only of the life of Frances Marion but also how men did not take the movies seriously until they discovered women were becoming wealthy writing, creating and producing films.One of my favorite quotes is from this book "I just want a man I can look up to without lying down" - Frances Marion.

    11. Bio of Marion, with lots of information on women screenwriters and how they were eventually forced out by studio politics and the increasing bureaucratization of Hollywood. Includes list of FM films in archival collections, very valuable

    12. The best book written about early Hollywood film making ever. The best biography I ever read. I learned so much and really LIKED Marion.

    13. Excellent book! This is one I always keep close at hand -- for reference, for inspiration, for the sheer joy of it. What would we have done without Frances Marion?

    14. I wanted to like this book, but didn't. While it is supposedly about Frances Marion, the famous scenario writer for Mary Pickford and, later, an Oscar winner for movies such as The Champ and The Big House, it's really about women in Hollywood. Which is fine, and even interesting. Early film offered women real, interesting work either through acting or writing or both, however, you can figure this out for yourself without the author explaining it to you, and that's one of the things that bugged m [...]

    15. My God, how I loved this book. I didn't want it to end - I didn't want her to die. All I can is if you have any interest in women, the film industry and writing then this is the book for you. It is a big book and I don't think that I'll ever re-read it but I will admit that the next thing I'm going to do is find a photo of Frances Marion, print it out and put it up on the wall over my desk because this woman, who died 43 years ago, is an inspiration to me in 2015, both on a personal and a profes [...]

    16. This is an important book for movie lovers, especially of older movies, feminists, and history buffs. Frances Marion was at one time the highest paid movie screenwriter in the world. Women entered the movie industry, in many technical fields, at a higher pace than today. Why? Because in the early years, before it became a big business, women were able to be cross trained in film jobs besides acting and continuity "girls". Marion was one of the fortunate; if she had been born twenty years later s [...]

    17. Ms. Beauchamp's biography of Frances Marion has some wonderful observations on the nature of Hollywood from the early days into the '40s and provides a welcome behind-the-scenes look at some of Marion's best films. I also enjoyed the background on many of her co-workers, particularly other women like June Mathis, Mary Pickford and Adela Rogers St. John who helped shape American filmmaking in the early years.

    18. Frances Marion was amazing. As with most biographies, though, I found myself getting depressed at the end as deaths became more frequent and the excitement, creativity, and freedom of being a pioneer in Hollywood died off as the studios grew in power.

    19. Very detailed, very well done. A wonderful look at a wonderful woman, a must read for fans of Old Hollywood and women in film. Frances is truly a trailblazer and it was a joy to read about her adventures and successes in the business.

    20. Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter/scenarist for a couple of decades. This was a great history of women in the movie industry.

    21. Great early Hollywood/L.A. History. Biography of a woman who was a prolific screenwriter and director knew everyone. Funny stories about what L.A. was like just as the movie industry took over.

    22. Excellent look at the role of women in Hollywood's birth, and one woman's inspirational journey & value system throughout.

    23. Frances Marion sounds like the coolest lady. She also wrote some very good flicker shows too. An awesome chronicle of a time in Hollywood history when women actually had a lot of power.

    24. A fine look at Frances Marion, and the forgotten role of women in the early movies, when the world was more closed to women, and movies more open.

    25. Do you know who Frances Marion was? Do you know anything at all about her? I venture to say most of you reading this do not. Now a second question… do you know of Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler, Douglas Fairbanks, ZaSu Pitts, Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer, William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davis, Rudy Valentino, Gary Cooper, Gloria Swanson, Joseph Kennedy Senior, Hedda Hopper? Cari Beauchamp’s book is a way to meet and learn about these and more personalities of early Hollywood who in one way [...]

    26. I for one found it interesting to count all the different ways in which Frances Marion observed female actors being micromanaged by their studio executives on a very personal level. On the one hand, it’s natural that a studio should exercise the right to curb an employee’s behavior when they are working on set. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell an actress, “Stand here, look there, wear this, act like that,” etc because the actress is being paid to emote a certain image or mood for the [...]

    27. This book was such a good read. Incredibly detailed and full of stories I had not heard before. It's inspiring to see how essential women were in the early days of Hollywood. Frances Marion lived quite a life and accomplished so much! I'm dying to read her memoir now but it seems impossible to get a hold of.

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