Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Highly entertaining documentary that tries to tell the real story of Marion Davies. The film starts off showing clips from CITIZEN KANE, which many feel the "Susan Alexander" from that film is the real Davies. In later interviews Orson Welles would say the only thing he regretted with CITIZEN KANE was that Davies' reputation took a hit. Since Davies left Hollywood rather early, it was this reputation that followed her decade after decade. Everyone knew her for the relationship with William Randolph Hearst rather than her acting in such gems as SHOW PEOPLE, THE PATSY and GOING Hollywood. Davies would grow up on the stage, become a comedy star in the silent era and make the transition to sound only to give it all up to take care of the elder Hearst. The documentary paints her as a very talented woman and tries to stay away from too much gossip, although the William Ince murder is discussed briefly and Davies also comments on it from a 1951 audio interview. Actress Virginia Madsen, who played Davies in a movie, gives a lot of nice comments and various historians, including Kevin Brownlow, comments on the now somewhat forgotten actress. The documentary does a very good job at giving an overview of her career and makes one want to check out her work, which is what a great documentary on someone should do. Charlize Theron narrates.
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