|Directed by||King Vidor|
|Screenplay by||J. Hartley Manners|
by J. Hartley Manners
|Cinematography||Chester A. Lyons|
|Distributed by||Metro Pictures|
|76 minutes ; 8 reels|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
Happiness is a 1924 American silent comedy film directed by King Vidor and starring stage actress Laurette Taylor in one of her rare film appearances. The film is based on the 1914 Broadway play of the same name written by Taylor's husband J. Hartley Manners.
As described in a film magazine review,Jenny Wray, the sole support of her mother, obtains work in a modiste's shop. She is called on to deliver several gowns to Mrs. Chrystal Pole. Mrs. Pole, who is bored with life, becomes interested in Jenny's philosophy of happiness, and induces her to make her home at the Pole mansion. However, Jenny soon tires of it and returns to Brooklyn. She continues to cultivate the friendship of Mrs. Pole, who aids her in her efforts to have her own modiste's shop. Fermoy MacDonough, an electrician, falls in love with Jenny and they marry. In several years Jenny has a shop of her own and continues to spread happiness.
Happiness marked the second and final cinematic collaboration between Vidor and well-known stage actress Laurette Taylor. Based on the one-act play of the same name by Taylor's husband J. Hartley Manners the film adaption was a box office success, due in part to Vidor's personal interest in the theme and Taylor's, restrained performance
Taylor would make one more movie with M-G-M studios in 1924, One Night in Rome , directed by Clarence Badger.
Manners' vehicle for Laurette Taylor is largely a facsimile of his 1912 play Peg o' My Heart, with the setting moved from rural British Isles to the urban New York City.
The film version introduces a new facet to Manners' "creaky" scenario. Vidor's identification with the Populist movement and its pro-agrarian and pro-nativist ideals is enlarged in Happiness to include a broader spectrum of the working class, including poor and urban immigrants. The entrepreneurial Jenny (Taylor) struggles in this Brooklyn lower-class milieu to ultimately achieve social and financial security. Vidor makes explicit his political philosophy when the now successful Jenny encounters her early alter-ego, a poor, but ambitious girl (also named Jenny) on the streets of Brooklyn, with the inter-title "And the endless chain of Jennys goes on in all big cities..."
Prints of Happiness are preserved at George Eastman House and Gosfilmofond (Russian State archives) Moscow.
King Wallis Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter whose 67-year film-making career successfully spanned the silent and sound eras. His works are distinguished by a vivid, humane, and sympathetic depiction of contemporary social issues. Considered an auteur director, Vidor approached multiple genres and allowed the subject matter to determine the style, often pressing the limits of film-making conventions.
Laurette Taylor was an American stage and silent film star who is particularly well known for originating the role of Amanda Wingfield in the first production of Tennessee Williams's play The Glass Menagerie.
John Hartley Manners was a London-born playwright of Irish extraction who wrote Peg o' My Heart, which starred his wife, Laurette Taylor, on Broadway in one of her greatest stage triumphs.
The Other Half is a 1919 American drama film directed by King Vidor. Produced by the Brentwood Corporation, the film starred Vidor’s wife Florence Vidor and featured comedienne Zasu Pitts.
The Turn in the Road is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. His first feature film, the production was financed by the Brentwood Film Corporation and the title and the scenario based on a Christian Science religious tract. No print of this film is known to exist, which suggests that it is a lost film.
Poor Relations is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. Produced by the Brentwood Corporation, the film starred Vidor’s wife Florence Vidor and featured comedienne Zasu Pitts.
The Family Honor is a 1920 American silent comedy-romance film directed by King Vidor and starring Florence Vidor. A copy of the film is in a French archive.
The Jack-Knife Man is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor and his debut film with First National. A story of Christian charity and the virtues of self-help, the work reflects his "Creed and Pledge", a declaration of his artistic principles published the same year. Prints of the film survive in several film archives.
The Sky Pilot is a 1921 American silent drama film based on the novel of the same name by Ralph Connor. It is directed by King Vidor and features Colleen Moore. In February 2020, the film was shown in a newly restored version at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, as part of a retrospective dedicated to King Vidor's career.
Love Never Dies is a 1921 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. Prints of the film survive in several film archives.
Dusk to Dawn is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. It is unknown whether any recording of the film survives; it may be a lost film.
Conquering the Woman is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. A print of the film exists at the Cinematheque Royale de Belgique in Belgium.
Peg o' My Heart is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor and starring Laurette Taylor. It is based on the 1912 play written by Taylor's husband J. Hartley Manners. The play starred Laurette Taylor and famously ran a record number of performances on Broadway. Six reels of the original eight reels survive at the Library of Congress.
The Woman of Bronze is a 1923 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor and distributed through Metro Pictures. It is based on a 1920 Broadway play by Henry Kistemaeckers which starred Margaret Anglin, John Halliday, and Mary Fowler. The film version is considered to be lost.
Three Wise Fools is a 1923 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. A print of the film exists at the Cinematheque Royale de Belgique. It showed in Germany at the Union-Theater Nollendorf, Berlin, on November 10, 1924. The cinema was built in 1913 by Joe Goldsoll, who was president of Goldwyn Pictures from 1922-1924.
Proud Flesh is a 1925 American silent comedy-drama film directed by King Vidor and starring Eleanor Boardman, Pat O'Malley, and Harrison Ford in a romantic triangle.
Thank You is a 1925 American comedy film directed by John Ford. This film is based on a 1921 Broadway play, Thank You, by Winchell Smith and Tom Cushing.
Main Street is a 1923 American silent drama film based on the 1920 novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis. It was produced and distributed by Warner Bros. and directed by Harry Beaumont. A Broadway play version of the novel was produced in 1921. It was the first film to be released after the foundation of Warner Bros. Pictures on April 4, 1923.
The Actress is a lost 1928 American silent drama film produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film was directed by Sidney Franklin, and starred Norma Shearer.
Shelley Vaughan Hull was an American stage actor who also appeared in two silent motion pictures. His Broadway popularity as a suave handsome leading man was continually on the rise until his early death at age 34 in the Influenza pandemic of 1918.