Nell Gwyn (1926 film)

Last updated

Nell Gwyn
"Nell Gwyn" (1926).jpeg
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Written by Marjorie Bowen (novel)
Herbert Wilcox
Starring Dorothy Gish
Randle Ayrton
Juliette Compton
Sydney Fairbrother
Cinematography Roy F. Overbaugh
Edited by William Hamilton
Production
company
British National Pictures
Distributed byFirst National Film Distributors
Paramount Pictures (US)
Release date
18 July 1926 (US)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget£20,000 [1] or £22,000 [2]
Box officeover £100,000 [2]

Nell Gwyn is a 1926 British romance film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish, Randle Ayrton and Juliette Compton. [3] It was based on the 1926 novel Mistress Nell Gwyn by Marjorie Bowen [4] and follows the life of Nell Gwynne, the mistress of Charles II. Wilcox later made a second version of the film in 1934, Nell Gwynn which starred Anna Neagle. [5]

Contents

Cast

Production

Wilcox said he got the idea to make the film after making The Only Way . He saw a theatre bill headlined by "Dolly Elswrothy" and remembered a sketch he saw where Elsworthy played Nell Gwyn. He cabled to see if Dorothy Gish was available and she accepted. [6]

Dorothy Gish was paid £7,000 (£1,000 a week plus expenses [7] ). Wilcox arranged to finance the film with an accountant, everyone contributing half. Wilcox says the accountant reneged and he had to finance the film entirely himself. To save money he edited the fim himself [8]

One report says the film was made for £20,000 and Wilcox sold it outright for £35,000. [1] Wilcox says it was made for £14,000 and he sold it for £20,000. [9] The company that bought it was British National Pictures. [10]

Reception

Critical

The New York Times wrote, "Whatever may be the shortcomings of English motion picture producers. If they can put together other pictures as simply and with as much dramatic effect as this story of Nell Gwyn they should have no difficulty obtaining a showing for them anywhere. The story moves quickly and surely, with nothing to strain one's credulity, and the acting of Miss Gish and Randie Ayrton, who takes the part of Charles, is excellent. So is that of Juliette Compton as Lady Castlemaine. The immorality of the period is suggested without being offensive, and for the second time this Summer a good picture has not been spoiled by prudery. The titles are unusually good and frequently amusing, that dear old gossip Pepys being resorted to for purposes of verisimilitude." [11]

Box office

Wilcox says the film "was a riotous success throughout the world." [12] It was sold to the US for £28,000. [13]

It did so well that British National Films signed Wilcox and Gish to make three more films together, which would be financed by Paramount. [14]

Related Research Articles

Anna Neagle English stage and film actress and singer

Dame Florence Marjorie Wilcox, known professionally as Anna Neagle, was an English stage and film actress, singer and dancer.

Michael Wilding English actor

Michael Charles Gauntlet Wilding was an English stage, television, and film actor. He is best known for a series of films he made with Anna Neagle, for the two films he made with Alfred Hitchcock and for being Elizabeth Taylor's second husband.

Nell Gwyn Royal mistress

Eleanor Gwyn was a prolific celebrity figure of the Restoration period. Praised by Samuel Pepys for her comic performances as one of the first actresses on the English stage, she became best known for being a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. Gwyn had two sons by King Charles: Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726) and James Beauclerk (1671–1680). Charles was created Earl of Burford and later Duke of St. Albans.

Herbert Wilcox Film producer and director from Britain

Herbert Sydney Wilcox CBE, was a British film producer and director who was one of the most successful British filmmakers from the 1920s to the 1950s. He is best known for the films he made with his third wife Anna Neagle.

Cultural depictions of Charles II of England

Charles II of England has been portrayed many times.

Juliette Compton

Juliette Compton was an American actress whose career began in the silent film era and concluded with That Hamilton Woman in 1941.

<i>Nell Gwynn</i> (1934 film)

Nell Gwynn is a 1934 British historical drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Cedric Hardwicke, Jeanne de Casalis, Miles Malleson and Moore Marriott. The film portrays the historical romance between Charles II of England and the actress Nell Gwynn. In the opening credits, the screenplay is attributed to Miles Malleson, "in collaboration with King Charles II, Samuel Pepys and Nell Gwyn." It was also released as Mistress Nell Gwyn.

<i>Limelight</i> (1936 film)

Limelight is a 1936 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Arthur Tracy, Anna Neagle and Jane Winton. It was released in the U.S. as Backstage.

Randle Ayrton Stage and film actor and producer

Frederick Randle Ayrton was a British actor of stage and screen, and was also a producer and director.

<i>Trents Last Case</i> (1952 film)

Trent's Last Case is a 1952 British detective film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Michael Wilding, Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles and John McCallum. It was based on the 1913 novel Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley, and had been filmed previously in the UK with Clive Brook in 1920, and in a 1929 US version.

<i>Kings Rhapsody</i> (film)

King's Rhapsody is a 1955 English musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Errol Flynn and Patrice Wymore. Wymore was Errol Flynn's wife at the time of filming. It was based on the successful stage musical King's Rhapsody by Ivor Novello.

<i>London</i> (1926 film) 1926 film

London (1926) is a British silent film, directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish. The film was adapted by Wilcox from a short story by popular author Thomas Burke. The British Film Institute considers this to be a lost film.

<i>Madame Pompadour</i> (1927 film) 1927 film by Herbert Wilcox

Madame Pompadour is a 1927 British silent historical drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish, Antonio Moreno and Nelson Keys. The film depicts the life of Madame Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV of France. It was the first film to be shot at the newly christened Elstree Studios.

<i>Flames of Passion</i> 1922 film

Flames of Passion (1922) was a British silent film drama directed by Graham Cutts, starred Mae Marsh and C. Aubrey Smith.

<i>Chu-Chin-Chow</i> (1923 film) 1923 film

Chu-Chin-Chow is a 1923 British-German silent adventure film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Betty Blythe, Herbert Langley and Randle Ayrton.

<i>Tip Toes</i> 1927 film

Tip Toes is a 1927 British silent film comedy-drama, directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish and Will Rogers. The film is a loose adaptation of the stage musical Tip-Toes, with the action transferred from Florida to London.

Southern Love is a 1924 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Betty Blythe, Herbert Langley and Randle Ayrton. It is based on the verse drama The Spanish Student by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It is known by the alternative title Woman's Secret.

Nell Gwyn (1650–1687) was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England.

<i>Mistress Nell Gwyn</i>

Mistress Nell Gwyn is the title of the New York edition of an historical novel by the British writer Marjorie Bowen. The book was also published in London with the title Nell Gwyn: A Decoration. The book was first published in 1926.

<i>Lilacs in the Spring</i>

Lilacs in the Spring is a 1954 British musical film starring Anna Neagle and Errol Flynn. It was the first of two movies the stars made together, the other being King's Rhapsody. It was released in the US as Let's Make Up. It was the feature film debut of Sean Connery.

References

  1. 1 2 "Anna Neagle's Herbert Takes On A New Star". Truth (2756). Brisbane. 18 January 1953. p. 22. Retrieved 17 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  2. 1 2 "THE MAN WHO MADE "DAWN."". Daily Examiner . 21 (28497). New South Wales. 24 April 1928. p. 7. Retrieved 19 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  3. "Nell Gwyn A Character Study (1925)". BFI. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
  4. Nell Gwyn: A Decoration, by Marjorie Bowen, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1926. This book was not written under the pen name, Joseph Shearing
  5. "Nell Gwyn (1926) - Herbert Wilcox - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  6. Wilcox p 65
  7. "Dorothy Gish Made £41,000 from Three British Films". The Sun (5408). Sydney. 8 March 1928. p. 1 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved 19 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  8. Wilcox p 66
  9. Wilcox p 67
  10. "BRITISH-MADE FILMS". Daily Mercury . 59 (1120). Queensland. 9 February 1926. p. 9. Retrieved 19 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  11. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D04E6DF173BE233A2575AC1A9619C946795D6CF
  12. Wilcox p 68
  13. "WRONGFUL DISMISSAL". Daily Standard (4729) (3 p.m. ed.). Queensland. 8 March 1928. p. 7. Retrieved 19 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  14. "THREE HEW BRITISH PICTURES". The Daily News . XLV (16, 039) (HOME (FINAL) ed.). Western Australia. 22 September 1926. p. 5. Retrieved 19 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.

Bibliography