The Love of Sunya

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The Love of Sunya
The Love of Sunya.jpg
Directed by Albert Parker
Written byEarle Browne (adaptation)
Cosmo Hamilton (titles)
Lenore J. Coffee (uncredited)
Based onThe Eyes of Youth
by Max Marcin and Charles Guernon
Produced by Gloria Swanson
StarringGloria Swanson
John Boles
Pauline Garon
Cinematography Robert Martin
George Barnes (uncredited)
Music by William P. Perry (1970s re-issue)
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • March 11, 1927 (1927-03-11)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
English intertitles
The full film

The Love of Sunya (also known as The Loves of Sunya) is an American silent drama film made in 1927. It was directed by Albert Parker, and was based on the play The Eyes of Youth by Max Marcin and Charles Guernon. Produced by and starring Gloria Swanson, it also stars John Boles and Pauline Garon. [1] A copy of The Love of Sunya survives in the Paul Killiam collection. [2]


The film is in the public domain in the United States both because it was not renewed, and because the play it is based on from 1918 is also in the public domain.


The film depicts a young woman (Swanson) given by a mystic an occasional glimpse into her future, notably her future with different men.


Production background

The film was Swanson's first independent production; she later called it an "agonizing ordeal". She chose to film another adaptation of Max Marcin and Charles Guernon's play, for it had been filmed once before in 1919, starring Clara Kimball Young, and was a resounding success on Broadway. [3] Swanson hired Albert Parker, who had directed the 1919 film, in the hope, given that Parker was already familiar with the material, that the production would be quicker. [4]

Swanson ignored advice to shoot the film in Hollywood and opted to rent space in William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan Studios in New York City. Production began in September 1926 but problems quickly arose due to Swanson's lack of experience as a producer. [3] [5] The production soon ran over budget and was marred by several other problems, mainly the lack of a suitable cameraman to deal with the film's intricate double exposures. [6] According to Swanson's autobiography, the services of cinematographer George Barnes were eventually secured, though he is given no screen credit.


The Love of Sunya premiered at the grand opening of the Roxy Theatre in New York City on March 11, 1927. Swanson later wrote that the film received a standing ovation. [2] Despite this initial good reception and decent reviews from critics, [7] the film performed poorly at the box office, and barely recouped its budget. [8] Swanson felt it was terrible. Owing to its failure, producer Joseph M. Schenck convinced Swanson to come back to Hollywood and to film something more commercial. Swanson agreed but ended up filming the more controversial Sadie Thompson (1928) instead, which became her most successful independent production.

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  1. White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog Of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1921-1930, Part 1. University of California Press. p. 459. ISBN   0-520-20969-9.
  2. 1 2 Soister, John T. (2012). American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929. McFarland. p. 347. ISBN   978-0-786-48790-5.
  3. 1 2 Soister 2012 p.347-348
  4. Koszarski, Richard (2008). Hollywood On the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Sarnoff. Rutgers University Press. p. 132. ISBN   978-0-813-54293-5.
  5. Koszarski 2008 p.131
  6. Swanson, Gloria (1980). Swanson On Swanson . Random House. p.  321. ISBN   0-394-50662-6.
  7. Soister 2012 p.349
  8. Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists, Volume 1, 1919–1950: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 83. ISBN   978-0-299-23003-6.