Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Parallel Language Films

From: Janet Hoffmann
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7:30PM
Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068

The Hollywood Heritage Museum is presenting an evening dedicated to Alternate Language Films. Speaking are Beth Werling, Collections Manager of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and Daryl Maxwell, film historian and former archivist at both Universal and Disney studios.

When talking pictures revolutionized movie making in Hollywood, not only did they make silent film obsolete, they also caused the foreign market for American films to disappear. Before the revolution, foreign title and dialogue cards could be easily made and inserted into the film where the English titles and dialogue cards had been.

In order to keep as much of that market as possible, the studios decided to make films in foreign languages, often recasting them with foreign born or foreign language speaking stars.

These films are referred to as either "Parallel" or "Alternate" language films. Between 1929 and 1933 hundreds of these films were made. While performers with accents were no longer suitable for some roles, they were the natural choice for films made in their native tongue, as when Ramon Novarro performed in the Spanish language versions of his M.G.M. films or when Maurice Chevalier made the French version of his Paramount films.

More often other stars would make the alternate versions as when French actress Lily Damita would do the alternate language versions of the Norma Shearer film "Let Us Be Gay" ("Soyons Gais") or the Marian Davies film "Bachelor Father" ("La Pere Celebetaire"). Unique are the Laurel and Hardy films where the duo did all the foreign language versions of their films using cue cards made phonetically in those languages.

The program will include photos and film clips including the English and German versions of "Anna Christie" and the Spanish version of "Dracula" starring Carlos Villareal and Lupita Tovar along with a talk on the history of alternate language films.

Tickets: $5.00 for Members and $10.00 for Non-Members (at the door). Plus, General Admission Tickets can now be purchased online with your credit card via Brown Paper Tickets. Cost is $10.00 plus nominal service fee. Just go to at this link or, for more information or call 1-800-838-3006 to reserve your tickets over the phone. It's that easy!

Special thanks to Janet for the latest...

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