Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Streaming Saturdays! THE TRESPASSER Heralds Gloria Swanson’s Sound Debut

Welcome to another edition of Streaming Saturdays, where we embed a free, fun movie for you to watch right here!

This week, Gloria Swanson in the groundbreaking role that netted her an Oscar nod! I’m talking of course, about The Trespasser.

Originally released as a silent, the film was such a smash that writer-director Edmund Goulding reshot it in sound, marking the first time moviegoers would hear Gloria’s lovely, lilting voice.

When we first meet Marion Donnell (Swanson), she’s flitting around the office, scampering in and out of her boss’s suite with her steno pad. Sure, she likes the old boy well enough, but he wants all these niggling little revisions! (As she loiters behind him impatiently, she mimics him with the kind of pantomime she used lavishly in silents and impishly revived in Sunset Boulevard). And she’s eager to leave for the day—in fact for good—to elope with her fiance, Jack Merrick (Robert Ames), scion of the town’s wealthiest tycoon (William Holden—no, not that one—who, you guessed it, is going to be big trouble for poor Marion).

When I say the plot thickens, I mean we’re talking quicksand here. Accusing Marion of fortune-hunting, Jack’s father tries to get the marriage annulled, and honestly Jack is a bit of a simp about the whole thing. A fed-up Marion finally storms out—later giving birth to their son, whom she provides for in decidedly pre-Code fashion. But wait—there’s more! A lot more! But half the fun is in finding out, so I’ll leave things there.

If the plot of The Trespasser sounds familiar to you, it could be because Goulding went on to remake (and sanitize) the film as That Certain Woman, pairing Bette Davis and Henry Fonda a year before their equally fraught romance in Jezebel. (It could also be because in the long history of film, pretty much every plucky working girl who marries a rich boy is set upon by one or both of his beastly parents.)

Goulding would go on to direct a slew of classics, including Dark Victory, The Old Maid, The Great Lie, The Constant Nymph, The Razor’s Edge, and Nightmare Alley.

But after an astonishing career in silents, Swanson would make just one more hit film, in 1950, with a director who’d been spellbound by her as a young writer at Paramount and never forgot her.

Now, let’s sit back and see why Billy Wilder fell so hard.

STREAMING SATURDAYS is a semi-regular feature on Sister Celluloid. You can catch up on movies you may have missed by clicking here! And why not bookmark the page to make sure you never miss another?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Diabolical Blog Of Joe DeVito

Laugh at the serious stuff + stare blankly at the jokes

MovieMovieBlogBlog II

A continuation of of my thoughts on movies and pop culture


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Eddie Selover

The Art of Communications


Movie & TV stuff by Mel Neuhaus

Ephemeral New York

Chronicling an ever-changing city through faded and forgotten artifacts

The Old Hollywood Garden

Come take a walk with me in Old Hollywood. There's so much to talk about!

"fate keeps on happening"

"Going to the fortune teller's was just as good as going to the opera, and the cost scarcely a trifle more - ergo, I will disguise myself and go again, one of these days, when other amusements fail." - Mark Twain, Letter to Orion Clemens, February 6, 1861

Making a Cinephile

All things film-related.

cracked rear viewer

Fresh takes on retro pop culture


über Film und Kinos in Leipzig


Old Movies are best

The Film Noir Guy

Film noir off the beaten path

Well, Here's Another Nice Mess . . .

Random, Rambling, Ruminations . . .


Thoughts from my perfectly-wrecked brain

Making A Way

Fighting for my right to party


Wear what you love, not what they say you should like.

%d bloggers like this: