Dangerous Money (1924)

For this week’s lost film we’re having a look at a vehicle which starred a lady who was going to be a regular co-star for William Powell – Bebe Daniels. As noted in this month’s Memorabilia of the Month, I’m leaving any in-depth discussion of Bebe Daniels’ life and career for my entry ‘Bebe Daniels – Silent Screwball’ in Paul S‘s Addicted to Screwball Blogathon, starting 23 May. 

As it is the review of Dangerous Money in Photoplay Magazine describes the picture as ‘flabby’, yet another tale of a ‘boarding house slavey’ who inherits a fortune. However William Powell is highlighted as the ‘scoundrel, who runs away with the entire opus.’ Playing a gold digger in his smarmy git oeuvre, can you see the pattern forming here? 

Also worth noting is that this was the first film that William Powell made for Paramount Pictures, although not under contract. He must’ve made quite an impression because, as outlined in William Powell’s Silent Villains, in 1925 Jesse Lasky signed Powell to a contract with Paramount – what an achievement after only three years in motion pictures. 

In and amongst my research for this film I happened upon an auction for these negatives (referenced below): 


The listing states that these pictures were taken for Dangerous Money and were Powell’s first sitting for Paramount Pictures.


I think Bill looks quite sublime in these pictures – the smile in the photo above is cheery but quite enigmatic also – as he stared down the camera, on the cusp of success, I wonder what was going through his head? Certainly, once he signed on the dotted line with Paramount, his financial pressures would be much alleviated. Indeed as I have alluded to elsewhere on this blog, Bill’s penury as a young actor lead to his reputation in Hollywood for being excessively careful with his money. That’s a smile as bright as his future!

References/Recommended Reading:

http://streamline.filmstruck.com/2014/08/25/battle-of-the-powells-william-vs-dick/

http://www.icollector.com/William-Powell-camera-negatives-from-Dangerous-Money-by-Donald-Biddle-Keyes-and-Eugene-Robert-Richee_i10030310

Photoplay Magazine, December 1924, p.53

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