This site, the latest incarnation, is always a work in progress. Some time I hope to have it complete so as to cover the years that are covered in my Colleen biography: childhood through to the end of her Hollywood career. Please feel free to shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new Colleen Moore project...
...I will be attempting to do a restoration of Colleen's "Ella Cinders" in the near future. It only exists in 16mm format, and there is a digital copy at the Library of Congress; this file has been used co create the several DVDs of the film currently out there. As it exists, it is missing 10 - 15 minutes of material. I hope to fill the gaps with photos or stills of the missing portions, as well as clean up the film and hopefully produce something suitable for projection. Watch out for updates, and if you have images from "Ella Cinders" you can share, please contact me.
For a time, Colleen Moore was one of the most popular and beloved stars of the American silent screen. Her ascendance to fame coincided with the popularity of the “flapper” type character on the screen, a popular characterization of the rebellious youth that came to prominence with the growing unpopularity of Prohibition. As a result, Colleen is remembered today primarily as a comedienne in such films as Ella Cinders (1926) and Orchids and Ermine (1927), and also as the actress who made the flapper into the girl next door to the larger American (and the world’s) audience. However, her career was also filled with dramatic roles which often reflected greater societal trends; in fact, she made her debut in comedy strictly as a means to sharpen her dramatic skills.
As a result of her versatility, her comedic roles were filled with touches of drama and pathos, and her comedies often tugged at the heart.
Because she was a respected actress before she was known as a flapper, she made the flapper respectable. By removing the fear many held towards this new movement, she made it possible for a new generation of independent young woman to appear on the screen and to explore new degrees of independence in the real world.
A special thanks...
...to Judy Coleman, who has let me use some of the photos from the albums of her stepmother Colleen in this site... I was limited to about 60 images in the book, and a few of the images that didn't make it into the book are now in this site. Most are unique... at least I never saw many of them before. Now you have a chance to see some more images of Colleen and understand how versatile an actress she was.
Colleen Portrait circa 1928
Courtesy Judy Coleman
Although I probably won't get to it any faster than I've gotten to working on the website recently, I've had occasion to copy some of the notes on my research for the book. They are posted here. Might be as someone has a use for them. In the meantime, I'm shifting bookmarks and figured I'd post the list online as well... not necessarily related directly to Colleen, but material that provided background and context. Get a look into my research!
A note to the Colleen Moore fans out there: Why Be Good will be playing in the Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series in Park Ridge, IL on May 7, 2015. Organist Ray Warren will be providing the music. Colleen opened the Pickwick back in 1928 with Lilac Time, and Colleen's granddaughter Alice Hargrave will introduce the film, and the Silent Film Society of Chicago and the Chicago Art Deco Society present. Sounds like a fun time!
...and a special treat; "Why Be Good" is now available on DVD. I've ordered mine! What about you?
Click on the cover image above to be taken to the publisher's page, or do a Google search for the book. Amazon.com has an updated author's page if you want to know a little more about the project itself.
...And for a blast from the past, visit the ORIGINAL Colleen Moore Project website!