Two days ago I returned home to find a book shaped package waiting for me. It was a special limited edition and my copy was 39/100. Next to the cover page there was also a ‘With Thanks’ page and there was my name amongst the 34 others who had supported the Kickstarter campaign set up by Ben Smith to bring the novel Minnie Flynn back to life after 90 years. It had been written in 1925.
In February I had acted on impulse and clicked on my first ever Kickstarter campaign. I did this was because ‘Minnie Flynn was written by a fascinating woman called Frances Marion (1888- 1973).
Frances Marion was the most significant screenwriter in the founding years of Hollywood. She was an adaptor, co-director, director, film actress, scenario writer, screenwriter and writer. She became one of the highest paid writers in the business.
Before she went into the film industry she worked as a journalist and went overseas during the First World War. She was the first woman to cross the Rhine after the Armistice.
She was credited with helping to shape the careers of lots of film stars such as Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo.
She had a generous spirit and would always encourage and support friends when they had problems in their careers.
She was the first woman to get a solo screenwriting academy award for her films The Big House (1930) – a prison drama and for The Champ (1931).
She said, “I spent my life searching for a man to look up to without lying down.”
I have set aside the week end to start reading all about Minnie Flynn’s rise from the alleyways of New York, her rise to stardom in Hollywood and her terrible downfall. Minnie Flynn is back!