Cecilia of the Pink Roses (1918)

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With her "sponsor" William Randolph Hearst pulling the strings, Ziegfeld Follies beauty Marion Davies launched her screen career in 1917. Davies' second film effort was Cecilia of the Pink Roses, adapted from a novel by Katherine Haviland Taylor. The star was cast as Cecilia Madden, the daughter of impoverished bricklayer Jeremiah Madden (Edward O'Connor). Never complaining and seldom losing her bright, winning smile, Cecilia sacrifices her own happiness to look after her father's welfare. Her hard work is rewarded when Madden suddenly strikes it rich and ships the girl off to a fancy finishing school. Alas, her crude manners and lack of breeding causes her all sorts of problems -- and to make matters worse, her widowed father has fallen under the spell of a gold-digging cabaret dancer. With only two or three reels to go, Cecilia has to go into warp drive to set everything right. Though most critics were unimpressed by Cecilia of the Pink Roses, the newspapers owned by Mr. Hearst were enthusiastic to the point of lunacy, with one Hearst-controlled reviewer "thanking her stars" that Marion Davies had deigned to enter the motion picture industry.