Kickstarter campaign to release rare Marion Davies film goes wild and viral and all that internet lingo you kids seem to like

I try to keep my readers informed about the latest and greatest in the world of silent movie crowdfunding and here’s a campaign that is surpassing everyone’s expectations. I’m pretty psyched.

Ben Model has launched several crowdfunding campaigns over the past few years toΒ  release collections of silent films that were accidentally preserved (that is, released to the home market and forgotten) as well as work from obscure comedians like Marcel Perez and Harry Watson, Jr. Yesterday, Mr. Model launched his newest Kickstarter campaign and this one was a little different.

And it involves Marion Davies!
And it involves Marion Davies!

When Knighthood was in Flower was a big budget blockbuster for Marion Davies. Most of us have heard of Henry VIII’s six wives but this movie tells the true story of his little sister and her campaign to avoid a loveless political marriage. Historically, Mary Tudor is notable as a woman who went toe-to-toe with three kings and… Well, to say more would be telling. Suffice to say, excellent material for a Marion Davies vehicle. We also get a baby William Powell as Francis I.

So, we’ve got stuff for Davies fans, Powell fans, Tudor history fans, silent movie fans… I mean, that’s everyone in the whole world, right?

People who can't take a spoofing excepted, of course.
People who can’t take a spoofing excepted, of course.

The film will get a 2K (full HD) transfer and be available as a DVD/Bluray combo pack, which will be sent as a reward to backers who donate $25 USD or more. Wow! This just keeps getting better!

That sounds great! How do I donate?

Go to the campaign Kickstarter page and click the green “Back this Project” button. Easy!

I have a question about the campaign, can you answer it?


I am not affiliated with the campaign other than as an enthusiastic backer. If you have a question about the campaign, you can use the “ask a question” button at the very bottom of the campaign page and request information directly from the project creator.

I will say, though, that I have backed several of Ben Model’s past projects and have been extremely pleased with the results.

I like the sound of those past campaigns. Where can I get the DVDs?

Mr. Model’s label is Undercrank Productions and he has his releases, crowdfunded and otherwise, for sale on Amazon.

Accidentally Preserved Volume One
Accidentally Preserved Volume Two
Accidentally Preserved Volume Three

A series of rare silent films that were transferred to safety film for the home theater market. Lots of quirky, obscure and fascinating stuff!

The Mishaps of Musty Suffer
The Mishaps of Musty Suffer Volume Two

Harry Watson, Jr.’s surreal series was popular and well-reviewed upon its initial release and then completely forgotten until Kickstarter saved it from obscurity.

The Marcel Perez Collection

Marcel Perez is sometimes described as the best silent film comedian you’ve never heard of.

Flying Luck

Monty Banks and a pre-fame Jean Arthur!

The Family Secret

Baby Peggy and Gladys Hulette, hurrah!


We're in the money! We're in the money!
We’re in the money! We’re in the money!

Silent movie crowdfunding has been pretty successful with many campaigns reaching their funding goal and even getting a bit of extra money, a few hundred or even a thousand dollars. Knighthood was funded within hours of its launch and, as of this writing, is over $3,000 above its initial goal of $3,400. This is fabulous news because it assures the release of a Marion Davies film (yay!) and it nicely illustrates how much demand there is for many of the silent films that are preserved in archives but are currently unavailable to the general public. As Mr. Model puts it:

We’ve all heard of great silent films having been preserved at a film archive and thought, “wouldn’t it be great if somebody put that out?”. Here’s a chance for you to be part of that “somebody“!

I love the can-do attitude of silent movie crowdfunders, which is why I always make a point of donating what I can afford. Sure, we could kvetch about this film and that film being unavailable or we could put our money where our mouth is and actually do something about it. I’ll take the latter option.

Don't wait to be asked to dance, ask them!
Don’t wait to be asked to dance, ask them!

While the campaign to release When Knighthood was in Flower is fully funded, I still encourage you to donate. Obviously, getting a copy of the film is the biggest reason but Mr. Model has also released an update stating that he will inform us of any possible campaign stretch goals. Becoming a backer also means you will get information on future projects and other goodies. In the past, Mr. Model has offered discount codes and early bird specials on his other releases to his project backers. Who doesn’t love a good sale?

Oh, and a special shout of thanks to the hard-working personnel of film archives, whose skills and dedication preserve films like When Knighthood was in Flower for future generations. Keep up the great work!

19 Replies to “Kickstarter campaign to release rare Marion Davies film goes wild and viral and all that internet lingo you kids seem to like”

  1. I am fortunate enough to have interviewed Ben and to see him perform often. He does a monthly silent accompaniment at a local theater here in Huntington (the Cinema Arts). His work is always of very high quality and enjoyable. I can’t wait for this to come out.

  2. I saw “accidentally preserved” in this post and thought that somewhere, someone has a nice whole print of GREED sitting in their fridge in a rubbery ancient aspic coating.

    Or not… πŸ˜€

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