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Possessed

Possessed(1931)

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The working titles of this film were Mirage and The Mirage. According to a July 7, 1931 news items in Hollywood Reporter, Charlotte Greenwood was signed to play a role in the film, however, she did not appear in the picture and was not mentioned in any source after the start of production. Actors mentioned in news items during production whose participation in the released film has not been confirmed are: Ruth Renick, Marjorie White, Florence Lake, Virginia Sale, Florence Enright, Barbara Tennant, Wilfred Noy, William von Brincken, Francis Ford, Phyllis Crane, Janet Curie, Fred Malatesta, Joan Standing and Wade Boteler. A Hollywood Reporter news item at the start of production noted that Clarence Brown had to begin direction without Clark Gable, who was still working on retakes for another M-G-M picture, Susan Lenox, Her Fall and Rise (see below). According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Colonel Jason Joy and Joseph I. Breen of the Hays Office were upset when the picture was released because they had not seen a copy of the completed script prior to production. In a December 15, 1931 letter from Joy to Breen, Joy stated: "The philosophy of this one is wrong. For some reason we did not have the script and did not get in a crack before the picture was finished. This cannot happen again, and was the chief reason the Code was amended making submission of scripts mandatory rather than optional in the past." Although most territories accepted the picture without eliminations, some did require the elimination of various lines of dialogue deemed objectionable. A June 1932 letter in the MPAA/PCA file from Jack Warner complained that M-G-M was "getting away" with things in their films, such as Possessed which other studios could not. According to a modern source, producer Harry Rapf's son Maurice, then a college student, came up with the title for this film and was paid fifty dollars by the studio. Modern sources also note that Possessed was the last film approved by the Hays Office without a complete script submitted prior to production. A Film Daily news item on August 16, 1932 reported that actress Lita Friede had appeared in an M-G-M produced German-language version of Possessed, however, no additional information on such a version has been located. Another film based on the Edgar Selwyn play, called The Mirage was made by Regal Pictures in 1924. It was directed by George Archainbaud and starred Florence Vidor and Clive Brook (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2. 3641).