April Folly

April Folly is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and written by Adrian Johnson and Cynthia Stockley. The film stars Marion Davies, Madeline Marshall, Hattie Delaro, Amelia Summerville, Conway Tearle, J. Herbert Frank, and Warren Cook. The film was released on March 21, 1920, by Paramount Pictures.[1][2]

April Folly
Still with Marion Davies and Conway Tearle
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Produced byMarion Davies
Screenplay byAdrian Johnson
Cynthia Stockley
StarringMarion Davies
Madeline Marshall
Hattie Delaro
Amelia Summerville
Conway Tearle
J. Herbert Frank
Warren Cook
CinematographyAllen G. Siegler
Marion Davies Film Corporation
Cosmopolitan Productions
International Film Service
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • March 21, 1920 (1920-03-21)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[3] April Poole (Davies), a young writer in love with publisher Kerry Sarle (Tearle), visits the office of Mr. Sarle and his partner Ronald Kenna (Frank) and reads her latest story to them. She has made Sarle the hero, Kenna the villain, and herself the heroine. In the story, April changes places with Lady Diana Mannister (Marshall), who is being sent to South Africa to separate her from her lover, a young artist. A famous diamond that Lady Diana is to deliver at the end of her journey is given to April. Thieves trail her during her journey. With efforts by Kenna to steal the diamond prevented by the intervention of Sarle, the story comes to a close.


Promotional contest

Cosmopolitan Productions offered a $1,000 prize for the "best short scenario suitable for Miss Davies", similar to the story in April Folly. "Write a clean, wholesome love story with an entertaining series of incidents and a good moral. Tell the story in a straightforward way -no florid writing". The contest was judged by "Marion Davies, Cosmopolitan Productions' star; William LeBaron, the distinguished playwright, and Hay Long, editor-in-chief of the International Magazine Company".[4][5]


In her eighth film, Marion Davies starred in this adventure film as a woman in disguise in order to deliver a fabulous diamond to its owner. The unusual narrative format has Davies as a writer named April Poole, telling her editor the story. What we see is the story she tells. The main action is framed by Davies talking with her editor. Production stalled when the original director was replaced by Robert Z. Leonard. Co-star Conway Tearle threatened to leave the project because of the extended filming time.[6]


A limited-edition DVD was released by Edward Lorusso with a music score by Ben Model in April 2017.


  1. "April-Folly - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. "April Folly". afi.com. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  3. "Reviews: The Greatest Question". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 10 (11): 58. March 13, 1920.
  4. "RULES OF THE CONTEST". The Washington Times. Washington, DC. March 27, 1920. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  5. "$1,000 Scenario Contest". The Sun and the New York Herald. New York City. March 28, 1920. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  6. Lorusso, Edward (2017) The Silent Films of Marion Davies, CreateSpace, p. 36.
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