Glorious Betsy

Glorious Betsy is a 1928 silent film with talking sequences. It is based on a play of the same name by Rida Johnson Young, and it stars Dolores Costello. It was produced by Warner Bros. and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Adaptation in 1929. The film was directed by Alan Crosland with cinematography by Hal Mohr[2] . A mute print of this film survives in the Library of Congress, and while the copy is missing some of the sound reels, it's unknown whether other copies of the sound have been preserved elsewhere.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Vitaphone track survive incomplete at UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Glorious Betsy
1928 theatrical poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
Based onGlorious Betsy
by Rida Johnson Young
CinematographyHal Mohr
Edited byThomas Pratt
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • April 26, 1928 (1928-04-26)
Running time
80 minutes (7-8 reels; 7,091 feet)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film (English intertitles & talking sequences)
Box office$965,000[1]

Although the film was written by both Anthony Coldeway and Jack Jarmuth (the latter credited only for title cards); only Coldeway was nominated for the Academy Award.


The film is a semi-historical narrative and depicts the real-life courtship, marriage, and forced breakup of Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, and his wife from the American South, Elizabeth Patterson. Napoleon did not approve of the union (despite the fact that her family was one of the wealthiest in America), and the marriage was annulled. Jérôme was subsequently forced to marry Catharina of Württemberg. They had one child, depicted in the film, Jérôme Napoleon Bonaparte. In order to provide a "happy ending", Jérôme in the film leaves France to be with his wife. However, in historical fact he remained in Europe.


The film is based on the 1908 Broadway play written by Rida Johnson Young and starring Mary Mannering. It was produced by Lee and Jake Shubert, and opened at the Lyric Theatre on September 7, 1908. It only ran 24 performances and closed in September 1908. Future film players Charles Clary, Harrison Ford, and Maude Turner Gordon had roles in the production.[9]


Premiere Vitaphone short films

Glorious Betsy premiered at Warners Theatre in New York City on April 26, 1928.

Title Year
Marion Talley, Soprano, and Beniamino Gigli, Tenor, of the Metropolitan Opera Company, Singing "Verranno a te sull'aura" (Borne on the Sighing Breeze) from Act 1 of Lucia di Lammermoor 1927

Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $815,000 domestically and $153,000 foreign.[1]

See also


  1. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 6 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. "The 1st Academy Awards (1929) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  3. Glorious Betsy at database
  4. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c. 1971
  5. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Glorious Betsy
  6. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artist Collection at The Library of Congress by The American Film Institute, c.1978
  7. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Glorious Betsy
  8. 1957 MOVIES FROM AAP Warner Bros Features & Cartoons SALES BOOK DIRECTED AT TV
  9. Glorious Betsy, a play, at the Lyric Theatre New York 1908
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