Encyclopedia Page U

UCLA Film & Television Archive ♦ Unfit to Print ♦ United Artists ♦ Universal Pictures ♦ Unlawful


UCLA Film & Television Archive. Very important to stars like Kay who did their work in films which are not owned by Turner Entertainment, who showcases many films on Turner Classic Movies. The only known partial copy of Illusion exists in this archive, and they were also responsible for restoring many of the lost color sequences to Paramount on Parade (1930).

In regards to the latter, the color film which shows Kay was one of the segments restored for the film. Unfortunately, the soundtrack for her appearance no longer exists. This color appearance is the only time Kay appeared in color on film.

University website.

Unfit to Print. The original title of 1931’s Scandal Sheet.

United Artists. Founded in 1919 by D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford in order to produce and release films without the restrictions or work demands of the major studios. Far ahead of its time, the organization really was the first introduction of the freelance work method which would become more popular by artists like Kay who refused to sign (or couldn’t secure) studio contracts for full-time employment in Hollywood.

Two movies Kay Francis appeared in were released through UA, 1930’s Raffles & 1932’s Cynara. Both were produced by Samuel Goldwyn and both teamed Kay with Ronald Colman. Goldwyn, who liked Kay, wanted to cast her in Dodsworth (1936), which was released through UA. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. refused to loan Kay out for the part.

The latter episode is part of what made United Artists a sort-of “safe-haven” for actors like Kay who didn’t care too much for the studio’s idea of what stardom was and just wanted to work (and make money).

Wikipedia info.

Universal Pictures. After her Warner Bros. contract, Kay seemed to be flipping back and forth between assignments at Universal and RKO. See the Films Page for the exact order of the projects she completed for both.

Though most remembered for her long-suffering drama roles, with the exception of 1940’s When the Daltons Rhode (a Western), all of the other films Kay completed for the studio were comedies.

Official website.

Unlawful. The original title of 1939’s King of the Underworld.


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