Silent Feature: Manslaughter


Studio: A Famous Players-Lasky Production
A Paramount Picture
Released: September 25, 1922

Featured Cast: Leatrice Joy, Thomas Meighan

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriter: Jeanie Macpherson
Source: the Alice Duer Miller novel
Art director: Paul Iribe
Cinematographers: Alvin Wyckoff, L. Guy Wilky
Editor: Anne Bauchens


A spoiled rich girl kills a policeman with her car and then tries to bribe the district attorney.

Production Quotes

“Cullen Tate, assistant to Cecil B. DeMille, has returned from two weeks in the east, where he has been photographing the men’s Tombs prison and the women’s prison at Auburn, New York.”

– “Prison Scenes for Use in DeMille Film,” Exhibitors Herald, Vol. XIV, No. 19 (May 6, 1922)


“Looking aside for the moment from the spectacular side of this newest DeMille achievement—its reproduction of decadent Rome under the Caesars and the opulence suggestive of the manner in which the idle rich live—we must give him credit for building the most direct action which has graced the screen in many a day.”

– Laurence Reid, Motion Picture News, September 30, 1922

Letters From Regional Theater Owners

“It’s a dandy and drew in spite of severely cold weather. The best thing I’ve run this year. It was a good bet for me.”

– F.W. Horrigan, McDonald Theatre, Philipsburg, Montana, Exhibitors Herald, Vol. XVI, No. 12 (March 17, 1923)

Artist Comment

“Mr. DeMille loved to make movies that took you out of your seat and placed you in another time, another world. He was a great showman. He believed that the stage was limiting and could only do so much. You couldn’t change the scenes very often, and you couldn’t provide the same kind of spectacular effects you could get on a large screen.”

– Leatrice Joy in Stuart Oderman, Talking to the Piano Player


Manslaughter cost $384,111.14 and grossed $1,206,014.65.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)