Mississippi Matinee an Exhibition of the State and the Silver Screen
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Introduction: Ben Ames Williams(1)
Although the family moved from Mississippi a few months after his 1889 birth, Ben Ames Williams returned to his mother's native state each summer during his childhood.  By 1919, Williams was one of the most successful short story authors in the country.  The primary outlet for his work was the Saturday Evening Post which carried 135 of his stories and 35 of his serialized novels.  By the 1930s, however, he had completely abandoned the short story format to concentrate exclusively on novels.  Williams ranged across several genres including adventure stories, mysteries, New England regional fiction, historical novels, and psychological fiction.  Hollywood produced twenty-six movies based on Williams' creations.  Half of these creations were silent films and the other half, "talkies."  Five of these adaptations were actually remakes of earlier cinematic productions.
Lon Chaney plays one of the leading characters in Williams' rousing sea adventure All the Brothers Were Valiant (1923).  Five years later, Joan Crawford stars in the silent remake entitled Across to Singapore (1928).  MGM produced yet another remake under the original title in 1953 with Ann Blyth, Stewart Granger, and Robert Taylor taking over the roles composing the love triangle.  On display is the Loew's screenplay of this final version dated "5-21-52 with changes 8-22-52 thru 10-27-52."  This third version earned an Academy Award nomination for "Best Cinematography."   [go to page 2 >>]

Online exhibition © copyright 2006
Department of Archives and Special Collections
JD Williams Library, 3rd Floor
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
telephone: 662-915-7408
hours: 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday
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