Voices of the City

Voices of the City (also known as The Night Rose, its original release title) is a 1921 American silent crime drama film starring Leatrice Joy and Lon Chaney that was directed by Wallace Worsley.[2] It is considered to be a lost film.[3]

Voices of the City
Voices of the City (1921) - 1.jpg
Film still published in Photoplay
Directed byWallace Worsley
Written byArthur F. Statter
Story byLeroy Scott
StarringLon Chaney
Leatrice Joy
Distributed byGoldwyn Pictures
Release date
  • December 1921 (1921-12)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[4] while in a tough cafe in San Francisco with her sweetheart Jimmy (Landis), Georgia Rodman (Joy) is a witness to the shooting of a policeman. Her mother (Chapman) drives her from home and Jimmy takes her to O'Rourke's hotel. Pretending to protect the couple, Red O'Rourke (Chaney) plans Jimmy's removal while the police are searching for Georgia. She becomes known as the "Night Rose" because she is seen only after dark. O'Rourke plans a revolt against law and order, and a series of lawless events follows, terminating in a ball at which O'Rourke is to celebrate his return to power. Jimmy is shot by one of O'Rourke's men. Georgia, believing him to be dead, determines to have her revenge. Standing before the guests of the ball, Georgia denounces O'Rourke. Just as she is about to slay him, Sally (Schade), O'Rourke's former sweetheart, grabs the pistol and fires the fatal shot. Georgia's mother forgives her and she finds Jimmy recovering at her mother's home.



In 1921 when The Night Rose was released, many American cities and states had enacted their own film censorship laws. Because of its crime plot, The Night Rose was subjected to censorship, and was the first film rejected in whole by the recently created New York State Motion Picture Commission[5] which it condemned "as highly immoral and of such character that its exhibition would not only tend to corrupt morals, but to incite crime."[6] Goldwyn appealed the decision to New York state court, with upheld the commission's decision on November 18, 1921.[1] Goldwyn then came to an agreement with the state commission to edit the film, which removed many of the Chaney scenes and renamed his character from O'Rourke to Duke McGee.[2][5] The film was re-released in early 1922 under the title Voices of the City.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Appeal from Censor's Decision Denied". Variety. New York City: Variety, Inc. November 25, 1921. p. 1. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Progressive Silent Film List: Voices of the City (aka The Night Rose, the film's original title) at silentera.com
  3. ^ Blake, Michael F. (1997). A Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures. Vestal Press. p. 68. ISBN 1-461-73076-7.
  4. ^ "Reviews: The Night Rose". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 14 (7): 63. February 11, 1922.
  5. ^ a b Anderson, Mark (2007). "Tempting Fate: Clara Smith Hamon, or, the Secretary as Producer". In Lewis, Jon; Smoodin, Eric (eds.). Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method. Duke University Press. p. 148, note 62. ISBN 978-0-8223-9013-8.
  6. ^ "Goldwyn Demands Court See Feature: Object to Censors Throwing Out The Night Rose". Variety. New York City: Variety, Inc. November 4, 1921. p. 1. Retrieved June 10, 2017.

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