The Love of Sunya (also known as The Loves of Sunya) is an American silent drama film made in 1927. It was directed by Albert Parker, and was based on the play The Eyes of Youth by Max Marcin and Charles Guernon. Produced by and starring Gloria Swanson, it also stars John Boles and Pauline Garon.[1] A copy of The Love of Sunya still survives and is kept in the Paul Killiam collection.[2]


The film depicts a young woman (Swanson) granted the ability to see into her future, including her future with different men.


Production background

The film was Swanson's first independent production which she later called an "agonizing ordeal". She chose to film another adaptation of Max Marcin and Charles Guernon's play as it had been filmed once before in 1919 starring Clara Kimball Young and was a resounding success on Broadway.[3] Swanson hired Albert Parker, who had directed the 1919 film in the hopes that the production would be quicker as Parker was already familiar with the material.[4]

Swanson ignored advice to shoot the film in Hollywood and opted to rent space in William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan Studios in New York City. Production began in September 1926 but problems quickly arose due to Swanson's lack of experience as a producer.[3][5] The production soon ran over budget and was marred by several other problems, mainly a suitable cameraman to deal with the film's intricate double exposures.[6] According to Swanson's autobiography, cinematographer George Barnes was eventually secured though he is given no screen credit.


The Love of Sunya premiered at the grand opening of the Roxy Theatre in New York City on March 11, 1927. Swanson later wrote that the film received a standing ovation.[2] Despite this initial good reception and decent reviews from critics,[7] the film performed poorly at the box office, and barely recouped its budget.[8] Swanson felt it was terrible. Due to its failure, producer Joseph M. Schenck convinced Swanson to come back to Hollywood and to film something more commercial. Swanson agreed but ended up filming the more controversial Sadie Thompson (1928) instead which became her most successful independent production.


  1. ^ White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog Of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1921-1930, Part 1. University of California Press. p. 459. ISBN 0-520-20969-9. 
  2. ^ a b Soister, John T. (2012). American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929. McFarland. p. 347. ISBN 0-786-48790-9. 
  3. ^ a b Soister 2012 p.347-348
  4. ^ Koszarski, Richard (2008). Hollywood On the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Sarnoff. Rutgers University Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-813-54293-6. 
  5. ^ Koszarski 2008 p.131
  6. ^ Swanson, Gloria (1980). Swanson On Swanson. Random House. p. 321. ISBN 0-394-50662-6. 
  7. ^ Soister 2012 p.349
  8. ^ Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists, Volume 1, 1919–1950: The Company Built by the Stars. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-299-23003-1. 

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