How did Zaza (1923) come about?
That was the first one I did with Gloria Swanson. She was out here working for Paramount and they kind of a had a grudge against her for some reason and weren’t handling her well. And I was having a problem with them myself. B.P.Schulberg was in charge and he’d elevated some relatives to supervisors who kept coming down and bothering me so finally I said, “Look, let me work at the New York studio.” It was idle and I guess I stood pretty well with them, so they finally let me come east. Now, Mickey Neilan was interested in Gloria and he asked me to get her out of this bad environment too, so I brought her over and put her in a story I’d chosen called Zaza. My agreement with the studio was that if I met the budget I’d receive a bonus on each picture, so of course I was interested in keeping the budget down, and did. Gloria worked well - Zaza was a smash hit - and that was the start of the new Swanson. ~ Director, Allan Dwan
[Peter Bogdanovich, Who The Hell Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors]