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smokey15

Wallace Reid

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I have been reading a biography on Wallace Reid. He was a very popular actor in the late 1910's and early 1920's. Sadly, he is only remembered as one of the earliest actors to die from the effects of drug use. Most of his films are considered "lost".

I was wondering if anyone on these boards might know what films with Wally still survive? His bio gives a listing of all his films but doesn't state which ones are still in existance.

 

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Hi.... sadly only a few Wallace Reid films survive. The bio I read gave a ton of info about his films but as you say, it doesn't say which ones survive.

 

Of course Reid played the blacksmith in THE BIRTH OF A NATION (a small but important role). The only other films I know of and have are Reid starring with Gloria Swanson in THE AFFAIRS OF ANATOL and Reid starring with Ann Little in THE ROARING ROAD, one of his race car films.

 

Other than that, I'm not sure what might exist.

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THE GOLDEN CHANCE (1915),CARMEN (1915) and JOAN THE WOMAN (1917) also exist and are available on DVD. I know a portion (perhaps all) of OLD HEIDLEBERG (1915) exists too.

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Scott.... I've tried to find CARMEN or other Reid films with Geraldine Farrar but no luck yet..... I think OLD HEIDELBERG with Dorothy Gish is not complete (but who can keep track).

 

Actually I do have JOAN THE WOMAN but haven't watched it. Reid made a bunch of racing car films but only THE ROARING ROAD exists in a lousy print, but it's pretty good and it's fascinating to see Reid and company zooming around the dirt roads in downtown Santa Monica!

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A Wallace Reid film I saw last year was "The Woman God Forgot," another opus starring Geraldine Farrar and directed by deMille. It was shown by Films on the Hill, a classic film society here in Washington, DC. They were able to get a quite decent print. The movie itself was fun--an a-historical but engrossing romantic tale about the Incas and the invading Spaniards.

 

One Reid film I would like to see is "Forever," a 1921 version of "Peter Ibbetson" (I saw the 1935 sound remake years ago on AMC and was spellbound by it). I've never seen "Forever" on a list of "lost" films, but I guess that doesn't mean it exists in "show-able" condition, either.

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Nice to know there seem to be more Wallace Reid films around than I thought....

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just found another one I've had a while: HAWTHORNE OF THE USA

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That's great, drednm! I am now greatly intrigued by Reid. I will have to add some of these titles to my list of movies to look for.....

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I'm always open to trade.....

 

I'll watch HAWTHORNE tonight.....

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HAWTHORNE OF THE USA.... a very nice copy, about 58 minutes. Breezy comedy with Wallace Reid playing Hawthorne, a man who breaks the bank at Monte Carlo and then travels on to Bovinia with pal Harrison Ford. There he meets Princess Irma (Lila Lee) and gets involved in all sorts of European revolutions. They try to bilk him out of his money to bankroll the revolution. Irma can't marry Reid because she is royal, etc. A happy ending.

 

Reid looks healthy here in 1919, a few years before his morphium addiction that turned him into a walking skeleton. Ford and Lee are solid in support.

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Grapevine.....

 

I was wrong.. apparently Reid had already been hooked on morphine when he made this one but he looks very healthy and handsome and does a few "Fairbanks" kind of stunts... a very enjoyable film.

 

I had just seen Lila Lee in MALE AND FEMALE last weekend, in which she played Tweeny the maid. Odd to see Harrison Ford in a "sidekick" kind of role when he was usually the star or the leading man.

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alix1929,

 

Yes, that's the guy. The studio doctors were to blame, for keeping him supplied with the stuff in the first place.

 

Please look at, and comment on the Silent Film Gallery thread if you would be so kind. Thank you.

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> {quote:title=gagman66 wrote:}{quote}

> Yes, that's the guy. The studio doctors were to blame, for keeping him supplied with the stuff in the first place.

 

I'm not so quick in blaming the studio doctors. True, they did administer morphine to Reid after he injured his neck and back, so that he could complete the film he was working on. But when he was finished, it was all too obvious Reid was hooked on the morphine, so the studio checked him into a sanitarium for treatment.

 

The only safe way to quit a morphine habit is to take gradually smaller and smaller doses of the drug under a doctor's supervision until it's safe to quiit entirely. Quitting the drug "cold turkey" or too soon can result in cardiac arrest and death. It's as true today as it was back in the 1920s.

 

The trouble was that Reid didn't want to submit to this treatment. He wanted to quit once and for all, and walked out of the sanitarium. However, his back pain almost necessitated his return to the drug during a trip to New York, and he once again checked himself into a sanitarium. But he got tired of taking morphine, even under doctors' supervision, and he again walked out, telling his doctors that he was going to kick the habit by himself.

 

His doctors warned him of the heath risks and possible sudden death, but Reid was unfazed. "If I have to die, I'll die clean," he reportedly told them. I think he managed to stay off morphine for about two months before he died of a heart attack in early 1923. He was one game guy.

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Well yes Reid probably didn't understand the implications of his "choices," but the studio still continued to use Reid at a torrid pace despite the obvious mental and physical effects of his addiction. After his injury in summer of 1919 while making THE VALLEY OF THE GIANTS, Reid made2 more films that year. He made seven films in 1920, seven in 1921, and eight in 1922.

 

The biography by EJ Feming gives lots of detail about this period of Reid's life and the actions of the studio, his wife Dorothy Davenport, etc. Although Reid look good in HAWTHORNE OF THE USA, it's hard to imagine him as the same actor who appeared in THE BIRTH OF A NATION just 4 years earlier. At least in HAWTHORNE and THE ROARING ROAD, Reid still seems full of energy. By the 20s he's practically skeletal and played less physical parts.

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And as a postscript to his sad story, didn't his wife make some films that warned of the dangers of drug addiction, after he passed? HUMAN WRECKAGE, or somesuch title...?

 

Can't remember her name, but I think she was billed as "Mrs. Wallace Reid." Anyone know more on this?

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alix1929,

 

 

The only one of her films which Mrs. Wallace Reid produced that is on DVD so far, is THE RED KIMONA (1925) from Kino with Priscilla Bonner. TCM runs this movie from time to time. It is quite good. I'm afraid that I have forgotten his Wife's name, but I will try to find it for you.

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Yes, The title was HUMAN WRECKAGE. It starred Bessie Love, but it is now sadly a lost film.

As was mentioned before THE RED KIMONA (1925) does survive. The dvd release has a nice print with a couple of scenes that incorporate red stenciling in them as well.

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Reid's wife, Dorothy Davenport (and mother of Wallace Reid, Jr.) was a pretty big star in the teens (and not to be confused with Dorothy Dalton). Her career was winding down about the time of Reid's death, from which point she billed herself as Mrs. Wallace Reid in order to capitalize on his fame.

 

She launched a series of anti-drug movies. Scott is quite right about HUMAN WRECKAGE in which Davenport starred with Bessie Love and James Kirkwood. Love always considered this one of her best roles. It's a lost film. Davenport was the daughter of famous director and character actor, Harry Davenport.

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yup

 

Director:

 

1. A Man's Law (1917)

2. A Son of the Hills (1917)

3. The False Friend (1917)

4. The Millionaire's Double (1917)

5. Tillie Wakes Up (1917)

... aka Meal Ticket (USA: reissue title)

6. A Woman Alone (1917)

... aka Loneliness

7. The Heart of a Fool (1916)

8. Letitia (1916)

9. Carew and Son (1916)

10. O'Hagan's Scoop (1916)

... aka The Accusing Voice (USA: alternative title)

11. The Resurrection of Hollis (1916)

12. The Rookie (1916/II)

13. Myrtle the Manicurist (1916)

14. The Supreme Temptation (1916)

15. For a Woman's Fair Name (1916)

16. The Making Over of Geoffrey Manning (1915)

17. The Woman in the Box (1915)

18. Mrs. Jarr and the Society Circus (1915)

19. Mr. Jarr and the Visiting Firemen (1915)

20. Mr. Jarr and Circumstantial Evidence (1915)

21. Mr. Jarr's Big Vacation (1915)

22. Mr. Jarr and Gertrude's Beaux (1915)

23. Mr. Jarr and the Captive Maiden (1915)

24. Mr. Jarr and Love's Young Dream (1915)

25. Philanthropic Tommy (1915)

26. Mr. Jarr and the Ladies' Cup (1915)

27. Mr. Jarr and the Beauty Treatment (1915)

28. Mrs. Jarr's Auction Bridge (1915)

29. Mr. Jarr Visits His Home Town (1915)

30. The Island of Regeneration (1915)

31. Mr. Jarr and the Dachshund (1915)

32. The Jarrs Visit Arcadia (1915)

33. Closing of the Circuit (1915)

34. Mr. Jarr's Magnetic Friend (1915)

35. Mr. Jarr Takes a Night Off (1915)

36. The Enemies (1915)

37. Mr. Jarr and the Lady Reformer (1915)

38. Mr. Jarr Brings Home a Turkey (1915)

39. The Jarr Family Discovers Harlem (1915)

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