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21 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I like the polar bear advertising how cold the theater was. A.C. was often a selling point during summer months, or most of the year around here.

The Plaza Theatre, which was also in Bridgeport, advertised themselves as the "Coolest Theatre in Town." Today there would probably be an investigation into which theater could make that claim; back then, probably nobody cared.

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On 7/3/2019 at 5:32 AM, scsu1975 said:

When a major league team (the Pink Sox) is forced ...

Wow, how modern! With all the newfangled elements in today's game, we may be seeing a Pink Sox soon. And certainly we should be seeing pink uniforms as well. (Actually, we do ... on Mother's Day). The Giants wear on occasion their orange-y uniforms and that make them look ridiculous (what giant would wear orange) and I'm sure that Mays, McCovey are/were glad that were retired before that came in. What would be the city for Pink? Surely there must be a women's soft ball team with that name. (I love watching women's soft ball games, very entertaining ... :D

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From July 24-26, the Poli ran Hay Foot, Straw Foot, starring Charles Ray as Ulysses S. Grant Briggs. Released on June 22, 1919, the film was five reels and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Ulysses S. Grant Briggs, a young farmer, is raised by his grandfather Thaddeus, who fought with the north during the Civil War. Thaddeus raised Ulysses as if the young lad were General Grant.

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When World War I breaks out, Thaddeus patches things up with his neighbor, Jeff Hanan, who fought for the Confederacy. The two men both determine that Ulysses should be sent to fight the Kaiser.

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Ulysses enlists, and is sent to camp. He brings along his grandfather’s army gear from 1861.

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Ulysses is kidded by his more sophisticated comrades, and they ask him to participate in a talent night. Ulysses once took a correspondence course in parlor magic, so he puts on a show, using the name “Abdoul ben Mezzazza.”

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The act bombs when everything goes wrong. He meets Betty Martin, a dancer, and quickly becomes smitten.

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Harry Weller, a well-dressed young man from town, has intentions for Betty, and they are not honorable. He takes Betty for a ride, and pretends his car has broken down. He convinces her to enter a roadhouse where he gets a room. Ulysses, returning to camp that night, spots the two entering the roadhouse, and smells a rat. He follows them in and bides his time, knowing he can be arrested for violating camp rules.

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Ulysses hears Betty cry out for help, and rushes to the room and knocks Weller unconscious after a scuffle. When the Military Police arrive on scene, Ulysses locks the door and lets Betty out through a window, saving her reputation. The police break down the door, and Ulysses refuses to explain what happened. He is sent to the guard house. Just as he is to be brought before his commanding officer for court-martial, his grandfather and Hanan arrive for a visit.

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Ulysses maintains his silence, but Betty confesses what has happened. The commanding officer congratulates Ulysses for being a gentleman as well as a soldier. His grandfather declares that General Grant himself could not have done better, prompting Hanan to add “neither could General Lee.”

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Of his role, Ray said “I think the boy is one that will appeal to the hearts of the great photoplay public. … I like Ulysses about the best of any farm boy character under whose skin it has my been pleasure to act.”

Doris Lee, as Betty Martin, had already played opposite Ray in several pictures. She was known by at least three screen names. When she appeared with Ray in The Hired Hand (1918), the Tacoma Times of Washington billed her as Helen Garrett, her birth name. The same paper also billed her as “The Tacoma Girl,” although IMDb claims she was born in Seattle. She also went by Doris Lee and Doris May. According to Hollywood lore (which means this story is probably bogus), producer Thomas Ince declared he could turn anyone into a star, and plucked Helen Garrett from obscurity to co-star with Ray in several films. But Garrett never noticed her name associated with any of promotions or advertisements. She approached screenwriter Bert Lennon and asked why Ince gave credit to Doris Lee, instead of her, for being Ray’s leading lady. “Holy cats!” exclaimed Lennon. “Didn’t you know? Exhibitors demand short names for players – for the electric signs – see? And – and I reckon I forget to tell you that I’d changed your name. You’ve been Doris Lee for four months!”

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The Film Star Who Is Entertainly [sic] "Different"

Interesting promotional line. In what way was he different? Or just ballyhoo?

I'd go to see the Harold Lloyd short and the Diana Sisters and their dance diversions.

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40 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Film Star Who Is Entertainly [sic] "Different"

Interesting promotional line. In what way was he different? Or just ballyhoo?

I'd go to see the Harold Lloyd short and the Diana Sisters and their dance diversions.

Sounds like ballyhoo. All Ray's films seem to follow the same pattern. I wish the bill had listed the Harold Lloyd title, but not even the newspaper article does.

Although you didn't ask, I believe Mrs. Gene Hughes and her husband were from England. They did some shows together. Here is the Mrs. circa 1917. I suspect the Diana Sisters were a tad more attractive.

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From July 27-30, 1919, the Poli ran The White Heather, directed by Maurice Tourneur, and starring Holmes Herbert as Lord Angus Cameron. The five-reel film (some sources say six) was released on June 29, 1919, and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Lord Angus Cameron faces financial ruin during a panic on the stock exchange. He is secretly married to Marion Hume, but he decides to rid himself of his responsibilities towards her.

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The only concrete evidence of his marriage is a document locked in a watertight chest aboard his yacht, named The White Heather. But the yacht was sunk. There were two witnesses to the ceremony. One is dead, and the other, a sailor, vanished into the London underworld. Cameron and Marion have a son, David.

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During a hunt, Cameron accidentally shoots his own son, causing Marion to announce her marriage to Cameron in order to protect her son. Cameron denies the marriage ever took place, so Marion goes to her father, James Hume, for help. Meanwhile, Marion has two suitors: Alec McClintock and Dick Beach.

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They go in search of the missing sailor. Hume goes to court to fight for his daughter’s honor, but to no avail. Then Hume is wiped out on the stock exchange and dies a broken man. The missing witness to the marriage is found, but Cameron bribes the man to disappear. With the only evidence of the marriage being in the sunken yacht, diving operations begin. Cameron, along with McClintock and, Beach, go the scene. Beach dies, confessing his love for Marion.

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Cameron goes down to the wreck.

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So does McClintock. Cameron, armed with a knife, struggles with McClintock, but accidentally cuts his own air tube and dies. McClintock returns with the proof of the marriage, and claims Marion for his own.

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The film was based upon a play of the same name, first produced at the Drury Lane Theatre in London on August 16, 1897.

Maurice Tourneur (father of Jacques Tourneur) had a fine career as a director. Tourneur is shown below, setting up the scene involving the stock market crash:

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The cast was interesting. Mabel Ballin portrayed Marion; she would later appear opposite Tom Mix in Riders of the Purple Sage.  Ralph Graves and John Gilbert played her suitors. Gibson Gowland portrayed the ship’s captain; five years later he would play the lead role in Greed. Spottiswoode Aitken (discussed earlier in this thread) played James Hume. Child actor Ben Alexander was cast as Marion’s son. Alexander later achieved success in television as Jack Webb’s partner in the original “Dragnet” series, then later appeared in a recurring role as a policeman on “Felony Squad.” Alexander is pictured below, having tea with Virginia Lee Corbin:

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A reviewer for the New York Sun wrote that the film “swept away any lingering doubts one might have had about the value of the army’s system of copying everything in triplicate. If the heroine in this version … had only copied in triplicate the record of her clandestine marriage to Lord Angus Cameron … then the lives of three persons might have been saved. But that would have prevented several exciting scenes, including an undersea fight between two men in diver’s costumes that Jules Verne could not out-do.”

The film was a critical success, and reviewers praised the underwater scenes. Those scenes were filmed off San Pedro Harbor using photographic equipment made by the Williamson brothers. Three years earlier, the Williamson brothers had worked on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Included on the bill was Elsie Wheeler, a “good looking shapely blonde” who “in a series of statuesque posings, presents an athletic act of beauty and interest. Special electrical effects add to the beauty of this novelty.” When she appeared in New York City, Variety wrote of her ten-minute act that “she sings fairly well, but the greater part of her offering consists of standing in front of a screen while different colored slides are flashed upon it, she fitting into each picture. This is not so good. Apparently, she has not yet developed to perfection the feat of gliding gracefully into each new pose and holding it. The offering, with more work, will be a fair one for small time. It is hardly likely to attract the attention of booking agents in its present form.”

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10 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

But that would have prevented several exciting scenes, including an undersea fight between two men in diver’s costumes that Jules Verne could not out-do.”

That sounds marvelous. I wish at the very least some photograph stills of that scene still existed.

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From July 31 to August 2, 1919, the Poli featured Beyond the Law, a semi-biographical western starring former outlaw Emmett Dalton (of the Dalton Gang). The film was released in late November of 1918, at six reels. A complete 35mm print is held in the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY.

Plot: Frank Dalton is appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal.

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He later dies in the line of duty. The government appoints his brothers Bob and Grat to serve in his position. Emmett, the youngest brother, assists them by guarding prisoners and making arrests. The Daltons discover that the Marshal under whom they are working is appropriating money intended for the deputies. So they resign their positions. Along with their friends William McElhanie and Charles Bryant, they head to New Mexico. Along the way, they visit a gambling hall.

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When Bob is cheated at a game of roulette, he takes the gambler’s money at gunpoint, and the Daltons ride off. The Daltons are now considered outlaws. Bob and Grat head to California to visit another brother, Bill, while Emmett stays on a ranch. Grat is wrongly accused of robbing a train in California, and is tried and convicted. But he escapes, and a price is put on his head. All the Daltons decide to get even with an express company which has constantly persecuted them. They stage a series of raids, which nets them large sums of money. Bob’s sweetheart, Eugenia, is shot and killed when she attempts to warn her lover of an approaching posse. In one final act, the brothers hold up two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas, at the same time. In the ensuing shootout, all the Daltons, except for Emmett, are killed. Emmett, though badly wounded, survives. He is sentenced to life in prison. Due to the efforts of his mother and sweetheart, Ruth Lane, he is eventually pardoned.

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The stills below could not be placed in context; however, the scene in the Indian village is somehow related to the death of Frank Dalton, although I could not find any more details.

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Emmett Dalton was completely involved in the production of this film. He wrote the story on which the film was based; it was published in Wide World Magazine from May to September of 1918. He was general manager of the Southern Feature Film Corporation, which produced the film. In addition to playing himself, he also played his brothers Frank and Bob. As an added kicker, Dalton appeared in person throughout the country where the film was being shown. Dalton’s book When The Daltons Rode was made into a film of the same title, three years after his death.

Motion Picture News wrote that Beyond the Law was “presented in an intelligent and skillful way. The thing that impresses you most is the speed of the action. The characters do not tire you out with needless talk, but do things in such a swift way as to hold your interest and attention.” On the death of Bob Dalton’s sweetheart, one reviewer wrote “her entry into the camp hanging from a galloping horse was a splendid piece of business.”

Although the film was released in late 1918 (the exact date is tough to pin down), Dalton produced a three-reel version a year earlier. This version, which played in several states, and which ran until early 1918, featured Dalton giving a ten-minute lecture about the film. The movie appears to have concentrated on the Coffeyville incident. In fact, some newspapers advertised the film as The Double Bank Robbery, while others did not supply a title. The Tampa Bay Times advertised the film as “nothing to mislead the young people or repel the old. A great moral lesson teaching the folly of a life of crime and supremacy of law.” My guess is that the film was probably incorporated into the six-reel version.

Besides his background as an outlaw, Dalton was very outspoken about war. In 1917, he stated “I would suggest that all senators, representatives and munition manufacturers advocating war be sent to the front first.” He wanted to take away from Congress the power to declare war, except in the case of invasion, and give the people 60 to 90 days to decide if war should be declared. Finally, he wanted to raise the age limit for serving in the army to 65, assuming the person were physically able.

Dalton died in 1937 from complications of heart illness and diabetes. He was cremated and his ashes were placed alongside his brother Bob’s grave in Coffeyville.

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From August 3-6, 1919, the Poli ran Home, starring Mildred Harris. The film was written and directed by early film pioneer Lois Weber. Released at six reels on July 7, 1919, Home is presumed lost.

Plot: Millicent Randall, through the sacrifices of her poor family, is able to attend a fashionable boarding school. There, she gives the impression she is from a wealthy family. During a vacation, she goes to the country estate of Bernice Deering, where a house party is in progress. Millicent decides she is going to marry for money. One of the guests, who is carrying on an affair with Bernice, makes a pass at her. Millicent believes this is the man she will marry. But she discovers the truth about him before it is too late.

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The other people at the estate treat Millicent poorly.

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Bernice’s mother tearfully convinces Millicent that she should return home to her parents and her boyish sweetheart, saying that while they may lack social status, they are at least genuine.

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Millicent receives a message from her boyfriend back home that her mother is seriously ill.  The young girl realizes that home is where she belongs.

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Harris made one more film with Lois Weber before she was signed to a long-term contract by Louis B. Mayer. At the time this film was produced, Harris was married to Charlie Chaplin – the first marriage for both. According to Harris, the two had met in a bookstore. “As I stood there,” she said, “my mind was on the books before me. I felt a tug at my sleeve. I turned and saw Sid Grauman, and at his elbow a small, almost forlorn figure. An odd little man with large, rather sad eyes that looked at me with a rather wistful eagerness. Even before Grauman spoke, I was attracted by the strange magnetic charm of the man who stood beside him.” Chaplin had seen Harris in a short entitled Mildred’s Doll (1914) and been attracted to her. In short order, the pair married. A few days after Home was released, the couple had a son, who only lived about 70 hours. When several newspapers reported that Harris wanted to adopt one of three triplets that had been born in a local hospital, Chaplin declared “there is no truth in the story, which is purely publicity and of the worst sort.” A few years later, Harris and Chaplin divorced, and Harris received a settlement of around $100,000 (or as much as $300,000 depending upon which sources you believe). She claimed that Chaplin was moody, morose, and refused to live with her. She stated that he was “a hundred per cent comedian but one-half of one percent husband.” Despite the settlement, she eventually declared bankruptcy. Later in life, she said “I doubt if any young girl could understand Charlie. I know I didn’t. What he needs, to be really happy, is a woman of about 30; a woman of poise, with full knowledge of human nature, particularly the kind accompanying exceptional minds, and with a brilliance to match Charlie’s own.” Harris continued working well into the sound era, and married two more times. In early July of 1944, she underwent an abdominal operation. A few days later, seemingly recovered, she reported for work at Paramount Studios for a bit part in Here Come the Waves.  But she contracted pneumonia, and died on July 20.

Other acts on the bill included Will Ward and “five pretty girls all of them clever piano artists, Tom Sawyer “the boy soprano with a repertoire of popular and classic songs,” and the Thompson Family from Bridgeport, consisting of a “father and four children in an exhibition of Scotch singing, dancing and bagpipes.”

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From August 7-9, 1919, the Poli ran Nugget Nell, starring Dorothy Gish as the title character. The five-reel feature was released on July 13, 1919, and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Nugget Nell runs an eatery of a stage depot in the old west. Big Hearted Jim, who is the sheriff, is in love with Nell but she isn’t sure how she feels about him.

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A miner, whom Nell once befriended, writes her that he is leaving his baby girl in her care. When the girl arrives, she is about six-feet tall. On the same stage, a wealthy fellow named City Chap comes to town. Nell does everything she can to gain his affection, but City Chap is interested in the town’s “ingénue.” Nell even steals clothes off of the ingénue, hoping that will win over City Chap.A miner, whom Nell once befriended, writes her that he is leaving his baby girl in her care. When the girl arrives, she is about six-feet tall. On the same stage, a wealthy fellow named City Chap comes to town. Nell does everything she can to gain his affection, but City Chap is interested in the town’s “ingénue.” Nell even steals clothes off of the ingénue, hoping that will win over City Chap.

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When City Chap leaves, Nell learns that an outlaw gang is going to hold up the stage and rob City Chap. She turns the tables by holding up the gang first.

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Nell and City Chap run for cover in a deserted hut, where she manages to hold off the gang. When the hut is set on fire, Big Hearted Jim arrives and saves the day, lassoing the bandits one by one and dragging them away from Nell. Nell realizes that City Chap is a coward.

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She goes back to Big Hearted Jim, her faithful admirer.

David Butler portrayed Big Hearted Jim, and went on to become a director well into the sound era.

The tall “baby girl” was played by Regina Sarle. “Wait till you see her,” Dorothy Gish declared. “She’s a born actress and will be heard from – or I’m a poor judge.” Apparently Gish was a poor judge, since this appears to have been Sarle’s only film appearance. Newspapers claimed Sarle was 14 at the time the movie was made. She was born in India, of Dutch ancestry, and was the daughter of the governor of an East Indian province. A reviewer for Photoplay described the girl as “a regular giraffe of a young female, who towers over her ferocious mamma as the late Mr. (Jess) Willard towered over Mr. (Jack) Dempsey.” The reviewer continued by declaring that Nell was a “two-gun queen, seven or eight times more poisonous than any Amazon where bad men are concerned,” going on to note other  scenes, such as one where “the ingénue, whom Nell, the little demon, shockingly strips that she may wear her enchanting finery.”

This sounds like one wacky movie. Exhibitor’s Herald gave the film a mixed review, noting that the filmmakers “have dispenses with all restrictions in the way of plot seriousness, frankly labelled the feature “burlesque” in an early subtitle, and allowed the whole burden of the entertainment to fall upon the star’s ability to make ridiculous antics entertainingly funny. The result is a wild and wooly western comedy utilizing and burlesquing incidents from several of the current and past works of Hart, Mix, Carey, and their brotherhood. … Nugget Nell … catches bullets in her teeth, holds up a stage-coach full of bandits single-handed and makes them like it, but finds French heels and petticoats beyond her ability to master. All of this in Miss Gish’s most rowdy manner.” Motion Picture News wrote “bullets bounce off Nugget Nell like peas out of a pod … she rides a horse right side up and then head down.” The film was “wild and thrilling but it was a travesty all the way through. It was intended as such and made chiefly to amusingly entertain the wise ones and the blasé ones who are said to be surfeited by the regular line of melodramatic productions.”

Although it appeared nothing could stop Nugget Nell from fighting the bad guys, someone once did. When the film played at the Imperial Theater in San Francisco in July of 1919, the audience was caught up in the scene where Nell was trying to save City Chap from the outlaws. Suddenly, the movie was halted by a surprise appearance from Wallace Reid, who walked on stage and said “just on my way to Los Angeles from the North, but couldn’t resist the temptation to stop over in San Francisco. You know we movie folk consider Los Angeles our workshop, but when we want to play – when we want to enjoy the hospitality and comradeship of our friends, we come to San Francisco.” With that, Reid left and Nell continued her battle.

A Harold Lloyd short entitled Swat the Crook was also on the bill. This was a one-reel comedy, released in June of 1919, and featured Bebe Daniels and Snub Pollard. Lloyd plays Daniels’ sweetheart.

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Daniels and her mother are forced by circumstances to rent their residence to strangers. The strangers turn out to be a gang of crooks who plan to use the house as their hideout. Lloyd is hired as a butler and overhears the plot. He summons each crook individually to the hall during dinner, and knocks each one out with a blackjack.

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When he calls the police, he is mistaken for one of the gang and is forced to ride to jail. The short was reissued in 1926.

 

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From August 10-13, the Poli ran The Career of Katherine Bush, starring Catherine Calvert as the title character. Released at five reels on July 13, 1919, the film is presumed lost.

Plot:  Katherine Bush is from a large middle-class English family. She works as a typist for a money-lender. She meets Lord Algernon “Algy” Fritz Rufus, a charming young “man about town.”

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Katherine decides she will use the young man to learn “the ways of gentlemen,” and she agrees to go away with him for a weekend. The two have a wonderful time together. Katherine begins to grow fond of Lord Algy, but realizes this relationship could endanger a career she has set for herself. Upon returning home, she writes him a letter, saying farewell. Lord Algy does not give up, and when the two meet in a park one day, he proposes. Katherine believes he is simply infatuated, and turns him down. She applies for a position as secretary to Lady Sarah Garribardine and goes to live at her home. There, Gerard Strobridge, Lady Garribardine’s nephew, takes an interest in Katherine, even though he is married.

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Katherine decides to learn about the finer things in life from Strobridge. One night, after a dance, Strobridge throws caution to the wind, goes to Katherine’s room, and declares his love for her.

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Katherine feigns indignation, but Strobridge leaves more in love with her than ever. Lady Garribardine, who realizes her nephew is in love with Katherine, sends the pair to the opening of Parliament. The Duke of Mordryn, a leader in Parliament, gives a speech, and Katherine decides that he is her ultimate goal. She suggests to Strobridge that he give a dinner for the Duke, and he reluctantly obliges. Katherine succeeds in getting the Duke interested, but he has no idea she is just a secretary. When Lady Garribardine gives a house party for the Duke, he meets Katherine in her true position. At first, the Duke is taken aback.

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But then he declares his love for Katherine.

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She realizes that she truly loves him, but also realizes that he would be unhappy marrying someone so beneath him in society. So the Duke returns to London. But he soon returns and proposes. Katherine tells him all about Lord Algy, but their love is strong enough to overcome anything.

The film was based upon a novel, of the same name, by Elinor Glyn. Kathryn Stuart wrote the scenario. Upon reading the novel, it’s clear that Stuart followed it pretty closely. Advertisers found a clever way to work in the star, central character, and screenwriter as shown below:

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In Pennsylvania, the censors apparently did not like the idea of Katherine Bush going off with Lord Algernon without the pair being married. So they insisted the two had to get married, thus causing Katherine to commit bigamy at the conclusion. As Film Fun declared, this “only goes to show that even Censor Boards have pet vices of which they approve. Bigamy is so much safer than the Rolls-Royce kind of a life.” I am not sure how these changes were made, but research into other silent films has taught me that state and local censors, and even theater managers, routinely edited films and/or inserted titles so as not to offend audiences.

Bunkered, a two-reel comedy short released on July 13, 1919, was also on the bill. The film was shot at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Westchester County, NY. Mrs. Sidney Drew plays Polly, a golfing champion and sister of a golfer named Jimmie Buchanan Dexter (played by future great character actor Donald MacBride).

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Jimmie thinks women have no business on the golf course. One day, Polly brings her friend Angela to the golf club. Jimmie and Angela instantly fall in love.

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Jimmie is delighted to discover that Angie has no interest in golf. They get married, and during the honeymoon, Angie tells Jimmie it would be cruel of her to let him go golfing all alone. So she accompanies him, much to Jimmie’s dismay. (He has been “bunkered.”) Angela tells Polly she has taken up golf because Jimmie loves it, and she wants the marriage to be successful. Angela’s hands soon get calloused, and her nose begins to peel. When she realizes what is happening to her, she begs Jimmie to go golfing without her.

A bizarre act rounded out the bill. “Resista,” a 98-pound girl, supposedly could not be lifted off the ground by even the strongest man. “If you think you can lift her, by all means come to the theatre and try it,” declared the Bridgeport Times. The newspaper described how the girl left the stage, walking through the audience inviting anyone to try to lift her. She started this act around 1916; an early advertisement for her act is shown below:

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In a New York City show, “Babe” McDonald, a policeman who also held the amateur hammer throwing record, tried to lift Resista when, according to Variety, “she suddenly put on some mysterious brake, for there she remained as if stuck to the floor.” Professional wrestler Frank Gotch also failed at the task. Resista took her act to England, where, in 1922, Edward Ashton, billed as Britain’s strongest man, could not lift her.

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From August 14-16, 1919, the Poli ran You’re Fired, starring Wallace Reid. The film was released on June 8, 1919. The Library of Congress has a complete five-reel copy.

Plot:  Billy Deering proposes to Helen Rogers.

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Helen’s father, a railroad magnate, is very skeptical, since Billy has shown no signs of getting a steady job. “I could get a steady job tomorrow” claims Billy. “Yes, so could any other loafer, but how about keeping it?” responds Rogers. Rogers reluctantly agrees to let Billy marry Helen if Billy can work for three months without being fired for incompetence.

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Billy keeps the terms of the agreement secret from Helen. He tells he has been called away on important business, and sets out to carry out his end of the deal. “You? On business? Don’t make me laugh” Helen snorts. Billy gets a job as a transcriber in an office, but can only type with one finger. He sees the manager fire the office boy, and Billy decides to quit before he too is fired. Next, he is hired as a xylophone player in an orchestra, and manages to keep the job for ten weeks.

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The orchestra is hired for a dance given by Mrs. Oglethorpe, a society woman. Mrs. Oglethorpe recognizes Billy.The orchestra is hired for a dance given by Mrs. Oglethorpe, a society woman. Mrs. Oglethorpe recognizes Billy.

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Helen is at the dance and recognizes Billy, even though he is wearing a fake moustache. She pleads with him to stop acting foolish and dance with her. He refuses, but he is unable to tell her the real reason.

Helen is so upset she vows never to see him again. This pleases Tom, Billy’s rival for Helen. Billy is in no state to play the xylophone now and accidentally heads a violinist on the head with his mallet. Fearing he will be fired, Billy resigns and goes looking for another job. Meanwhile, Mr. Rogers has just completed a merger of his railroad with another one and wants to keep it a secret. Tom’s uncle, Horace Graham, wants to get in on the deal. Graham tells Tom that if his nephew will secure the deal for him, he will pay off Tom’s numerous debts. Tom agrees, and hires two crooks to help him out. Billy gets a job at Capellano’s restaurant, which requires him to wear a suit of armor and stand like a sentinel, to add to the atmosphere of the place. Tom invites Helen and her father to the theater, which gives his accomplices a chance to break into Rogers’ safe. After the show, Tom tells his guests that he has a pressing engagement at Capellano’s. Helen insists that Tom take her and her father along, much to Tom’s dismay. Tom had previously set up a meeting with his accomplices there. The crooks arrive first, and discuss how easy it was to get the merger paperwork. Billy, standing nearby in his armor, hears all this and uses his spear to secretly retrieve the paperwork from one of the crooks. Tom, Helen, and her father arrive. Tom tells his men to meet him in a **** later where they can settle things. Helen recognizes Billy in the armor and asks him what he is doing there. Billy cannot give her a suitable answer. Helen goes to the manager and asks that Billy waits on her table. Billy is quickly recognized by Mr. Rogers, who tells Billy that the three months will be up in thirty minutes. Billy drops some hot soup all over Helen’s dress.

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Rogers sees a chance to win his deal with Billy and asks the manager to fire him. Billy hands over the merger papers to Rogers, who realizes instantly what has happened. Tom and the crooks are arrested. The clock strikes twelve, which marks the end of the three months. Billy explains what the deal was and now Helen understands. She goes into his arms and Billy tells her that he only asks one thing of her – that she doesn’t fire him.

The film was based on an O. Henry short story entitled “The Halberdier.” The basic premise of the story and the film are the same; a man makes a bet that he won’t be fired for three months in order to win a girl’s hand. In the original story, Billy Deering is introduced as the halberdier (the man in a suit of armor carrying the halberd, or spear).  The xylophone bit, and the subplot about the theft, were added to the story by the film’s scenario writer. “I am a great admirer of the work of the late author,” said Reid. “It has always been my desire to produce one of his delightful stories, and I would have felt that I had missed something really worth while, had I not been provided with this opportunity. I shall always feel a deep sense of pride in the knowledge that I have had the honor and pleasure to procure for the American screen, an interpretation of one of his works, and one which I consider to be among his best efforts.”

You’re Fired generated some good reviews, and was aided by a cast including Theodore Roberts as Gordon Rogers, and Raymond Hatton as the orchestra leader. Variety was a tad cruel with leading lady Wanda Hawley, noting that she was “getting roly poly, but somehow conceals the fact on the screen.”

In 2010, Russia gave the Library of Congress ten lost American films, copies of which were in Gosfilmofond, the Russian state film library. Included in the ten were two Reid films, You’re Fired and The Valley of the Giants.

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From August 17-20, the Poli ran Wagon Tracks, starring William S. Hart as Buckskin Hamilton. Released on July 20, 1919, the film is about 70 minutes long and is available on YouTube. There is also a complete 35mm print in the Library of Congress.

Brief Plot: Buckskin Hamilton sets off to meet a boat carrying his kid brother Billy. Other passengers on the boat include Washburn, Washburn’s sister Jane, and Washburn’s partner Merton. Billy catches Washburn cheating at cards. Billy and Washburn struggle over a gun, with Jane interceding. Washburn shoots Billy, but makes Jane think she did it.

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Buckskin arrives to find his brother dead, and Jane confesses she shot him by accident. Buckskin is not convinced of her story. He directs a wagon train, with Washburn, Jane, and Merton along for the trip. Buckskin manages to wrangle the real story out of Washburn and Merton, and the villain is punished.

Review: Solid western, with some nice photography. Scenes were shot in the Mojave Desert, and the Sacramento River stood in for the Mississippi River. For a change, there is no love story to weigh down the plot. Hart is just a wee bit over the top in a few scenes, but is very convincing when he shows grief at his brother’s death.

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His best scenes are when he takes Washburn and Merton into the desert, to make them crack.

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Jane Novak, as Jane, is quite lovely. Robert McKim, as Washburn, and future director Lloyd Bacon, as Merton, lend excellent support. This is definitely a film worth seeing, and I’m glad it has survived. The print on YouTube is very sharp.

A most interesting act on the bill featured opera singers Enrico Caruso, Antonio Scotti, and Marcella Sembrich in an abbreviated version of “Il Trovatore.”

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From August 21-23, the Poli ran The Firing Line starring Irene Castle, one-half of the famous dancing duo of Irene and the late Vernon Castle. Released on June 29, 1919, the film was six reels and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Sheila Cardross, daughter of millionaire capitalist Neville Cardross, discovers she is the only one of her father’s four daughters who was adopted. She rushes into a marriage with Louis Malcourt, a childhood friend.

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But Malcourt has a fascination for morbid things. Sheila goes abroad after the wedding, while Malcourt returns to college, begins drinking heavily, and associates with other women. While vacationing with her father in Florida, Sheila meets Garry Hamil. He later recognizes her at a ball, and learning her identity, falls in love with her. Hamil is remodeling the gardens at the Cardross estate, and Neville encourages Hamil’s interest in Sheila. Sheila returns the interest, and tells Hamil that she is Malcourt’s wife in name only.

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Hamil suggest she divorce Malcourt, but Sheila wants to avoid scandal. Sheila and Hamil meets again in the Adirondacks, where Hamil is taken ill with pneumonia. In his delirium, he cries out for Sheila, who nurses him back to health. During his recovery, Hamil, Sheila, and Malcourt attend a séance where they believe they are visited by spirits. Later that night, a depressed Malcourt shoots himself so that Sheila may have her freedom.

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A few months later, Sheila and Hamil are united.

The film was based upon a serial which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1907, and which was later published as a novel by Robert W. Chambers.

Vernon Steele, who played Hamil, had very kind words for Irene Castle. “I find her quite splendid … particularly in her attitude toward her late husband, which is that of a man who has lost his bully pal. Nothing mawkish about it. She has deep religious convictions and she believes that some day, they will meet again. In the meantime, she is young, and she is going to enjoy life.” Steele appeared in some well-known films in the 1930s. After retiring from films, he worked as a riveter for an aircraft plant during World War II, and joined a USO troupe. Steele died of a heart attack in 1955, leaving a wife and two sons.

During filming, Castle married Captain Robert E. Treman in New York City on May 3, 1919 (see photo below). After the ceremony, the pair went to Lake Placid, NY, where exterior shots for the film were being made.

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Castle was featured in the July 1919 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, with the three-page spread highlighting her gowns. Milton H. Feld, manager of the Newman Theatre in Kansas City, figured out how to use the article to get some publicity when he booked the film.  He enlisted a Kansas City ladies’ clothing store for a fashion show display. When the film ran, he obtained live models from the same store and put them on display in his theater. According to one article, the models were “paraded about in the handsome gowns to enthusiastic “Oh’s” from the crowds of the feminine sex which crowded the theatre during the engagement.” The photo below shows the fashion show:

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Newman also set up about 300 window displays in the city’s drugstores. The same article stated “the result of all this publicity was splendid business all through the engagement. It was during one of the hottest weeks in the summer and Kansas City certainly knows what hot weather means.”

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It seems that all of Ms. Castle's films are lost films (aside from a few fragments and one or two dance scenes with husband Vernon.) It's too bad; she was a beautiful and chic lady.

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From August 24-27, the Poli featured The Dark Star, starring Marion Davies as Rue Carew and Norman Kerry as Jim Neeland. Directed by Alan Swan, the film was released on July 27, at between five and seven reels (depending upon the source), and is presumed lost. Some of the stills below may be placed in the wrong context.

Plot:  Rue Carew, daughter of the America missionary Reverend William Carew, is born in Turkey. According to local belief, she is under the influence of the “Dark Star,” an evil planet. It is said that long ago, some metal from this planet fell into the hands of an image-maker, who fashioned the metal into an image of Erlik, Prince of Darkness.

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“Where you are war is,” the image-maker chanted, “and all shall last until you are taken to another land where war shall be.” A German secret agent gets hold of the idol, and hollows it out, inserting Turkish plans for fortification he has obtained. He gives the original plans to Carew, with instructions to send them to Germany if he fails to return from the palace of Abdul Hamid, where he has been summoned. But the agent is killed, and during the ensuing uprising, Carew and his daughter sail to America with the idol. Rue, now a young woman, finds the plans in the idol and shows them to her father. He explains that he did not return them to Germany because he believed they might be used against the United States someday. Rue begins to accept boarders, two of which are Brandes and Stull, who win her good graces but are hatching a plot. Sue spends her time doing housework and engaging in target practice with her pistol.

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While she is practicing one day, a piece of the target strikes Jim Neeland, an artist and son of a mill owner. Neeland sketches Rue, but they part not expecting to see each other again. When Rue returns home, she finds her father dead on the floor.

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The plans become the focus of a worldwide search by the German Secret Service. The chief agents are an adventuress named Princess Naia, and Prince Alak, who is impersonating a Cossack nobleman. Naia meets Neeland and realizes she can use him for her purposes. Rue is about to be married to Brandes when he is exposed as a fraud.

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She flees to Neeland’s studio, where she meets Naia. Naia offers to take Rue home, where she hopes to discover where the plans are. Neeland, who is actually cooperating with the French Secret Service, goes to Rue’s house for the plans, and when Rue arrives, he hides. When she produces a suitcase in which the plans are hidden, he takes it from her at gunpoint. Rue informs Naia and Alak that she not only knows the plans from memory, but is also able to reproduce them. When the German agents learn that Neeland is going to sail to Europe, they decide to sail with him, taking Rue along.

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They put a potion in Neeland’s soup, which renders him temporarily unconscious. They then proceed to search his room, to no avail. Rue sees all this and is conflicted.

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She loves Neeland, but she also loves her country. The search is interrupted by a steward bringing a message to Neeland. Neeland reads the message and explains the truth to Rue.

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He takes Rue’s suitcase to the Captain, who places it in a safe. Naia and Alak plant a bomb on the ship and tie up Neeland and Rue. 

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They then escape the ship and board a nearby German vessel. Rue manages to free her hands, then takes her revolver and fires it at the bomb. She destroys the timing mechanism, then fires at a water pitcher to put out the flames. The pair are rescued by the ship’s officers, and the plans are safely placed into French hands. Naia and Alak shadow the pair, and kidnap Rue.

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Just as she is about to be killed, Neelan arrives with agents of the French Secret Service.

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Alak commits suicide by leaping out of a window, and Naia is slain. Rue and Neeland are now safely united in their love.

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Allan Dwan briefly gave up the directorial reins, letting Davies direct a dance number. During filming, Dwan also brought in a four-piece orchestra to help set the mood for the actors.

Irish-born Matthew Moore, who portrayed Alak, was the brother-in-law of Mary Pickford. He had worked with her in the film Pride O’ The Clan, which featured a ship. After the film was completed, the old hulk lay idle at the Paragon Studios in Fort Lee, NJ. When filming began on The Dark Star, Moore reminded Dwan that the hulk was available, and it was used as the foundation for a larger boat upon which many of the scenes took place.

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From August 28-30, 1919, the feature at the Poli was The Woman Under Oath, starring Florence Reed as Grace Norton. The film was released on June 29, 1919, at between five and six reels, and is presumed lost. Stills were difficult to find.

Plot:  Grace Norton, a novelist, is the sole woman on a jury which is hearing testimony in the case of Jim O’Neil, a young shipping clerk who is accused of murdering his employer, Edward Knox. O’Neil had been discharged from his job for being attentive to his sweetheart and co-worker Helen during business hours. Helen takes the stand, and says she had tried to intercede with Knox, but he assaulted her.

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O’Neil learned of this, and rushed to Knox’s apartment, intent on killing him. But O’Neil discovered Knox has been shot through the heart. The eleven men on the jury vote for conviction, but Grace holds out for acquittal.

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With the jury deadlocked, Grace receives word that her sister Edith has died. Grace reminds her fellow jurors that they are sworn not to divulge anything that takes place in the jury room. She then tells her fellow jurors that Knox had seduced Edith, and then had cast her aside. Grace then killed Knox. The jury acquits O’Neil and keeps Grace’s secret.

Florence Reed, primarily a stage actress, made a few more films after this one. When she died in 1967, most obituaries did not even mention her film career. During World War II, Reed sewed for the soldiers. “God bless them all, I love every one of them,” she said in a 1942 interview.  “There is so little we at home can do. My class in the American Theatre Wing workroom in New York turns out these comforts by the hundreds; I work on them every chance I get – even take them to dinner with me. … So we of the Theatre Wing work on the comfies and the boys love them. They write me from all over the world. God bless them all. What a grand job they’re doing and are going to do.”

May McAvoy, who played her sister Edith, was in the early part of what turned out to be a lengthy film career.

The film garnered decent reviews, but at least one reviewer felt the story went on a bit too long. “The long arm of coincidence is also badly stretched during the telling of the tale, but there is no denying the dramatic strength of the plot and the emotional power of the part played by Florence Reed,” wrote Moving Picture World. “Drawing the story out into sex reels, when it should have been condensed into five, is the only serious fault in its construction.” The Film Daily added “the picture apparently has not been put together as originally filmed, with the result that a very well built-up mystery has been dispelled and let down in a rather crude manner. This is very evidently not a fault in direction, because the material is there; the fault evidently lies at the door of those who put the picture together.” Reviewers did praise Gareth Hughes, who portrayed Jim O’Neil. “Those third-degree scenes in which Gareth Hughes is the leading figure are very well done and get over with a dramatic force that holds tight the attention and interest of the spectator,” wrote The Film Daily. This is due in no little part to the work of Hughes, who, throughout, gives a splendid performance; in fact, he is so good he dominates the picture.”

Many advertisements played up the angle of whether women should serve on juries. The Film Daily added some tips for exhibitors, which are dated now: “in your exploitation play up the woman juror end for all it’s worth. The probability of women jurors in many States has been receiving considerable space in newspapers throughout the country, and the picture gives you a chance to take advantage of it. If your house is in a community where woman suffrage is a popular topic with the women you sure ought to be able to get them to spend money to see this offering.”

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Despite heavily promoting the Douglas Fairbanks film His Majesty the American for the entire week beginning August 31, 1919, the Poli instead ran Wolves of the Night, starring William Farnum as Bruce Andrews. The film, which played from August 31-September 3, was released on August 10, 1919, at five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Bruce Andrews, a mining engineer who owns a sheep ranch, meets Isabel Hollins.

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He and Isabel get married. To increase his fortune, he agrees to go to work in a mine in Chile for Edmund Rawn and Burton Mortimer, the latter a former suitor for Isabel.He and Isabel get married. To increase his fortune, he agrees to go to work in a mine in Chile for Edmund Rawn and Burton Mortimer, the latter a former suitor for Isabel.

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After Andrews leaves, Rawn discovers that Andrews ranch is rich with ore. Rawn then hires a local to kill Andrews. Andrews is trapped in a mine explosion in Chile and believed dead. Rawn and Mortimer arrange to have Andrews’ sheep poisoned, to make his wife desperate for financial assistance. Isabel gives birth to a son, and consents to marry Mortimer and sell the ranch to Rawn. But Andrews has escaped from the mine, after going insane from starvation and exposure.

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He is cared for by locals for three years, then regains his senses.

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He returns to look for his wife. Learning of the treachery of Rawn and Mortimer, he ruins them in the stock market. Andrews is reunited with Isabel and his son.

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Exhibitor’s Herald wrote “an explosion in a Chilean mine and a tense fight for mastery on the stock market are the high lights but there are a series of minor situations which not only maintain but increase interest … at the climax, sufficient action to carry many five-reel productions is crowded into a smashing finish.”

William Farnum was, by now, a huge star for Fox Films, having been signed to a long-term contract, and making $15,000 a week. At the time, that was the largest salary being paid to any male movie star. Farnum had his ups and downs, and it would take a book to describe his life. When he died in 1953, old-time Hollywood turned out in droves. His pallbearers were Charles Coburn, Antonio Moreno, C. B. DeMille, Jesse Lasky, Clarence Brown, and Frank Lloyd. Pat O’Brien delivered the eulogy. Farnum’s life-long friend, Hedda Hopper, was out of the country when he died. A short time later, she wrote “William Farnum was one of God’s noblemen; a truer or kinder friend never lived.”

The Fox Film Company built mining and western sets in the mountains near Palm Springs to shoot exterior scenes. Farnum claimed that the hot baths he took on the local Indian reservation rejuvenated him after a hard day’s work. Pedro, his 90-year-old Indian attendant, credited his own long life to his frequent immersion into the baths.

Lamar Johnstone, who played Mortimer, died about three months before this film was released. He was working on a film with Farnum in Palm Springs (it may have been this one) when he died of a heart attack in his sleep. Wolves of the Night, as well as three other films he made, were released after his death.

C. W. Deibel, manager of the Liberty Theatre in Youngstown, Ohio, promoted the film by decorating his lobby with tree trunks, fir, and birch, so emphasize the story was a “rough and ready kind with a virile, powerful star.” Below are two scenes showing the displays at the Liberty:

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From September 4-6, 1914, the Poli ran The Boomerang, starring Henry B. Walthall as George Gray. The release date of the film is uncertain; it was seven reels, and is presumed lost. I could only find one still.

Advertising line: Peter Cameron thought he knew how to wield the missile, and he threw it with all the force of his mental strength. It went careening through the air and returned – striking him full in the face!

Plot:  George Gray, an attorney, is the son of a rich meat packer. He is engaged to Rose Cameron, the daughter of his father’s rival, Peter Cameron.

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Cameron proposes that the two businesses consolidate, giving the new company control of the market. But Gray opposes this because it will cause the poor to suffer. Gray had previously paid a check to Snape, a crook preying on society, who claimed that Rose’s brother had betrayed his niece, Nora Yorke. Cameron secures the check, and misinterpreting its intent, breaks off the engagement between his daughter and Gray. Gray is turned away from his own home, and goes to a nearby city to devote his life studying the conditions of the poor. He soon attracts the attention of the independent candidate for governor, who, after winning the election, appoints Gray district attorney. As a result of the consolidation of the meat businesses, prices go up and the quality of meat goes down. Several poor people are poisoned by it. Gray brings suit against the meat corporation and wins the case. He opens the eyes of both his father and Cameron to the suffering they have caused. Gray and Rose are reunited.

Nita Byron, who played Rose, was a dancer from New Zealand, and had appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies. Ziegfeld reportedly called her “one of the most beautiful girls in the world.” Byron’s film career was brief. Although IMDb claims her career ended in 1919, she actually played a bit part in The Fleet’s In, a 1928 film starring Clara Bow.

Motion Picture News wrote “the feature is a timely subject, but is rather overdrawn, depicting a condition which as yet has never existed in this country, and doubtless never will, at least to the point which this picture relates.” Variety was not too impressed with the storyline, stating “dramatic license is stretched to the bursting point by the author in assuming that the son of a Wall Street magnate could be appointed prosecuting attorney for the State of New Jersey, and become a powerful friend of labor, unbeknown to his father, who is later prosecuted by the people of the warehouse laws, and comes into court to find his son is the prosecutor.” The paper did praise Walthall’s work, but singled out Jack MacDonald, who portrayed Snape, noting the actor excelled “as a drug addict, who makes a living through blackmail, and preys on society” giving “a convincing interpretation in a role that offered continual temptation to overplay.”

The film was based upon a novel and stage play of the same name. A replica of an entire street from Newark, NJ, was built for the movie. Some 2000 people were employed in making the film.

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From September 7-10, 1919, the Poli ran The Girl From Outside, starring Clara Horton and Cullen Landis. The release date is uncertain. IMDb claims the film was released in November of 1919, which obviously is incorrect. The film, based upon a novel by Rex Beach, was seven reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot:  June Campbell, an orphan, arrives in Nome, Alaska.

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Denton, a notorious hotel-keeper and gambler, sets his sights on the young woman.

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But his plans are foiled by “The Curly Kid,” leader of a gang of five scalawags.

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The Curly Kid and the other gang members fall for June, but she only values their friendship.

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She meets Harry Hope, a capitalist, and they fall in love. June is unaware that The Curly Kid has committed some robberies. When he offers to lend her money to start a hotel, she accepts. But Denton holds an option on the hotel property and forges an extension to the agreement. The Curly Kid manages to get hold of the document, and destroys it, but Denton kills him.She meets Harry Hope, a capitalist, and they fall in love. June is unaware that The Curly Kid has committed some robberies. When he offers to lend her money to start a hotel, she accepts. But Denton holds an option on the hotel property and forges an extension to the agreement. The Curly Kid manages to get hold of the document, and destroys it, but Denton kills him.

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Denton is arrested.

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Chow, the Chinese cook for the gang, manages to gain access to Denton’s cell and evens the score.

Cullen Landis, who played The Curly Kid, had the distinction of being the lead in the first all-talking picture, Lights of New York, from 1928. The actor began as a director, but, according to movie lore, one of the actors he was directing broke a leg. When Landis discovered he could fit into the actor’s costumes, he took over the part. Landis had over 100 acting credits. After Lights of New York, Landis stated that musicals were ideal for the talkies, but that he was not a song-and-dance man. In 1930, he moved to Detroit and produced industrial films for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. During World War II, Landis volunteered for service and was a captain in the Army Signal Corps. Then the State Department sent him to the South Pacific to make combat and training films. Landis was promoted to major and was twice-decorated for his services. After the war, he continued working for the State Department, shooting documentaries around the world. In August of 1975, the handsome leading man died at 79, in a nursing home in Bloomfield, Michigan.

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From September 11-13, the Poli ran The Love Burglar, starring Wallace Reid as David Strong, and Anna Q. Nilsson as Joan Gray. Released on July 13, 1919, the film was five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot: Dave Dorgan, alias the “Colt Kid,” is a crook who has just been released from Joliet. He heads to New York with a letter of introduction to Harry Miller, proprietor of a tough saloon on the East side. At a local club, David Strong, an idler, receives a phone call from his mother complaining that his youngest brother Arthur is out carousing. David locates Arthur at Miller’s saloon, and finds the lad mixed up with Joan Gray, a siren from the slums. David takes Arthur’s valuables and orders him to return home. The denizens in the saloon think David has just completed a quick hold up of Arthur. Miller comes forward and mistakes David for the Colt Kit. David goes along with the mistake. Joan decides that the Colt Kid can save her from a desperate situation; one in which she is being forced to rob customers at the saloon by “Coast-to-Coast Taylor,” a gang leader who is in love with her. She rushes toward David, throws her arms around him, and announces to everyone that the two intend to get married. She whispers to David not to expose her, and tells him to get out of the saloon. David agrees, and when Miller objects, David declares that he and Joan will be married at once. They go through a fake wedding ceremony performed by Parson Smith, who is the piano player at the saloon. But Taylor declares that Joan will not leave the saloon and attacks David.

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David thrashes the gang leader and departs with Joan. Later, in Joan’s apartment, David goes along with the husband routine to convince Taylor that he is truly Joan’s man. In fact, David has fallen for Joan. He continues to play the role of the Colt Kid, fearing that she will leave him if she knows the truth. Taylor attempts to involve David in the gang’s robberies, and proposes that they rob the Strong mansion during the wedding of David’s sister.

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David tells Taylor that he must work alone, and rushes to his home expecting to arrive in time for his sister’s wedding. But Taylor has set a trap for David. After David leaves, Taylor sets out for the Strong mansion with a couple of policemen. Joan learns of the trap and dashes out to try to save David. Meanwhile, Dave Dorgan, the real Colt Kid, has arrived at Miller’s saloon, and learns that someone has been impersonating him. Dorgan goes to the Strong home to get a share of the loot, but Joan arrives in time to prevent him from committing the robbery. David saves her from a savage attack by Dorgan. Taylor, Joan and David are arrested, but David is eventually released upon orders from his family. David pleads for Joan’s discharge, when his sister runs to Joan and throws her arms around her. The two were friends in college, and Joan had been living in the slums to obtain material for a novel. David and Joan witness his sister’s wedding, and visions of their own marriage take place.David tells Taylor that he must work alone, and rushes to his home expecting to arrive in time for his sister’s wedding. But Taylor has set a trap for David. After David leaves, Taylor sets out for the Strong mansion with a couple of policemen. Joan learns of the trap and dashes out to try to save David. Meanwhile, Dave Dorgan, the real Colt Kid, has arrived at Miller’s saloon, and learns that someone has been impersonating him. Dorgan goes to the Strong home to get a share of the loot, but Joan arrives in time to prevent him from committing the robbery. David saves her from a savage attack by Dorgan. Taylor, Joan and David are arrested, but David is eventually released upon orders from his family. David pleads for Joan’s discharge, when his sister runs to Joan and throws her arms around her. The two were friends in college, and Joan had been living in the slums to obtain material for a novel. David and Joan witness his sister’s wedding, and visions of their own marriage take place.

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The film was adapted from a stage play entitled “One of Us,” in which the protagonist was a woman. James Cruze directed the movie, which had a supporting cast that included Wallace Beery as Taylor and Raymond Hatton as the parson/piano player.

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From September 14-17, the Poli ran The World and its Woman, starring opera singer Geraldine Farrar as Marcia Warren. The film was released on September 7, 1919. Although some reports claimed the film was five reels long, a complete seven-reel version is held in the Cinematheque Royale de Belgique. A four-minute clip is available on YouTube, which I have posted below:

 

Plot: Young Marcia Warren lives in Russia with her father, who is a civil engineer. One day she is reading fairy tales to a young prince named Michael who comes visiting with his father. She reads a story where the prince and his bride live happily ever after; Marcia then tells Michael she will marry him when she grows up. But Michael informs Marcia he cannot marry her because he is a Prince. Twenty years later, the world is at war. Marcia is now a famous opera singer, and the Russian aristocracy has been overthrown. Marcia discovers Michael has been captured and is about to be executed. She rescues the prince and they make their way to America, where they find safety and happiness together.

A reviewer for Motion Picture News wrote “the story affords the star wide latitude in displaying her abilities and talent and has many tense situations and several melodramatic periods. A fight between the star and another woman is an incident that is gripping and will not seem revolting except to the extremely fastidious. The leading man may seem too effeminate to many.”

In fact, Ferrar’s leading man was her then-husband, Lou Tellegen, a matinee idol who was on his second of four marriages. His marriage to the diva fell apart in 1922, when Ferrar filed for divorce. Tellegen claimed she was jealous of him. A Boston physician named Dr. J. Leo Hanson claimed the problem was Ferrar’s overworked adrenal gland that caused abnormally high blood pressure. “When suffering from an acute attack of high blood pressure, Miss Farrar is not the adorable creature that has been created in the mind of the American public,” Hanson stated. “To the contrary, she becomes absolutely unbearable, a feminine tyrant who loses all sense of fair play, kindness and love. She needs a gland extract that is made from the kidney of a goat or bull. Such treatment will cause her adrenal gland to function properly and preclude the possibility of high blood pressure. … Glands will not only cure her, but the proper glands, which some term ‘love’ glands, would make her the most lovable of women. What Miss Farrar really needs is gland treatment and not divorce.” Farrar wisely chose divorce.

Tellegen, a native of Holland, made his American stage debut in New York in 1910, playing alongside Sarah Bernhardt. Shortly after, he appeared in the short film Queen Elizabeth, with Bernhardt in the lead role. He worked steadily in films, but in the late 1920s, he was burned in a hotel fire in Atlantic City, the result of falling asleep while smoking. He underwent facial reconstruction hoping to regain his looks. But time ran out. He underwent three operations for what was actually a malignant tumor. On October 29, 1934, he committed suicide under very bizarre circumstances. While staying at a friend’s house in Hollywood, he stabbed himself seven times with a pair of scissors. Police were mystified at how the actor could have repeatedly stabbed himself that many times, bearing the pain. Tellegen’s fellow actors attributed it to his fortitude. Farrar was unimpressed by Tellegen’s death. When phoned by the press for comment at her Ridgefield, CT home, the actor’s ex-wife snapped “it doesn’t interest me in the least,” and hung up.

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From September 18-20, 1919, the Poli featured Bill Henry, starring Charles Ray. The film was released on August 10, 1919, at five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Bill Henry is an ambitious country boy from Alabama who gets a job selling electric vibrators (no, not that kind).

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When he tries to demonstrate the device on an old man with rheumatism, the fellow chases Bill, smashes his bicycle, and throws the pieces on the road.

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Bill walks to town and goes to a hotel run by his uncle, who offers him a job as a night clerk. Lela Mason, from Iowa, arrives at the hotel, to claim a farm she inherited from her late uncle.

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When she discovers the land is swamp and is worthless, she bursts into tears and runs into her room. Bill hears this and sends his aunt to check on the girl. He then offers to give Lela some money, but she refuses to accept it. Some travelling men invite bill to a poker game, and he wins a great deal of money. With his little fortune, he decides to buy Lela’s farm to help her out. He hurries to a real estate agent and purchases Lela’s land. The agent then gets a message that oil has been discovered on the property. Bill overhears this and urges the agent to sell the property for him and turn the profit over to Lela. But the unscrupulous agent has plans to take the money and the girl. He denies receiving any money from Bill and tells Bill’s uncle that the youth tried to cheat the girl by offering to buy the land when he knew there was oil on it. Bill and the agent get into a fight, and Bill ties him up and uses the v i b r a t o r on him. The agent then confesses to his treachery. Of course, Bill wins Lela’s heart.

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During rehearsals, in which Ray demonstrates the v i b r a t o  r on the old man with disastrous results, Ray didn’t feel that Bert Woodruff, the actor playing the elderly subject, had just the right expression on his face. So Ray asked director Jerome Storm for a short break. Then, when the scene was shot, Woodruff indeed showed an expression of pain and fright. Woodruff then turned to Ray and exclaimed “confound you, you loaded that blamed thing with real electricity.”

Of his climactic fight scene, Ray said “do I like a part like ‘Bill Henry’ that calls for a bang-up finish fight like this? You bet! It gives me the chance to get just the exercise I need. It certainly limbers a chap up. I love to mix it with bare fists. It’s great stuff, and one more example of the variety that makes screen acting the most fascinating game in the world.”

Picture-Play Magazine wrote “it is unfortunate that we are beginning to brand the releases of so consummate an artist as Charles Ray as “his usual type of picture.” Not that Ray’s pictures aren’t good – but, in some guise or another, he is always the gawky country boy.”

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From September 21-24, the Poli ran Bonds of Love, starring Pauline Frederick. The release date is uncertain; IMDb claims it was November 2, 1919, which is clearly incorrect. The film was playing in Atlanta on September 9, 1919. Bonds of Love was five reels and is presumed lost. Stills were difficult to find; the few I did find may not be placed in the proper context.

Plot:  Una Sayre is hired to work as governess to the son of widower Daniel Cabot.

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Cabot’s son, Jimmy, forms an attachment to Una.

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Cabot’s sister-in-law, Lucy Beekman, and her brother, Harry, having been living off Cabot, with Lucy running the household. The pair fear that Cabot may end up marrying Una, so they try to keep the memory of his dead wife alive. Often, Cabot stares at the portrait of his late wife. Lucy and Harry make life so miserable for Una that she decides to leave.

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As she is about to say goodbye to Jimmy, she sees the youngster get into a motorboat and start out for a joy ride. Una rushes to the docks, jumps in another motorboat, and heads off in pursuit. While a crowd gathers on the dock, Una sees Jimmy helpless at the wheel, and heading for rocks known as the “Devil’s Backbone.” Her boat gradually closes the distance, and she is able to lift Jimmy out of his boat before it crashes into the rocks. After this heroic effort, Cabot begs her to stay. Una later discovers the secret of Cabot’s first wife. While she is examining the portrait of the woman, a letter falls out of the back of it. The letter leads Una to discover that Cabot’s first wife had been unfaithful. She had been in love with an attorney, Barry Sullivan, but her parents had forced her to marry Cabot, whom she did not love. The wife then carried on an affair with Sullivan. Una decides not to tell Cabot the truth about his first wife. Una, Cabot, and Jimmy find happiness together.

The scene in which Pauline Frederick rescues the boy from drowning was filmed off Catalina Island, and was shot from several angles. In the climax, Frederick’s boat crosses the bow of the other boat, making a wide circle. According to publicity reports, Frederick, who owned a 25-foot motor boat, performed the stunt herself – but who knows. In any event, this does sound like an exciting sequence. Frankie Lee, who played Jimmy, bonded with Frederick during the film, often sitting on her lap between takes.

One trade journal claimed that Percy Standing, who played Cabot, was the brother of Sir Guy Standing, but this was an error. Sir Guy had three brothers: Wyndham, Jack, and Darrell. According to IMDb, Percy Standing died on September 17, 1950, in California. I did find a death record for a Percy Standing on that date, in Roseville, California, and the age was about right. However, the obituary made no mention of an acting career, stating that he was a retired car inspector for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Standing did not make a huge number of films, so it’s possible that aspect of his life was ignored. Or maybe this was someone else entirely.

The featured act on the bill was “The Mimic World,” which consisted of “a chorus of 20 beauties under 20 years.”

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