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scsu1975
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On 2/22/2020 at 6:35 AM, scsu1975 said:

Krug then took his vengeance in a most horrible manner.

I don't seek out morbidity, just wondering what happened there. Don't say, but was it something so graphically rendered as to disturb mightily, for that era, anyway?

I would like to see this, not for any curiosity regarding the above, but because of your own review and thoughts as well as the general write up. I hope TCM can get it.

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On 1/25/2020 at 6:12 AM, sagebrush said:

I'll have to check out that YouTube copy; I really like Richard Barthelmess. He deserves to be remembered as more than just a pretty face.

Have you seen "The Lash." (1930). With Mary Astor. Barthelmess plays a bandit who seems quite dashing. He is known for wooded-ness of movement and expression but here he seems quite free and fluid in those areas. I was really surprised.

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3 hours ago, laffite said:

I don't seek out morbidity, just wondering what happened there. Don't say, but was it something so graphically rendered as to disturb mightily, for that era, anyway?

I would like to see this, not for any curiosity regarding the above, but because of your own review and thoughts as well as the general write up. I hope TCM can get it.

Without giving too much away, if you look at the trailer, you will see a sign over Bosworth's shop giving his occupation. That gives you a clue as to  what he did to Beery. You never see  the act onscreen (although today I'm sure you would) but you can figure out what happens, and the title cards tell you as well.

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3 hours ago, laffite said:

Again, Rich, let me compliment you on this thread. Splendid !!!  So detailed with wonderful stills.

Just curious, are you fashioning out a hard copy of all this? I hope you are.

Yes, I save all these in word documents, partly for my own interest, but also in case the boards get upgraded and stuff disappears. I also began work on a book about another lost silent film, but haven't had a chance to  completely develop it - although I have over 200 pages of material on it, and I would say it's over 70% done.

And thanks for stopping by!

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To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the Poli featured The Luck of the Irish¸ directed by Allan Dwan, and starring James Kirkwood as William Grogan, and Anna Q. Nilsson as Ruth Warren. The film ran from March 15-17, 1920. Released in February of 1920 at six reels, the film is presumed lost.

Plot: William Grogan, an Irish plumber, sees most of life from the basement of his plumbing shop, by watching the feet of passersby and chatting with street urchins.

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One day he gets a call from an attorney, and discovers he has inherited around $28,000. Together with the little boy he has cared for since finding him on the streets, the two decide they are going to take a trip around the world.

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On board the ship, Grogan recognizes a pair of feet he has seen walking by his window the past three years. The feet belong to Ruth Warren, who happens to be the schoolteacher of Grogan’s young ward. Ruth had been engaged to a lout named Norman Colburton, but had left him in New York. Now Colburton is pursuing her, and Grogan acts as her protector. The voyagers travel to Italy, Egypt, Hong Kong, and other locations, with Grogan constantly fighting to protect Ruth.

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When the ship reaches Singapore, Ruth is kidnapped and placed in a house of ill repute.

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Grogan comes to her rescue.

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Eventually the happy couple set sail for America.

In the still below, Director Allan Dwan (seated) works with Kirkwood and Nilsson:

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Motion Picture News wrote “although it is a little slow in getting a start it develops into a fast moving and colorful story of elemental romance and adventure, with enough interest to attract and amuse.” Motion Picture World gave the film an acceptable review, but noted “if it were not overloaded with subtitles which are not always carefully worded, and the action cut to a more rapid speed, it might readily be termed a strong production.” Motion Picture Classic wrote “we approve of James Kirkwood as the pipe expert hero, but Anna Q. Nilsson lacks sincerity as the cause of all the trouble and happiness.” They trade journal also observed that Kirkwood “had a fight or two every twenty-five feet, and by the time the picture was half over, you commenced to wonder whether God and human vitality would pull him thru.” Kirkwood remarked “I’ve had something like four hundred brawls before the camera, and I’ve never put anybody permanently out of commission. Screen fighting’s a fine art. You have to hit your opponent so you won’t crack either his make-up or his jaw.”

The photo below shows a crowd gathering outside Grauman’s Theatre in Los Angeles:

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In a publicity stunt in Canton, Ohio, a man and woman were seen struggling atop a high building. Passersby saw the pair stray towards the ledge, and heard the woman scream. For a moment, the pair disappeared from view. Then, the woman was thrown down and hit the street with a thud. Onlookers only then discovered it was a dummy, with a sign attached to it reading “Don’t Miss ‘The Luck of the Irish’ at the Alhambra.”

Also on the bill was a two-reel Mack Sennett comedy entitled The Star Boarder. The short was released on January 18, 1920, and is presumed lost. The plot centers around a matrimonial agency “husband” who appears at a boarding house to marry the maid, but falls in love with the proprietor’s wife. Ben Turpin plays a cigar salesman and does a bit with an exploding cigar. According to The Moving Picture World, the film ends with a “fair damsel clinging to the drain pipe encircling an upper story of the house. She is rescued by a man, who, logically enough, is then deemed courageous enough to brave the dangers of matrimony. His lion heart fails, however, until he discovers that it is a mock wedding in which he is playing an unwilling leading role.” The short starred Louise Fazenda and Teddy the dog. The still below shows Turpin about to get a shave, with Teddy offering assistance:

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As a secondary act, the Poli featured “world champion walker” George N. Brown in a skit called Pedestrianism.” Although I could not find many details, this was apparently a comedy act, with Brown appearing on a treadmill, and encouraging audience participation. Brown is pictured below, in a photo from 1917:

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Brown’s act was very successful and drew good reviews. However, his married life was a mess. He wed in 1918, but separated in 1922. Mrs. Brown sued for divorce, alleging that Brown “beat, cursed and otherwise abused her.” In turn, Brown claimed that his wife “threw a typewriter at him, which blackened one of his eyes; that she hit him on the head with a ginger ale bottle; that she had pulled his hair and tore his clothing.” This was one marriage that Brown could not walk away from fast enough.

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5 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

In a publicity stunt in Canton, Ohio, a man and woman were seen struggling atop a high building. Passersby saw the pair stray towards the ledge, and heard the woman scream. For a moment, the pair disappeared from view. Then, the woman was thrown down and hit the street with a thud. Onlookers only then discovered it was a dummy, with a sign attached to it reading “Don’t Miss ‘The Luck of the Irish’ at the Alhambra.”

That's a pretty  morbid publicity stunt!

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From March 18-20, 1920, the Poli ran Out Yonder, starring Olive Thomas. The film was released on December 21, 1919, at five reels. A copy exists in the EYE Film Institute in the Netherlands. That copy is available on YouTube (with Dutch subtitles). If you want to view that version, the plot below will contain spoilers, but will also enable you to follow the movie for the most part. There is also a snippet on YouTube with English subtitles. Stills are taken from the Dutch version, with the EYE logo intact.

Plot: A yacht arrives along the New England coast, bearing wealthy Mrs. Elmer and her nephew, Edward. Mrs. Elmer sets out in a rowboat, which overturns. She is rescued by a girl named Flotsam. Aboard the yacht, Flotsam meets Edward and the young man is immediately interested.

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He goes ashore one day and encounters Flotsam along the rocks. Flotsam introduces Edward to her father, Amos Bart, who is the lighthouse keeper. Bart reacts to Edward as if he has seen a ghost. Bart’s surly helper, Joey Clark, quickly becomes jealous of Edward.  Edward proposes to Flotsam. In a fit of rage, Clark attacks Edward. Bart intervenes and is forced to reveal his secret: years earlier, Bart had quarreled with a passenger on his boat while the two had been drinking. The passenger was Edward’s father. Bart killed the man, and he and Clark had dumped the body overboard. Mrs. Elmer offers to take Flotsam with her and Edward. Bart convinces his daughter to go with them, by confessing that Flotsam is not really his daughter. She had been washed ashore and he had raised her as his own. Flotsam and Edward leave on Mrs. Elmer’s yacht, but Flotsam decides to return to the lighthouse. Bart informs Clark that Flotsam has left, which infuriates Clark. With Flotsam listening in, Clark tells Bart the truth about the murder; that he, and not Bart, had killed the man.

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When Edward discovers Flotsam is missing, he orders the yacht towards the lighthouse. Clark sees the yacht approaching, so he climbs to the top of the lighthouse and turns off the light. Flotsam lights a flare and heads for the shore to warn the yacht. Bart goes after Clark. Will the yacht crash? Will the guilty Clark be punished?

Review: This film is a little gem, spoiled only by an abrupt ending – but that might be due to missing footage. The cast is very good, especially Olive Thomas, John Smiley as Bart, and Edward Ellis (the actual “Thin Man”) as the villainous Clark. This was my first time seeing Olive Thomas. She was an incredibly lovely woman, but met with a tragic fate, dying less than a year after the film was released. She shows plenty of acting ability, and is particularly good in the scene where Smiley confesses that he is not her father.

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This film is definitely worth a look, if only as an example of what kind of a star Thomas could have been.

There are a few inconsistencies in the character names versus the credits in IMDb (and the trade journals.) When in doubt, I went with the trade journals. In the film, Bart is introduced as Captain “Barton,” Clark is listed as “William,” (although trades listed his first name as “Jack”), and Mrs. Elmer is introduced as “Martha Shaw.”

The film was based upon a stage play entitled “The Girl from out Yonder.” Some of the scenes were filmed at Marblehead, Massachusetts. To create a windstorm effect in one scene, an airplane was used inside the film studio to create the necessary force. The noise was so loud that the film crew could not hear Director Ralph Ince giving instructions. Members of the lighting crew stuffed their ears with cotton. The still below shows some behind-the-scenes work as the crew sets up a “rocking boat” sequence in which the murder occurs:

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Marie Fuqua Coverdale, who portrayed Mrs. Elmer, (shown below with Olive Thomas) was born in Pennsylvania, but lived in the Bridgeport CT area and was well-known for her speaking engagements and charitable work. But apparently no one knew of her film work. When Out Yonder screened at the Poli, the locals were quite surprised to see her in the film. Several of her friends went to see her that evening, and Coverdale admitted that this was her first venture into films. She also said she had a few offers to make pictures on the West Coast; but she only made one other film. Her daughter, Minerva Coverdale Haggerty, was a stage performer, and appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies. Marie Coverdale died at her home in Fairfield, CT, on November 2, 1934, after a long illness. She was listed as 67 in her obituary. However, her passport application (yes, I did find it), gave her date of birth as July 4, 1870, so there is a slight discrepancy.

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4 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

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Do you know anything about "Eva La Rue and 12 American Beauties 12"? I ask because there's a more recent actress named Eva LaRue who was in some soaps and on CSI: Miami, among other things. I realize that there's likely to be no connection, but I'm curious, just the same.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Do you know anything about "Eva La Rue and 12 American Beauties 12"? I ask because there's a more recent actress named Eva LaRue who was in some soaps and on CSI: Miami, among other things. I realize that there's likely to be no connection, but I'm curious, just the same.

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Thanks for asking. Eva La Rue was a turn-of-the-century comedienne. The show at the Poli was entitled "Little Cinderella," which was described as a "miniature musical comedy. supported by 14 people, 12 of whom may be classed as real American beauties. There is punch, pep, song and anecdote running throughout this snappy offering." La Rue did a blackface act, although I'm not sure if "Little Cinderella" was one of them. She worked into the late 1920s, but I don't know what happened to her.

Here is a photo of her, from 1906:

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9 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

This was my first time seeing Olive Thomas. She was an incredibly lovely woman, but met with a tragic fate, dying less than a year after the film was released.

Her death has to be one of the oddest even by Hollywood standards. So abrupt; she looked to have a sure thing in silent films.

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18 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

Her death has to be one of the oddest even by Hollywood standards. So abrupt; she looked to have a sure thing in silent films.

I was unfamiliar with the circumstances, so I looked it up. I'll post what I found on Wikipedia in case others are interested:

On September 10, 1920, Thomas died in Paris five days after ingesting her husband's syphillis medication, mercury bichloride, that brought on acute nephritis. Although her death was ruled accidental, news of her hospitalization and subsequent death were the subject of speculation in the press. Thomas' death has been cited as one of the first heavily publicized Hollywood scandals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_Thomas#Death

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From March 21-24, the Poli ran Just a Wife, starring Roy Stewart as Richard Emerson, Leatrice Joy as Mary Virginia Lee, and Kathlyn Williams as Eleanor Lathrop. The exact release date is unknown. The film was five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot: Eleanor Lathrop, who works for young engineer Richard Emerson, decides to help him become president of a railroad.

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Although she loves Emerson, she advises him to wed Mary Virginia Lee, an innocent Southern girl from a good family. Mary, who has lived in poverty, confesses to Emerson that she has married him to escape her condition. Emerson then confesses that he has married her to improve his social standing. The two decide to live apart – Emerson at his New York club, and Mary at Emerson’s beautiful country home. But now Eleanor has become jealous of Emerson’s wife.

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So she and Emerson spend a year together in a western railroad camp.

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Emerson begins to realize how unhappy he is, while Mary, alone in the country home, discovers that she really is in love with Emerson. Emerson and Eleanor return to New York, at the time of Emerson’s wedding anniversary. He visits his wife, who has prepared a dinner hoping he would return. Eleanor follows him. There are also two guests at the home; Mary’s brother Bobby, and a Mr. Marvin who has just arrived from Alaska. Bobby, annoyed at how Emerson has treated his sister, is anxious to see the pair divorced. Later in the evening, Eleanor and Mary both tell Emerson they are in love with him. Emerson chooses his wife.

Although I could not find this detail in any synopsis, it is probable that the mysterious Mr. Marvin was Eleanor’s estranged husband. One trade journal noted that it was somewhat silly to have a heretofore unknown and unmentioned husband show up in the final act.

Photoplay was unimpressed, writing “Just a Wife. Just a film. Eugene Walter’s stage play is not a great success in its warmed-over form. Perhaps this elaborately devised plot belongs to the stage. It has drama and situations. You miss any human appeal. It is stilted and unnatural.” Motion Picture News piled on, stating “as a photoplay it offers another example of cruelly maltreated stage success. … The basis of the story is the theme of a man loving the woman who can bring him domestic happiness rather than her who brings business success. The psychological effect and character transformation were probably worked out on the stage largely by dialogue, and they are only half worked out in the screen version, in a sickly, anemic fashion, by a few subtitles.” However, The Moving Picture World had a completely different take, writing that the film “will be remembered as an artistic achievement and a splendid drama.”

William Lion West, who portrayed Marvin, made a handful of films, and was usually cast as the heavy. According to newspapers reports, West had been an athlete at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, and had played football for the University of California. He also competed in track and field at the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, in 1920. In 1919, he challenged Elmo Lincoln (the “silent” Tarzan) to a boxing match. Lincoln had supposedly challenged Jack Dempsey, and West had supposedly gone a few rounds with Dempsey already. In a letter to the Los Angeles Evening Express, West wrote “I challenged Lincoln, thinking that perhaps such a bout, even though mediocre, as compared with a professional contest, would have been rather interesting to the officers and men of the Pacific fleet. Being an amateur I wouldn’t even consider engaging in an athletic contest with Lincoln or anyone else that savored of professionalism. The only branch of athletics that could influence me to turn professional is football. Amateur athletics is a great American institution and should be encouraged in every way, consistent with good sportsmanship. Personally I stand ready to take on Lincoln or anyone else for an amateur bout or all-round athletic contest for the benefit of Uncle Sam’s boys and any other good cause, as long as said contest doesn’t jeopardize my amateur standing.” I don’t know if the bout ever came off. In addition to his athletic prowess, West enjoyed cooking, particularly Southern dishes. In 1921, he was giving cooking classes in Los Angeles. West is pictured below, as he appeared in the 1920 film Into the Light:

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From March 25-27, 1920, the feature at the Poli was Alarm Clock Andy, starring Charles Ray. The film was released on March 7, 1920 at five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot:  Andrew Gray is a shy youth who also stutters. He has worked in the office of the Wells Motor Truck company for five years, never getting beyond the job of clerk. Yet, he knows more about the business than anyone else, but his shyness has held him back. He is also in love from afar with his employer’s daughter, Dorothy. Meanwhile, William Blinker, a cocky newcomer, has advanced to assistant manager after only four months at the company. The firm needs to land a big trucking contract from Mr. Dodge. Blinker tries, but his cockiness antagonizes Dodge. Andy meets Dorothy, and when she accidentally thinks he is Blinker, he is too bashful to deny it. Andy then meets Mr. Dodge, who finds Andy appealing. Andy lands the contract for the firm, and wins Dorothy’s love.

The stills below, showing Ray with co-star Millicent Fisher, could not be placed in context:

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The Film Daily gave the movie a solid review, noting “although, on the surface, it is a typical Charles Ray picture it has a certain amount of originality and a great share of human interest back of it. … Even though the actual plot is way without the bounds of probability it gets hold of you because the central character is so real.” Exhibitor’s Herald wrote “put Charles Ray in a part suited to him and a pretty girl opposite him and you are almost certain of having a comedy-drama which will please nine-tenths of the theatre-going public. … The result is five reels of high class entertainment, with a touch of pathos, a wealth of character study and an abundance of wholesome humor.” Picture-Play Magazine called the film “a bright brochure on the business of gaining success by the right mental attitude.” Finally, Motion Picture News wrote that the movie was “intensely human and appealing and uncommonly realistic. Mr. Ray proves again his technique and artistry in the part of the country youth. He is supreme in the delineation of such a character.”

At the Rialto Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida, manager Frank Burns constructed a giant alarm clock outside the building. The clock (pictured below) was made from a bass drum, and the alarm was a dishpan fastened to the drum with a screw. An electric bell was rigged under the pan, and connected with wires and a battery to the theatre office. The bell ran every two or three seconds, which kept passersby interested.

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From March 28-31, 1920, the Poli ran The Woman in Room 13, directed by Frank Lloyd, and starring Pauline Frederick as Laura Bruce, and John Bowers as Paul Ramsey. The release date is uncertain, but the film was five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot: Laura Bruce is the wife of district attorney John Bruce. (Another source says he is the police commissioner.) She divorces him because of his infidelity, which ruins his career. Laura then marries Paul Ramsey, a young engineer. Ramsey’s employer, Dick Turner, has eyes for Laura and schemes to send Ramsey west on a big job. But before Ramsey leaves, he learns of Turner’s interest in Laura. So he hires a private detective to keep an eye on things – but the detective turns out to be John Bruce. To even the score with Laura, Bruce keeps sending Ramsey reports that Turner is seeing Laura. He then summons Ramsey back east. In an apartment below Turner’s flat, Bruce installs a Dictaphone so Ramsey can listen in. Laura goes to visit Turner. She is stopped by Edna Crane, who wants Turner for herself. Edna convinces Laura to return home. Ramsey now hears the conversation between Turner and Edna, and mistakes Edna for Laura. He rushes upstairs and enters Turner’s apartment just as Edna leaves through a window. Ramsey shoots and kills Turner. At the trial, Laura takes the stand and swears she was in the room, hoping her husband will be acquitted. Ramsey is set free, and Edna later confesses to Ramsey that she was the woman in room 13.

I could only find a grainy newspaper still, which shows Bowers and Frederick (below). There is another still at IMDb, which shows Frederick, Robert McKim (as Turner) and Bowers.

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The film was based upon a play of the same name. The film was remade in 1932; a copy of that film exists in the UCLA archives.

The Film Daily gave the movie a good review, writing that it was an “exceptionally good picture melodrama with an interesting mystery touch. While to some extent it is palpably “manufactured” specially for the occasion and utilizes one very glaring coincidental situation, it is to expertly handled in the production and so unusually well acted that it maintains a firm grip on the interest.” Photoplay was more lukewarm, stating “we rather suspect there was more suspense in the legitimate version than in the screening.”

Emily Chichester played a minor role in the film, and drew some praise from reviewers. It appears her promise never materialized, as she made only a dozen films. However, there is no doubt she was a pretty lady, as can be seen below:

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Also on the bill was a Mack Sennett two-reeler entitled Gee Whiz. The short was released on April 4, 1920, and is presumed lost. I could not find any information on the plot.

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From April 1-3, 1920, the Poli ran Sooner or Later, starring Owen Moore as Patrick Murphy and Seena Owen as Edna Ellis. The film was released on February 16, 1920, at five reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot: Patrick Murphy, an attorney and shy bachelor, has a client named Robert Ellis, who lives in Fairhaven, Connecticut. Ellis believes his wife, Edna, is carrying on with a theatrical producer, so he enlists Murphy to locate his wife and take her to Ellis’ home. As it turns out, Murphy had already met Edna Ellis that same day, unaware she was his client’s wife.

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Murphy finds Edna at a theater, and when she resists, he takes her on long car trip, and delivers her to Ellis’ home. There, he discovers that she is Edna Ellis of Fairhaven, New Jersey, and is not his client’s wife. While the two are alone in Ellis’ house, two burglars (who happen to be twins) enter, causing several chases through the rooms. The burglars end up in custody of two policemen in the wine cellar, who all proceed to get drunk. Murphy tears his trousers attempting to enter the house by the second story, and covers his underwear with an apron. This causes Edna to faint in the arms of Ellis, who has just arrived. Then Mrs. Ellis arrives, sees the woman in her husband’s arms, and faints in Murphy’s arms. Eventually all this is straightened out, and Murphy and Edna end up together.

The still below shows Moore with both “Ednas”:

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Photoplay panned the film, writing “it is not a merry comedy and Owen Moore is not particularly funny in it.” Wid’s Daily gave a mixed review, noting “after considerable introductory business which reveal small plot action and following a prolonged sequence showing hero and heroine motoring along a boulevard, they finally get down to some comedy horse-play that puts the last two reels over very well and serves to leave a good impression. … Why they used the fake moon and backdrop for the final closeup is, however, not understandable for real stuff on this order is very easy to get.” Variety was a lot kinder, writing “this picture is great fun. … The idea is far fetched, but it’s farce, and the humor keeps a pretty steady pace.”

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From April 4-7, 1920, the Poli featured Dangerous Hours, starring Lloyd Hughes as John King. The film was released on January 25, 1920, at five to six reels. Copies of the film exist in the Library of Congress, The Museum of Modern Art, and several other archives. There are also a few reviews of the film at the IMDb website.

Advertising line: Spectacular Drama Showing the Evils in the Working of the “Reds.” – A Compelling Picture of the Day.

Plot: John King, a young American college graduate, falls under the spell of a group of Bolsheviks. When he takes part in a strike riot led by agitators Boris Blotchi and Sophia Guerni, he gets arrested.

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After his release, he returns to his Bolshevik friends.

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Sophia pretends to be in love him to keep in in the group.

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King visits his father, who is heartbroken over his son’s long absence.

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May Weston, King’s former sweetheart, also is overjoyed to see him. Mary has been left a shipyard by her father, and now runs the business. But King has become too misguided to let his heart get in the way of his mission. Once back with Sophia and her comrades, King discovers they are planning to make trouble for Mary. The men at Mary’s shipyard have started a strike which they expect to settle by peaceful means. But the Bolsheviks intend to stir the workers into a riot. King still does not realize the depth of the treachery, until he finds himself in the middle of a mob which has broken into the shipyard and bombed the office.

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Then he finds Mary bleeding in the ruins.

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He turns on his comrades, and drives them away from the shipyard, becoming badly wounded in the process. He recovers, and also finds that Mary has recovered and is ready to forgive him.

The film’s working title was Americanism vs. Bolshevism. It was adapted from a Saturday Evening Post story written by Donn Byrne, entitled “A Prodigal in Utopia.”

Wid’s Daily wrote that the film “casts entertainment to the winds and spends six reels on anti-Bolshevik preachment. … “Dangerous Hours” cannot be classed as entertainment for it is strictly propaganda. It would be unfair to the public to call it anything else. And it would seem to be a trifle too delicate a subject to deal with just at the present time when this form of government is actually in power in Russia.” Photoplay also was lukewarm, noting “who remembers, by the way, when all the villains were German?”

Claire Du Brey portrayed the Russian vamp Sophia Guerni. She might not be a household name, but you’ve most likely seen her in something. Here she is as the perfume customer with the bratty kid in The Best Years of Our Lives:

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When Du Brey was cast in DeMille’s Samson and Delilah, she lost eight pounds, and was given a golden gown to wear in her scene, along with a fancy hairdo and diamond headpiece. The assistant director then told her to lie on the ground. Another man mussed her hair, and sprayed fake dirt on her. It was then she learned she was playing a corpse in the scene where Samson pulls down the temple. “At least I have played in a DeMille picture,” she said philosophically.

Du Brey must have been some character. In 1977, she sent a letter to The Los Angeles Times, regarding the Peter Bogdanovich film Nickelodeon. “I am afraid to see “Nickelodeon” in spite of Kevin Thomas’ favorable review,” she wrote, “and in spite of my favorite actress Tatum O’Neal being in it because if it is full of anachronisms or never-wasisms, I’ll throw up.” She then detailed, over several paragraphs, how brutal it was making films back in the day. She concluded her diatribe by stating “Director Peter Bogdanovich is nuts. I say “The Good Old Days – may they never come back!” Sure we had fun, sure we had hopes, but if we had not been young, very few would have survived.”

Also on the bill was a Fox short comedy, Sheriff Nell’s Comeback, featuring Polly Moran as the title character. The film is presumed lost. This was one of several shorts Moran made involving this character. Although I could not find a plot, Wid’s Daily wrote “the scene in which the entire police force receives the electric treatment, that in which the coppers are blown into the street through a pneumatic tube, the chase high up and other parts all hold the eye and make this a corking comedy.” The Moving Picture World wrote that Moran “fights and subdues a whole police force, single-handed, and finally assists in the capture of Silk Shirt Gus. The fun is of the rough-and-tumble, fast-and-furious sort.”

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From April 8-10, 1920, the Poli ran Reclaimed, starring Niles Welch as Frank Truman and Mabel Julienne Scott as Amorita. The release date is unknown. The film was five reels, and is presumed lost. The plot was difficult to construct from contemporaneous sources, and I could only find a few grainy newspaper stills without any context.

Plot: A Mexican and his wife are murdered by an American adventurer named Mark Sinister, who was in love with the wife. The couple leave behind a daughter, Amorita. When she is 16, she is discovered in New York, barely getting by. She is picked up by a pair of crooks who try to sell her to a rich wastrel. The man turns out to be Mark Sinister. Amorita escapes, and befriends Frank Truman, whose father has also been victimized by Sinister. Truman lands in prison through trickery brought on by Sinister. Amorita finds refuge in the home of an old lawyer.

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However, the lawyer is under the power of Sinister. The lawyer’s invalid sister makes a great improvement in Amorita’s life. Sinister, impressed with the change in Amorita, now wants to marry the girl.

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Eventually, Sinister is brought to justice by all concerned.

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Note: The synopsis is somewhat jumbled, and it is not clear from the sources if the character of Sinister is in actuality the “adventurer,” although I suspect that may be the case. Although IMDb lists this film under the title Reclaimed: The Struggle for a Soul Between Love and Hate, most of the contemporaneous sources I checked list the film as simply Reclaimed.

The still below shows some of the supporting cast. The woman with the hat on her lap is Mabel Wright, who portrays the old lawyer’s sister. The old lawyer is played by Fred W. Peters. (IMDb lists the actor as Frederick Peters, but this is an error. Frederick Peters was a large man – he played a zombie in White Zombie. Fred W. Peters is a different actor.) The other two women could not be positively identified.

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Niles Welch (pictured below) was born in Hartford, Connecticut.

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In 1945, he suffered a tragic accident which cost him his vision. “I would say blindness is not as bad as deafness,” he remarked in later years. “I attend and enjoy many fine concerts and listen to others on radio and follow plays on television, which I couldn’t do if I was deaf.”

You can read more about Welch in the short bio I composed for IMDb:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0919624/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

Also on the bill were several side acts, as usual. Fiddler & Stevens were described as a “humorous act in which a Chinaman and a negro pass the chatter over a plate of chop suey.” Slyman Ali Arabs performed “daring and dexterous balancing and human pyramid acts, ending with a whirling, twirling and gyrating experience of dancing of the Orient.” Of local interest, Bridgeport residents Mr. and Mrs. George Mara were shown in newsreel footage, being greeted by the Mayor of San Francisco. Mara, an attorney, was in San Francisco in preparation for the Democratic National Convention. Mara was representing another Bridgeport attorney, Homer Cummings, who was Democratic National Chairman. (The character Dana Andrews portrayed in the film Boomerang was based on Cummings.) When Cummings became the United States Attorney General, he appointed Mara to his staff as a special assistant.

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From April 11-14, 1920, the Poli ran The Sporting Duchess¸ starring Alice Joyce as the title character. The film’s release date is uncertain. It was seven reels, and is presumed lost.

Plot: Muriel, the Duchess of Desborough, is happily married to Douglas, the Duke of Desborough.

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They have a young son named Harold.

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The Desboroughs have a party, and one of the guests is Major Roland Mostyn. 

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Mostyn beats the Duke at cards, which causes the Duke to promise he will pay his winnings from his racehorse “Clipstone,” which is a favorite at the next race.

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Mostyn tries to turn the Duke against his wife by getting the Duke’s former flame, Mrs. Delmaine, to make a play for the man.

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But the plan does not work. So Mostyn concocts another plan. He finds an opportunity to accompany Muriel to London, and while she is making a phone call, he registers the two of them in a hotel as a married couple. Meanwhile, the Duke has been informed that his wife is eloping with Mostyn. Mostyn goes to Muriel’s room and forces himself on her. When the Duke arrives, he finds the pair in a compromising situation. A divorce trial ensues. Harold becomes sick and is sent to a sanitarium.

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Mostyn gets a friend of his, Rupert Leigh, to provide false testimony at the trial. Mostyn also forces the sale of Clipstone. Captain Cyprian Streatfield, who is an old friend of the Duke (and admirer of his wife) purchases the horse. Muriel bets on Clipstone. Mostyn, who has bet on another horse, tries to influence the race by having his jockey strike Clipstone near the finish line. The other horse is disqualified, and Clipstone wins. Eventually, Leigh confesses that he lied, and the misunderstandings between Muriel and the Duke are cleared up. The Duke, Duchess, and their son are reunited.

The film was based upon a stage play of the same name. The story previously had been filmed in 1915, but that version is also lost.

The Moving Picture World was lukewarm, writing “Alice Joyce … is rather languid as a sporty member of the English aristocracy. Most of her support seems to be in the same mood. More “zip” in their performance would have not have been amiss.”

May McAvoy, who eventually became a noted silent film star, played a supporting role in this film, as Harold’s governess.

Edith Campbell, who portrayed Mrs. Delmaine, was primarily a stage actress who made a handful of films. However, she was in the news in 1925, when she secretly married stage and screen actor (and former matinee idol) William Faversham. The wedding took place at Faversham’s home in Huntington, Long Island. Early in her career, Campbell had acted under the name of Edith Campbell Walker. Rumors quickly swirled that Campbell was married to Harry J. Walker, the manager of the Belasco Theater on Broadway. Newspapers reported that Walker had said he had never been divorced. The New York Daily News tried to contact Walker at his residence, and claimed the person answering the phone had “a feeble male voice, apparently shaking with emotion of one sort or another.” The reporter asked if Walker was there. “No,” was the response. “Mr. Walker isn’t here. He’s on a vacation – a long vacation. When will he be back? Let me see. In a week, I should say. Yes, he’ll be back in a week. Good-By.” When the Belasco Theater was called, the response was “No, Mr. Walker isn’t here, and I don’t know when he will be here. Perhaps never.” Faversham, for his part, refused to discuss the matter with the press. Eventually, the story unraveled and proved to be nothing at all. Campbell and Walker had known each other professionally, and since Campbell had used the name of Walker, many of their associates had assumed the two were married. The only real story was that, on the wedding license, Faversham had written that this was his second marriage, when in fact, it was his third. But nobody cared about that. Below is a picture of the happy couple on Long Island:

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58 minutes ago, scsu1975 said:

Edith Campbell, who portrayed Mrs. Delmaine, was primarily a stage actress who made a handful of films. However, she was in the news in 1925, when she secretly married stage and screen actor (and former matinee idol) William Faversham. The wedding took place at Faversham’s home in Huntington, Long Island. Early in her career, Campbell had acted under the name of Edith Campbell Walker. Rumors quickly swirled that Campbell was married to Harry J. Walker, the manager of the Belasco Theater on Broadway. Newspapers reported that Walker had said he had never been divorced. The New York Daily News tried to contact Walker at his residence, and claimed the person answering the phone had “a feeble male voice, apparently shaking with emotion of one sort or another.” The reporter asked if Walker was there. “No,” was the response. “Mr. Walker isn’t here. He’s on a vacation – a long vacation. When will he be back? Let me see. In a week, I should say. Yes, he’ll be back in a week. Good-By.” When the Belasco Theater was called, the response was “No, Mr. Walker isn’t here, and I don’t know when he will be here. Perhaps never.” Faversham, for his part, refused to discuss the matter with the press. Eventually, the story unraveled and proved to be nothing at all. Campbell and Walker had known each other professionally, and since Campbell had used the name of Walker, many of their associates had assumed the two were married. The only real story was that, on the wedding license, Faversham had written that this was his second marriage, when in fact, it was his third. But nobody cared about that. Below is a picture of the happy couple on Long Island:

This story in itself might have made for a good film!

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From April 17-19, 1920, the Poli featured Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring Sheldon Lewis. This was the second film version released in 1920. The other (and more famous) version, released a month earlier, was John Barrymore’s take on Stevenson’s novel. The Lewis version was released in early April of 1920, at five reels, and exists in a private collection. Some clips are available on YouTube.

Plot:  Dr. Jekyll is a philanthropic London physician.

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He is so absorbed in his work that he neglects his fiancée, Bernice Lanyon.

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In the course of his experiments, he discovers a chemical compound which distorts personality. He experiments on himself, and changes into Mr. Hyde.

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Hyde is a monster who commits several murders, and arson. Eventually the police capture Hyde, and he is tried and convicted. He is led off to be executed. As he is being strapped into the electric chair, he wakes up and realizes it was all a terrible dream.

This film appears to have little in common with the novel, beyond the “good vs evil” sides of a human. The character of Bernice Lanyon does not appear in Stevenson’s story. Also, while Hyde, in the novel, does commit one murder (to a minor character), he is not a serial killer and certainly not an arsonist. Of course, the conclusion of this film is ridiculous, but probably pleased the audience.

I find it odd that the Poli showed this version, mainly because they regularly showcased Paramount films, the studio which had released the Barrymore version.

Lewis, who had portrayed the character(s) in a stage version, received some plaudits. The Moving Picture World wrote “in his portrayal there is displayed an ability to get at the essence of nobility in Jekyll quite as well as the hideous perversion of Hyde.” Exhibitor’s Herald wrote “Sheldon Lewis … brings to the screen a strong, convincing portrayal.” Photoplay was lukewarm, noting “Mr. Lewis’ performance is that of a competent but uninspired actor, and there is little attempt at cleverness in tricking the change from one character to the other.” The magazine also observed that “the picture is cheaply set,” which does seem borne out upon viewing the available clips.

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