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A United Artists Retrospective Scrapbook: The Early Years (1919-1921)

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United Artists is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, having been founded on February 5, 1919. The company is still here, with all their films, although they have weathered a giant dip in fortunes from the early 80s onward (actually from a day in 1978 when many of its executives walked out to form the ill-fated Orion.... I'm thinking of folding in the Orion films from 1979-1999 into these scrapbooks to show the rise and fall of what was essentially United Artists 2.0) , and periods of inactivity (1991 and 1992, and 2011-2018, save being a copyright holder on Bond and Rocky films) But earlier this year the name was revived as an umbrella distributor. It's been a crazy journey, but in their time, they have created many fascinating films. This is their story. These are their films.

Note: Some of these seem to be in the public domain, and thus can be seen for free online

the first release of the studio founded by Griffith, Fairbanks, Pickford, and Chaplin came a few months after the founding with Griffith's Broken Blossoms. Its a fascinating film, and strongly realized. Despite some flaws, its well worth seeing and still packs a punch, and Lillian Gish shines.


Douglas Fairbanks appeared in a romantic comedy called His Majesty, The American


Fairbanks ran afoul of a crazed psychiatrist in When the Clouds Roll by.


Mary Pickford had one of her most popular films with Pollyanna, the story of the girl with the glad game. Famously remade in 1960 with Hayley Mills at Disney.


Mary played older in her next film, Suds, where she got to have a romance.


Mack Sennett went Down on the Farm. I see that the movie actually premiered in an Indiana city not too far from where I live.....


Romance is indeed a lost film. It starred Doris Keane. The remake, which does survive, was with Greta Garbo at MGM in 1930.


Fairbanks played three different generations of family members in the Mollycoddle, where he fought against a villain played by Wallace Beery.


The Love Flower was a romantic drama with Richard Barthelmess.


Way Down East was indeed a sensation and has in the ice floe sequence one of the best known scenes in silent film history.


Douglas Fairbanks turned to swashbucking in the popular The Mask of Zorro.


Mary Pickford turned to a romantic drama set in wartime with The Love Light.


Douglas Fairbanks turned to comedy in The Nut.


DW Griffith's Dream Street came next, but went quickly.


Mary Pickford returned to playing a child in Through the Back Door.


George Arliss played Disraeli for the first time. This is lost aside from one reel.


Douglas Fairbanks next starred in a new version of The Three Musketeers.


Mary Pickford then pulled of a switch by playing Little Lord Fauntleroy.


J'accuse was a long, praised French epic picked up by UA for US release.


The Iron trail was an independent pickup. a copy survives in Moscow, of all places.


Orphans of the Storm, a stirring drama, was one of the finest hours for Lillian and Dorothy Gish.


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On 6/28/2019 at 7:26 PM, mr6666 said:

thanks for the well-done & informative threads......

but any chance of moving them to FAVORITES or FILMS &  FILMMAKERS sections?




I have just set up a seperate blog site so that all the files will be seen together once they drop off page one. The good news here with United Artists is that there won't be as many posts in this series (due to thin years, or even decades) so there won't be as much clutter.

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