Tag Archives: silent cinema

Roscoe ”Fatty” Arbuckle


Roscoe Arbuckle 4

Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle (March 24, 1887 – June 29, 1933) was an American silent film actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter.

Starting at the Selig Polyscope Company he eventually moved to Keystone Studios, where he worked with Mabel Normand and Harold Lloyd. He mentored Charlie Chaplin and discovered Buster Keaton and Bob Hope. Arbuckle was one of the most popular silent stars of the 1910s, and soon became one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, signing a contract in 1920 with Paramount Pictures for US$1 million (equivalent to approximately $14,000,000 in 2017 dollars[1]).

Between November 1921 and April 1922, Arbuckle was the defendant in three widely publicized trials for the rape and manslaughter of actress Virginia Rappe. Rappe had fallen ill at a party hosted by Arbuckle at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco in September 1921; she died four days later. Arbuckle was accused by Rappe’s acquaintance of raping and accidentally killing Rappe. After the first two trials, which resulted in hung juries, Arbuckle was acquitted in the third trial and received a formal written statement of apology from the jury.

Roscoe Arbuckle 2

Roscoe Arbuckle Trial – Chicago Herald Examiner Newspaper Coverage

Despite Arbuckle’s acquittal, the scandal has mostly overshadowed his legacy as a pioneering comedian. Following the trials, his films were banned and he was publicly ostracized. Although the ban on his films was lifted within a year, Arbuckle only worked sparingly through the 1920s. He later worked as a film director under the alias William Goodrich. He was finally able to return to acting, making short two-reel comedies in 1932 for Warner Bros.

He died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1933 at age 46, reportedly on the same day he signed a contract with Warner Brothers to make a feature film.[2]

Roscoe Arbuckle 5

 

Early life

Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle was born on March 24, 1887 in Smith Center, Kansas, one of nine children of Mary E. “Mollie” Gordon (d. February 19, 1898) and William Goodrich Arbuckle.[3] He weighed in excess of 13 lb (5.9 kg) at birth and, as both parents had slim builds, his father believed the child was not his. Consequently, he named the baby after a politician (and notorious philanderer) whom he despised, Republican senator Roscoe Conkling of New York. The birth was traumatic for Mollie and resulted in chronic health problems that contributed to her death 12 years later.[4] When Arbuckle was nearly two his family moved to Santa Ana, California.[5]

Roscoe Arbuckle 7

Young Roscoe Arbuckle

Arbuckle had a “wonderful” singing voice and was extremely agile. At the age of eight, with his mother’s encouragement, he first performed on stage with Frank Bacon’s company during their stopover in Santa Ana.[5]

Arbuckle enjoyed performing and continued on until his mother’s death in 1899 when he was 12.

Roscoe Arbuckle 6

Young Roscoe Arbuckle in his stage performance outfit 

His father, who had always treated him harshly,[6] now refused to support him and Arbuckle got work doing odd jobs in a hotel. Arbuckle was in the habit of singing while he worked and was overheard by a customer who was a professional singer.

The customer invited him to perform in an amateur talent show. The show consisted of the audience judging acts by clapping or jeering with bad acts pulled off the stage by a shepherd’s crook. Arbuckle sang, danced, and did some clowning around, but did not impress the audience. He saw the crook emerge from the wings and to avoid it somersaulted into the orchestra pit in obvious panic. The audience went wild, and he not only won the competition but began a career in vaudeville.[4]

Roscoe Arbuckle 8

Roscoe Arbuckle – from vaudeville to motion pictures

Career

In 1904, Sid Grauman invited Arbuckle to sing in his new Unique Theater in San Francisco, beginning a long friendship between the two.[7][8] He then joined the Pantages Theatre Group touring the West Coast of the United States and in 1906 played the Orpheum Theater in Portland, Oregon in a vaudeville troupe organized by Leon Errol. Arbuckle became the main act and the group took their show on tour.[9]

Roscoe Arbuckle 9

The Pantages Theatre Group at the Savoy Theatre, Palace Grand Theatre, Yukon

On August 6, 1908, Arbuckle married Minta Durfee (1889–1975), the daughter of Charles Warren Durfee and Flora Adkins.

Durfee starred in many early comedy films, often with Arbuckle.[10][11] They made a strange couple, as Minta was short and petite while Arbuckle tipped the scales at 300 lbs.[4] Arbuckle then joined the Morosco Burbank Stock vaudeville company and went on a tour of China and Japan returning in early 1909.[12]

Roscoe Arbuckle 66

Roscoe Arbuckle and Minta Durfee in a promotional photo for an early Mack Sennett film

Roscoe Arbuckle 11

Roscoe Arbuckle and Minta Durfee in Fatty’s Chance Acquaintance (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1915)

Arbuckle began his film career with the Selig Polyscope Company in July 1909 when he appeared in Ben’s Kid.

Arbuckle appeared sporadically in Selig one-reelers until 1913, moved briefly to Universal Pictures and became a star in producer-director Mack Sennett‘s Keystone Cops comedies (However, according to the Motion Picture Studio Directory for 1919 and 1921, Arbuckle began his screen career with Keystone in 1913 as an extra for $3 a day (equivalent to approximately $74 in 2017 dollars[1]), working his way up through the acting ranks to become a lead player and director.)

Keystone Cops

Roscoe Arbuckle in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops

Although his large size was undoubtedly part of his comedic appeal Arbuckle was self-conscious about his weight and refused to use it to get “cheap” laughs. For example, he would not allow himself to be stuck in a doorway or chair.[citation needed]

Arbuckle was a talented singer. After famed operatic tenor Enrico Caruso heard him sing, he urged the comedian to “…give up this nonsense you do for a living, with training you could become the second greatest singer in the world.”[13]

Roscoe Arbuckle 13

Roscoe Arbuckle in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops

Screen comedian

 

Despite his physical size, Arbuckle was remarkably agile and acrobatic. Director Mack Sennett, when recounting his first meeting with Arbuckle, noted that he “skipped up the stairs as lightly as Fred Astaire“; and, “without warning went into a feather light step, clapped his hands and did a backward somersault as graceful as a girl tumbler”.

His comedies are noted as rollicking and fast-paced, have many chase scenes, and feature sight gags. Arbuckle was fond of the “pie in the face“, a comedy cliché that has come to symbolize silent-film-era comedy itself. The earliest known pie thrown in film was in the June 1913 Keystone one-reeler A Noise from the Deep, starring Arbuckle and frequent screen partner Mabel Normand.

Roscoe Arbuckle 14

Roscoe Arbuckle and Mabel Normand in A Noise from the Deep (Mack Sennett, 1913)

Roscoe Arbuckle 15

Roscoe Arbuckle and Mabel Normand in  Fatty’s Wine Party (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1914)

In 1914, Paramount Pictures made the then-unheard-of offer of US$1,000-a-day plus 25% of all profits and complete artistic control to make movies with Arbuckle and Normand. The movies were so lucrative and popular that in 1918 they offered Arbuckle a three-year, $3 million contract (equivalent to about $49,000,000 in 2017 dollars[1]).[14]

Roscoe Arbuckle 16

Roscoe Arbuckle and Mabel Normand in Fatty and Mabel Adrift (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1916)

By 1916, Arbuckle was experiencing serious health problems. An infection that developed on his leg became a carbuncle so severe that doctors considered amputation. Although Arbuckle was able to keep his leg, he became addicted to the pain killer morphine.

Following his recovery, Arbuckle started his own film company, Comique, in partnership with Joseph Schenck. Although Comique produced some of the best short pictures of the silent era, in 1918 Arbuckle transferred his controlling interest in the company to Buster Keaton and accepted Paramount’s $3 million offer to make up to 18 feature films over three years.[4]

Roscoe Arbuckle 19

Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton in Good Night, Nurse! (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1918)

Roscoe Arbuckle 18

Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton in Coney Island (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1917)

Roscoe Arbuckle 17

Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton in The Garage (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1920)

Arbuckle disliked his screen nickname. “Fatty” had also been Arbuckle’s nickname since school; “It was inevitable”, he said. He weighed 185lb (13st 3lb, 84kg) when he was 12. Fans also called Roscoe “The Prince of Whales” and “The Balloonatic”.

However, the name Fatty identifies the character that Arbuckle portrayed on-screen (usually a naive hayseed)—not Arbuckle himself. When Arbuckle portrayed a female, the character was named “Miss Fatty”, as in the film Miss Fatty’s Seaside Lovers.

Arbuckle discouraged anyone from addressing him as “Fatty” off-screen, and when they did so his usual response was, “I’ve got a name, you know.”[15]

Roscoe Arbuckle 20

Roscoe Arbuckle in Miss Fatty’s Seaside Lovers (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1915)

Scandal

This 1922 Vanity Fair caricature by Ralph Barton[16] shows the famous people who, he imagined, left work each day in Hollywood; use cursor to identify individual figures.

On September 5, 1921, Arbuckle took a break from his hectic film schedule and, despite suffering from second-degree burns to both buttocks from an accident on set, drove to San Francisco with two friends, Lowell Sherman and Fred Fishback.

Lowell Sherman 1

Lowell Sherman

Fread Fishbach 1

Fred Fishbach (on the left) with Fred Hibbard and Edith Roberts

The three checked into three rooms at the St. Francis Hotel: 1219 for Arbuckle and Fishback to share, 1221 for Sherman, and 1220 designated as a party room.

Several women were invited to the suite. During the carousing, a 26-year-old aspiring actress named Virginia Rappe was found seriously ill in room 1219 and was examined by the hotel doctor, who concluded her symptoms were mostly caused by intoxication, and gave her morphine to calm her. Rappe was not hospitalized until two days after the incident.[2]

Virginia Rappe 1

Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe 2

Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe 3

Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe 4

 Suite 1221 of St. Francis Hotel shortly after Arbuckle’s party

Virginia Rappe suffered from chronic cystitis,[17] a condition that liquor irritated dramatically. Her heavy drinking habits and the poor quality of the era’s bootleg alcohol could leave her in severe physical distress.

She developed a reputation for over-imbibing at parties, then drunkenly tearing at her clothes from the resulting physical pain. But by the time of the St. Francis Hotel party, her reproductive health was a greater concern. Despite reports trying to paint her in a bad light, the autopsy revealed she never had any abortion nor was pregnant.

At the hospital, Rappe’s companion at the party, Bambina Maude Delmont, told Rappe’s doctor that Arbuckle had raped her friend.

Roscoe Arbuckle 21

Roscoe Arbuckle Trial

Roscoe Arbuckle 22

Roscoe Arbuckle Trial

Roscoe Arbuckle 23

Police photos of Roscoe Arbuckle

The doctor examined Rappe but found no evidence of rape. Rappe died one day after her hospitalization of peritonitis, caused by a ruptured bladder. Delmont then told police that Arbuckle raped Rappe, and the police concluded that the impact Arbuckle’s overweight body had on Rappe eventually caused her bladder to rupture.[2]

Rappe’s manager Al Semnacker (at a later press conference) accused Arbuckle of using a piece of ice to simulate sex with her, which led to the injuries.[18] By the time the story was reported in newspapers, the object had evolved into being a Coca-Cola or champagne bottle, instead of a piece of ice. In fact, witnesses testified that Arbuckle rubbed the ice on Rappe’s stomach to ease her abdominal pain. Arbuckle denied any wrongdoing. Delmont later made a statement incriminating Arbuckle to the police in an attempt to extort money from Arbuckle’s attorneys.[19]

Roscoe Arbuckle 24

Newspaper coverage of the Arbuckle trial

Roscoe Arbuckle 25

Newspaper coverage of the Arbuckle trial

Roscoe Arbuckle 26

Newspaper coverage of the Arbuckle trial

Arbuckle’s trial was a major media event; William Randolph Hearst‘s nationwide newspaper chain exploited the situation with exaggerated and sensationalized stories.

The story was fueled by yellow journalism, with the newspapers portraying him as a gross lecher who used his weight to overpower innocent girls. Hearst was gratified by the profits he accrued during the Arbuckle scandal, and later said that it had “sold more newspapers than any event since the sinking of the Lusitania.[20]Morality groups called for Arbuckle to be sentenced to death. The resulting scandal destroyed Arbuckle’s career and his personal life.

Roscoe Arbuckle 27

Newspaper coverage of the Arbuckle trial and sensationalist reporting

Arbuckle was regarded by those who knew him closely as a good-natured man who was shy with women; he has been described as “the most chaste man in pictures”.[4] However, studio executives, fearing negative publicity by association, ordered Arbuckle’s industry friends and fellow actors (whose careers they controlled) not to publicly speak up for him.

Charlie Chaplin, who was in Britain at the time, told reporters that he could not (and would not) believe Roscoe Arbuckle had anything to do with Virginia Rappe’s death; having known Arbuckle since they both worked at Keystone in 1914, Chaplin “knew Roscoe to be a genial, easy-going type who would not harm a fly.”[21]

Roscoe Arbuckle 28

Roscoe Arbuckle and Charles Chaplin

Roscoe Arbuckle 29

Roscoe Arbuckle and Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton reportedly did make one public statement in support of Arbuckle’s innocence which earned him a mild reprimand from the studio where he worked.

Film actor William S. Hart, who had never met or worked with Arbuckle, made a number of damaging public statements in which he presumed that Arbuckle was guilty. Arbuckle later wrote a premise for a film parodying Hart as a thief, bully, and wife beater, which Keaton purchased from him.

The following year in 1922, Keaton co-wrote, directed and starred in The Frozen North, the resulting film, and as a result, Hart refused to speak to Keaton for many years.[22][23]

William S Hart 1

William S Hart

Buster Keaton 1

Buster Keaton in The Frozen North (Edward F Cline and Buster Keaton, 1922)

Trials

The prosecutor, San Francisco District Attorney Matthew Brady, an intensely ambitious man who planned to run for governor, made public pronouncements of Arbuckle’s guilt and pressured witnesses to make false statements. Brady at first used Delmont as his star witness during the indictment hearing.[2]

The defense had also obtained a letter from Delmont admitting to a plan to extort payment from Arbuckle. In view of Delmont’s constantly changing story, her testimony would have ended any chance of going to trial.

Ultimately, the judge found no evidence of rape. After hearing testimony from one of the party guests, Zey Prevon, that Rappe told her “Roscoe hurt me” on her deathbed, the judge decided that Arbuckle could be charged with first-degree murder. Brady had originally planned to seek the death penalty. The charge was later reduced to manslaughter.[2]

Roscoe Arbuckle 33

 

First trial

On September 17, 1921, Arbuckle was arrested and arraigned on the charges of manslaughter, but arranged bail after nearly three weeks in jail.

The trial began November 14, 1921, in the city courthouse in San Francisco.[2] Arbuckle’s defense lawyer was Gavin McNab, a professional and competent local attorney that Arbuckle hired as his lead defense counsel.

The principal witness was Ms. Zey Prevon, a guest at the party.[24] At the beginning of the trial Arbuckle told his already-estranged wife, Minta Durfee, that he did not harm Rappe; she believed him and appeared regularly in the courtroom to support him. Public feeling was so negative that she was later shot at while entering the courthouse.[20]

Brady’s first witnesses during the trial included Betty Campbell, a model, who attended the September 5 party and testified that she saw Arbuckle with a smile on his face hours after the alleged rape occurred; Grace Hultson, a local hospital nurse who testified it was very likely that Arbuckle raped Rappe and bruised her body in the process; and Dr. Edward Heinrich, a local criminologist who claimed he found Arbuckle’s fingerprints smeared with Rappe’s blood on room 1219’s bathroom door.

Roscoe Arbuckle 34

Dr. Arthur Beardslee, the hotel doctor who had examined Rappe, testified that an external force seemed to have damaged the bladder. During cross-examination, Betty Campbell, however, revealed that Brady threatened to charge her with perjury if she did not testify against Arbuckle. Dr. Heinrich’s claim to have found fingerprints was cast into doubt after McNab produced the St. Francis hotel maid, who testified that she had cleaned the room before the investigation even took place and did not find any blood on the bathroom door.

Dr. Beardslee admitted that Rappe had never mentioned being assaulted while he was treating her. McNab was furthermore able to get Nurse Hultson to admit that the rupture of Rappe’s bladder could very well have been a result of cancer, and that the bruises on her body could also have been a result of the heavy jewelry she was wearing that evening.[2] During the defense stage of the trial, McNab called various pathology experts who testified that although Rappe’s bladder had ruptured, there was evidence of chronic inflammation and no evidence of any pathological changes preceding the rupture; in other words, there was no external cause for the rupture.[citation needed]

Roscoe Arbuckle 35

Roscoe Arbuckle and his defence team in the Courtroom

On November 28, Arbuckle testified as the defense’s final witness. Arbuckle was simple, direct, and unflustered in both direct and cross examination. In his testimony, Arbuckle claimed that Rappe (whom he testified that he had known for five or six years) came into the party room (1220) around noon that day, and that some time afterward Mae Taub (daughter-in-law of Billy Sunday) asked him for a ride into town, so he went to his room (1219) to change his clothes and discovered Rappe in the bathroom vomiting in the toilet.

Arbuckle then claimed Rappe told him she felt ill and asked to lie down, and that he carried her into the bedroom and asked a few of the party guests to help treat her. When Arbuckle and a few of the guests re-entered the room, they found Rappe on the floor near the bed tearing at her clothing and going into violent convulsions. To calm Rappe down, they placed her in a bathtub of cool water. Arbuckle and Fischbach then took her to room 1227 and called the hotel manager and doctor. After the doctor declared that Rappe was just drunk, Arbuckle then drove Taub to town.

Roscoe Arbuckle 38

During the whole trial, the prosecution presented medical descriptions of Rappe’s bladder as evidence that she had an illness. In his testimony, Arbuckle denied he had any knowledge of Rappe’s illness. During cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Leo Friedman aggressively grilled Arbuckle over the fact that he refused to call a doctor when he found Rappe sick, and argued that he refused to do so because he knew of Rappe’s illness and saw a perfect opportunity to rape and kill her.

Arbuckle calmly maintained that he never physically hurt or sexually assaulted Rappe in any way during the September 5 party, and he also claimed that he never made any inappropriate sexual advances against any woman in his life. After over two weeks of testimony with 60 prosecution and defense witnesses, including 18 doctors who testified about Rappe’s illness, the defense rested. On December 4, 1921, the jury returned five days later deadlocked after nearly 44 hours of deliberation with a 10–2 not guilty verdict, and a mistrial was declared.[2]

Arbuckle’s attorneys later concentrated their attention on one woman named Helen Hubbard who had told jurors that she would vote guilty “until hell freezes over”. She refused to look at the exhibits or read the trial transcripts, having made up her mind in the courtroom. Hubbard’s husband was a lawyer who did business with the D.A.’s office,[25] and expressed surprise that she was not challenged when selected for the jury pool.

Roscoe Arbuckle 39

Roscoe Arbuckle Trial – Newspaper Coverage

While much attention was paid to Hubbard after the trial, some other jury members felt Arbuckle was guilty but not beyond a reasonable doubt, and various jurors joined Hubbard in voting to convict, including – repeatedly at the end – Thomas Kilkenny.

Arbuckle researcher Joan Myers describes the political climate and the media attention to the presence of women on juries (which had only been legal for four years at the time), and how Arbuckle’s defense immediately singled out Hubbard as a villain; Myers also records Hubbard’s account of the jury foreman August Fritze’s attempts to bully her into changing her vote. While Hubbard offered explanations on her vote whenever challenged, Kilkenny remained silent and quickly faded from the media spotlight after the trial ended.[26]

Second trial

The second trial began January 11, 1922, with a new jury, but with the same legal defense and prosecution as well as the same presiding judge.

The same evidence was presented, but this time one of the witnesses, Zey Prevon, testified that Brady had forced her to lie. Another witness who testified during the first trial, a former security guard named Jesse Norgard, who worked at Culver Studios where Arbuckle worked, testified that Arbuckle had once shown up at the studio and offered him a cash bribe in exchange for the key to Rappe’s dressing room. The comedian supposedly said he wanted it to play a joke on the actress. Norgard said he refused to give him the key.

Roscoe Arbuckle 36

Roscoe Arbuckle Trial – Second Trial Jury

During cross-examination, Norgard’s testimony was called into question when he was revealed to be an ex-convict who was currently charged with sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl, and who was also looking for a sentence reduction from Brady in exchange for his testimony. Further, in contrast to the first trial, Rappe’s history of promiscuity and heavy drinking was detailed. The second trial also discredited some major evidence such as the identification of Arbuckle’s fingerprints on the hotel bedroom door: Heinrich took back his earlier testimony from the first trial and testified that the fingerprint evidence was likely faked. The defense was so convinced of an acquittal that Arbuckle was not called to testify. Arbuckle’s lawyer, McNab, made no closing argument to the jury. However, some jurors interpreted the refusal to let Arbuckle testify as a sign of guilt. After over 40 hours of deliberation, the jury returned February 3, deadlocked with a 10–2 not guilty verdict, resulting in another mistrial.[2]

Third trial

By the time of the third trial, Arbuckle’s films had been banned, and newspapers had been filled for the past seven months with stories of alleged Hollywood orgies, murder, and sexual perversion. Delmont was touring the country giving one-woman shows as “The woman who signed the murder charge against Arbuckle”, and lecturing on the evils of Hollywood.

Roscoe Arbuckle 37

Roscoe Arbuckle Trial – Third Trial

The third trial began March 13, 1922, and this time the defense took no chances. McNab took an aggressive defense, completely tearing apart the prosecution’s case with long and aggressive examination and cross-examination of each witness. McNab also managed to get in still more evidence about Virginia Rappe’s lurid past and medical history. Another hole in the prosecution’s case was opened because Zey Prevon, a key witness, was out of the country after fleeing police custody and unable to testify.[2]

As in the first trial, Arbuckle testified as the final witness and again maintained his denials in his heartfelt testimony about his version of the events at the hotel party. During closing statements, McNab reviewed how flawed the case was against Arbuckle from the very start and how District Attorney Brady fell for the outlandish charges of Maude Delmont, whom McNab described as “the complaining witness who never witnessed”.

Roscoe Arbuckle 40

The jury began deliberations April 12, and took only six minutes to return with a unanimous not guilty verdict—five of those minutes were spent writing a formal statement of apology to Arbuckle for putting him through the ordeal; a dramatic move in American justice. The jury statement as read by the jury foreman stated:

Acquittal is not enough for Roscoe Arbuckle. We feel that a great injustice has been done him. We feel also that it was only our plain duty to give him this exoneration, under the evidence, for there was not the slightest proof adduced to connect him in any way with the commission of a crime. He was manly throughout the case and told a straightforward story on the witness stand, which we all believed. The happening at the hotel was an unfortunate affair for which Arbuckle, so the evidence shows, was in no way responsible. We wish him success and hope that the American people will take the judgment of fourteen men and woman who have sat listening for thirty-one days to evidence, that Roscoe Arbuckle is entirely innocent and free from all blame.

Roscoe Arbuckle 41

Roscoe Arbuckle in Court

After the reading of the apology statement, the jury foreman personally handed the statement to Arbuckle who kept it as a treasured memento for the rest of his life. Then, one by one, the entire 12-person jury plus the two jury alternates walked up to Arbuckle’s defense table where they shook his hand and/or embraced and personally apologized to him. The entire jury even proudly posed in a photo op with Arbuckle for photographers after the verdict and apology.

Some experts later concluded that Rappe’s bladder might also have ruptured as a result of an abortion she might have had a short time before the September 5 party. Rappe’s organs had been destroyed and it was now impossible to test for pregnancy. Because alcohol was consumed at the party, Arbuckle was forced to plead guilty to one count of violating the Volstead Act, and had to pay a $500 fine. At the time of his acquittal, Arbuckle owed over $700,000 (equivalent to approximately $10,200,000 in 2017 dollars[1]) in legal fees to his attorneys for the three criminal trials, and he was forced to sell his house and all of his cars to pay some of the debt.[2]

The scandal and trials had greatly damaged his popularity among the general public, and in spite of the acquittal and the apology, his reputation was not restored, and the effects of the scandal continued. Will H. Hays, who served as the head of the newly formed Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) Hollywood censor board, cited Arbuckle as an example of the poor morals in Hollywood. On April 18, 1922, six days after Arbuckle’s acquittal, Hays banned Roscoe Arbuckle from ever working in U.S. movies again. He had also requested that all showings and bookings of Arbuckle films be cancelled, and exhibitors complied.

Will Hays  3.jpg

Will Hays – On April 18, 1922, six days after Arbuckle’s acquittal, Hays banned Roscoe Arbuckle from ever working in U.S. movies again

In December of the same year, under public pressure, Hays elected to lift the ban. However, Arbuckle was still unable to secure work as an actor.[2] Most exhibitors still declined to show Arbuckle’s films, several of which now have no copies known to have survived intact.

One of Arbuckle’s feature-length films known to survive is Leap Year, which Paramount declined to release in the United States due to the scandal.[27] It was eventually released in Europe.[28] With Arbuckle’s films now banned, in March 1922, Buster Keaton signed an agreement to give Arbuckle 35 percent of all future profits from his company, Buster Keaton Productions, to ease his financial situation.[23]

Roscoe Arbuckle 43

Roscoe Arbuckle in Leap Year (James Cruze/Roscoe Arbuckle, 1924)

Similar concurrent scandals

Although it was regarded as Hollywood’s first major scandal,[2] the Arbuckle case was one of five major Paramount-related scandals of the period. In 1920, silent film actress Olive Thomas died after accidentally drinking mercury bichloride, which her husband, matinee idol Jack Pickford, had been using as a topical treatment for syphilis; there were rumors that it had been a suicide.[29]

Olive Thomas 1

Olive Thomas

Jack Pickford 1

Jack Pickford

In February 1922, the murder of director William Desmond Taylor severely damaged the careers of actresses Mary Miles Minter and former Arbuckle screen partner Mabel Normand. In 1923, actor/director Wallace Reid‘s dependency on morphine resulted in his death.[30] In 1924, actor/writer/director Thomas H. Ince died mysteriously, aboard William Randolph Hearst’s yacht.[31]

William Desmond Taylor 1William Desmond Hurst

Mary Miles Minter  5.jpg

Mary Miles Minter

Mabel Normand 1.jpg

Mabel Normand

Wallace Reid 1

Wallace Reid

Thomas H Ince 1

Thomas H Ince

Aftermath

After the trials, Hollywood shunned Arbuckle, and he could no longer find work. A secondary effect, for archive history, was the determined destruction of copies of films starring Arbuckle.[32]

In November 1923, Minta Durfee filed for divorce, charging grounds of desertion.[33] The divorce was granted the following January.[34]

Minta Durfee 1

Minta Durfee, Roscoe Arbuckle’s first wife

They had been separated since 1921, though Durfee always claimed he was the nicest man in the world and that they were still friends.[35] After a brief reconciliation, Durfee again filed for divorce, this time while in Paris, in December 1924.[36]

Arbuckle married Doris Deane on May 16, 1925.[37]

Roscoe Arbuckle 46

Roscoe Arbuckle and Doris Deane wedding ceremony

Arbuckle tried returning to filmmaking, but industry resistance to distributing his pictures continued to linger after his acquittal.

He retreated into alcoholism. In the words of his first wife, “Roscoe only seemed to find solace and comfort in a bottle”. Buster Keaton attempted to help Arbuckle by giving him work on his films. Arbuckle wrote the story for a Keaton short called Daydreams (1922).

Daydreams  1.jpg

Daydreams (Edward S Cline/Buster Keaton, 1922)

Arbuckle allegedly co-directed scenes in Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr. (1924), but it is unclear how much of this footage remained in the film’s final cut.

In 1925, Carter Dehaven made the short Character Studies. Arbuckle appeared alongside Buster Keaton, Harold LloydRudolph ValentinoDouglas Fairbanks, and Jackie Coogan.[38]

Character Studies 1

Character Studies (Carter Dehaven,1926)

The same year, in Photoplays August issue, James R. Quirk wrote “I would like to see Roscoe Arbuckle make a comeback to the screen.” He also said “The American nation prides itself upon its spirit of fair play. We like the whole world to look upon America as the place where every man gets a square deal. Are you sure Roscoe Arbuckle is getting one today? I’m not.”[39]

William Goodrich pseudonym

Eventually, Arbuckle worked as a director under the alias William Goodrich. According to author David Yallop in The Day the Laughter Stopped (a biography of Arbuckle with special attention to the scandal and its aftermath), Arbuckle’s father’s full name was William Goodrich Arbuckle.

Another tale credited Keaton, an inveterate punster, with suggesting that Arbuckle become a director under the alias “Will B. Good”. The pun being too obvious, Arbuckle adopted the more formal pseudonym “William Goodrich”.[40] Keaton himself told this story during a recorded interview with Kevin Brownlow in the 1960s.[41]

Roscoe Arbuckle 47

Roscoe Arbuckle as William Goodrich

Between 1924 and 1932, Arbuckle directed a number of comedy shorts under the pseudonym for Educational Pictures, which featured lesser-known comics of the day. Louise Brooks, who played the ingenue in Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (1931), told Kevin Brownlow of her experiences in working with Arbuckle:

He made no attempt to direct this picture. He just sat in his director’s chair like a dead man. He had been very nice and sweetly dead ever since the scandal that ruined his career. But it was such an amazing thing for me to come in to make this broken-down picture, and to find my director was the great Roscoe Arbuckle. Oh, I thought he was magnificent in films. He was a wonderful dancer—a wonderful ballroom dancer, in his heyday. It was like floating in the arms of a huge doughnut—really delightful.[20]

Roscoe Arbuckle 48

Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (William Goodrich – Roscoe Arbuckle, 1931)

Among the more visible directorial projects under the Goodrich pseudonym was the Eddie Cantor feature Special Delivery (1927), which was released by Paramount and co-starred William Powell and Jobyna Ralston. His highest-profile project was arguably The Red Mill, also released in 1927, a Marion Davies vehicle.

Roscoe Arbuckle 49

Special Delivery (William Goodrich – Roscoe Arbuckle, 1927)

Red Mill 1

The Red Mill (William Goodrich – Roscoe Arbuckle, 1927)

Second divorce and third marriage

In 1929, Doris Deane sued for divorce in Los Angeles, charging desertion and cruelty.[42]

On June 21, 1931, Roscoe married Addie Oakley Dukes McPhail (later Addie Oakley Sheldon, 1905–2003) in Erie, Pennsylvania.[43]

Roscoe Arbuckle 50

Roscoe Arbuckle and Addie McPhail after their wedding ceremony

Brief comeback and death

In 1932, Arbuckle signed a contract with Warner Bros. to star under his own name in a series of six two-reel comedies, to be filmed at the Vitagraph studios in Brooklyn.

These six short films constitute the only recordings of his voice. Silent-film comedian Al St. John (Arbuckle’s nephew) and actors Lionel Stander and Shemp Howard appeared with Arbuckle. The films were very successful in America,[43] although when Warner Bros. attempted to release the first one (Hey, Pop!) in the United Kingdom, the British Board of Film Censors cited the 10-year-old scandal and refused to grant an exhibition certificate.[44]

Roscoe Arbuckle 51

Hey, Pop! (Alfred J.Goulding, 1932)

On June 28, 1933, Arbuckle had finished filming the last of the two-reelers (four of which had already been released). The next day he signed a contract with Warners to star in a feature-length film.[45] That night he went out with friends to celebrate his first wedding anniversary and the new Warner contract when he reportedly said: “This is the best day of my life.”

He suffered a heart attack later that night and died in his sleep.[9] He was 46. His widow Addie requested that his body be cremated as that was Arbuckle’s wish.[46]

Roscoe Arbuckle 32

Roscoe Arbuckle’s death report

Roscoe Arbuckle 52

Legacy

Many of Arbuckle’s films, including the feature Life of the Party (1920), survive only as worn prints with foreign-language inter-titles. Little or no effort was made to preserve original negatives and prints during Hollywood’s first two decades.

Roscoe Arbuckle 53

The Life of the Party (Joseph Henabery, 1920)

By the early 21st century, some of Arbuckle’s short subjects (particularly those co-starring Chaplin or Keaton) had been restored, released on DVD, and even screened theatrically. Arbuckle’s early influence on American slapstick comedy is widely recognised.[47]

For his contributions to the film industry, Arbuckle has a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6701 Hollywood Boulevard.[48]

Roscoe Arbuckle 54

Roscoe Arbuckle – Walk of Fame

In popular culture

The James Ivory film The Wild Party (1975) has been repeatedly but incorrectly cited as a film dramatization of the Arbuckle–Rappe scandal.

In fact it is loosely based on the 1926 poem by Joseph Moncure March.[49] In this film, James Coco portrays a heavy-set silent-film comedian named Jolly Grimm whose career is on the skids, but who is desperately planning a comeback.

Raquel Welch portrays his mistress, who ultimately goads him into shooting her. This film was loosely based on the misconceptions surrounding the Arbuckle scandal, yet it bears almost no resemblance to the documented facts of the case.[50]

Wild Party 1

The Wild Party (James Ivory, 1975)

In Ken Russell‘s 1977 biopic ValentinoRudolph Nureyev as a pre-movie star Rudolph Valentino dances in a nightclub before a grossly overweight, obnoxious, and hedonistic celebrity called “Mr. Fatty” (played by William Hootkins), a caricature of Arbuckle rooted in the public view of him created in popular press coverage of the Rappe rape trial.

In the scene, Valentino picks up starlet (Jean Acker played by Carol Kane) off a table in which she is sitting in front of Fatty and dances with her, enraging the spoiled star, who becomes apoplectic.[51]

Valentino 1

Valentino (Ken Russel, 1977)

The caricature of Arbuckle as a boor continued to be promulgated in the seventies by film writers such as Kenneth Anger in his seminal work Hollywood Babylon.

In an episode of the Mathnet segment of the children’s public-television television series Square One Television (Season 2, Episode 1, “The Case of the Willing Parrot,” presented in five sections over the course of a week of the overall show), fictitious deceased celebrity Roscoe “Fatty” Tissue was written as a parody of Arbuckle.

Before his death in 1997, comedian Chris Farley expressed interest in starring as Arbuckle in a biography film. According to the 2008 biography The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts, Farley and screenwriter David Mamet agreed to work together on what would have been Farley’s first dramatic role.[52]

In 2007, director Kevin Connor planned a film, The Life of the Party, based on Arbuckle’s life. It was to star Chris Kattan and Preston Lacy.[53] However the project was shelved.[54] Like Farley, comedians John Belushi and John Candy also considered playing Arbuckle, but each of them died before a biopic was made. Farley’s film was signed with Vince Vaughn as his co-star.[55]

In 2005, jazz trumpet player Dave Douglas released the album “Keystone”, dedicated to the work of Roscoe Arbuckle. It contains a DVD which features the movie Fatty and Mabel Adrift (1916/ Keystone – Triangle), starring Roscoe Arbuckle, Mable Normand, Al St. John, and Luke the Dog.

Roscoe Arbuckle 55

Dave Douglas, Keystone (2005)

In April and May 2006, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City mounted a 56-film, month-long retrospective of all of Arbuckle’s known surviving work, running the entire series twice.[56]

Arbuckle is the subject of a 2004 novel titled I, Fatty by author Jerry StahlThe Day the Laughter Stopped by David Yallop and Frame-Up! The Untold Story of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle by Andy Edmonds are other books on Arbuckle’s life.[57] The 1963 novel, Scandal in Eden by Garet Rogers,[58] is a fictionalized version of the Arbuckle scandal.

Roscoe Arbuckle 56

The Day the Laughter Stopped (David Yallop, 1976)

Fatty Arbuckle’s was an American-themed restaurant chain in the UK prominent during the 1980s and named after Arbuckle.

Stoneface, a 2012 play by Vanessa Claire Stewart about Buster Keaton, depicts Keaton’s and Arbuckle’s friendship and professional relationship.

Arbuckle is played by actor Brett Ashy in the motion picture Return to Babylon (2013).

The scandal is described during the climax of the film Middle Man.

Filmography

Roscoe Arbuckle 1

Actor

Roscoe Arbuckle 57

Director

Roscoe Arbuckle, Fatty
Roscoe Arbuckle, Fatty
Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle

Vitagraph shorts

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. “Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–”. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m Noe, Denise. “Fatty Arbuckle and the Death of Virginia Rappe”Crime Library at truTV. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
  3. Jump up^ “Year: 1900; Census Place: Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California; Roll: 111; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0077; FHL microfilm: 1240111”Ancestry.com. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e Ellis, Chris & Julie (April 10, 2005). The Mammoth Book of Celebrity Murder: Murder played out in the spotlight of maximum publicity. Constable & Robertson. ISBN 978-0786715688. Retrieved 2015-01-30. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. Jump up to:a b Lowrey, Carolyn (1920). The First One Hundred Noted Men and Women of the Screen. New York: Moffat, Yard & Co. p. 6. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  6. Jump up^ “Roscoe Always Jolly But Weak: Stepmother”. San Jose: The Evening News. September 12, 1921. pp. 1–2. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  7. Jump up^ Saperstein, Susan. “Grauman’s Theaters”. San Jose, California Guides. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
  8. Jump up^ “She Must Use 7 Mirrors”The Evening News. January 31, 1905. p. 3. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  9. Jump up to:a b “Dies in His Sleep. Film Comedian, Central Figure in Coast Tragedy in 1921, Long Barred From Screen. On Eve of his Comeback. Succumbs at 46 After He and Wife Had Celebrated Their First Wedding Anniversary”The New York Times. June 30, 1933. Retrieved January 30, 2015. (Subscription required (help)). Roscoe C. (Fatty) Arbuckle, film comedian, died of a heart attack at 3 o’clock … Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle was born at Smith Centre, Kansas, on March 24, 1887.
  10. Jump up^ “Minta Durfee, actress, 85, Dies; Former Wife of Fatty Arbuckle”The New York Times. September 12, 1975. Retrieved January 30, 2015. (Subscription required (help)). Minta Durfee, the actress who was married to Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle and became Charlie Chaplin’s first motionpicture leading lady, died Tuesday in Woodland Hills, a Los Angeles suburb.
  11. Jump up^ Del Olmo, Frank (September 12, 1975). “Fatty Arbuckle’s First Wife Dies”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 3, 2008.
  12. Jump up^ Long, Bruce (April 1995). “Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle”Taylorology. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  13. Jump up^ Nichols, Peter M. (April 13, 2001). “HOME VIDEO; Arbuckle Shorts, Fresh and Frisky”The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  14. Jump up^ Rosenberg, Jennifer. “Fatty Arbuckle Scandal”About.com. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  15. Jump up^ “Interesting facts about Roscoe Arbuckle”. Arbucklemania. Retrieved January 30, 2015Alice Lake called him Arbie. To Mabel Normand he was Big Otto, after an elephant in the Selig Studio Zoo near Keystone. Buster Keaton called him Chief. Fred Mace called him Crab. And for some unexplained reason fellow comic Charlie Murray referred to him as My Child the Fat. His three wives always called him Roscoe
  16. Jump up^ “When the Five O’Clock Whistle Blows in Hollywood”Vanity Fair. September 1922. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  17. Jump up^ “Testify Regarding Early Life of Virginia Rappe”The Lewiston Daily Sun. October 31, 1921. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Hopkins, Ernest J. (September 25, 1921). “Miss Rappe’s Manager Tells Worst He Knows of Arbuckle”The Pittsburgh Press. p. 3. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  19. Jump up^ Sheerin, Jude (September 4, 2011). “‘Fatty’ Arbuckle and Hollywood’s first scandal”BBC News. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  20. Jump up to:a b c Felix, Wanda (Fall 1995). “Fatty”The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (4). Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  21. Jump up^ Chaplin, Charles: My Autobiography, p. 270 (Simon and Schuster, 1964).
  22. Jump up^ Neibaur, James (2013). Buster Keaton’s Silent Shorts: 1920–1923Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-0810887411. (Subscription required (help)).
  23. Jump up to:a b Meade, Marion (August 22, 1997). Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase. Chapter 12 “Cops”: DaCapo Press. ISBN 978-0306808029. (Subscription required (help)).
  24. Jump up^ Daily Mirror headlines, October 1, 1921
  25. Jump up^ Fine, Gary Allen (April 1, 2001). Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept, and Controversial. University of Chicago Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0226249414.
  26. Jump up^ Myers, Joan (March 18, 2009). “The Case of the Vanishing Juror”Feminism 3.0. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  27. Jump up^ Oderman 2005, p. 199.
  28. Jump up^ Edmonds, Andy (January 1991). Frame-Up!: The Untold Story of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. William Morrow & Co. p. 302. ISBN 978-0688091293. (Subscription required (help)).
  29. Jump up^ Whitfield, Eileen (August 31, 2007). Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood. University Press of Kentucky. p. 224. ISBN 978-0813191799. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  30. Jump up^ Braudy, Leo (March 15, 2011). The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon. Yale University Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0300156607. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  31. Jump up^ Mikkelson, Barbara (August 18, 2007). “Give Louella An Ince; She’ll Take A Column”Snopes.com. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  32. Jump up^ Humphreys, Sally; Humphreys, Geraint (February 1, 2011). Century of Scandal. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 978-1-844259-50-2.
  33. Jump up^ “Milestones: November 12, 1923”Time. November 12, 1923. Retrieved January 30, 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  34. Jump up^ “Milestones: January 7, 1924”Time. January 7, 1924. Retrieved January 30,2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  35. Jump up^ “Excerpts of Interview with Minta Durfee Arbuckle by Don Schneider and Stephen Normand”The Movie Museum. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  36. Jump up^ “Milestones: December 8, 1924”Time. June 29, 1931. Retrieved January 30,2015.
  37. Jump up^ Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Music Sales Group. p. 37. ISBN 978-1849382465. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  38. Jump up^ Leider, Emily W. (May 6, 2003). Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 198. ISBN 978-0374282394. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  39. Jump up^ Quirk, James R. (August 1925). “Speaking of Pictures”Photoplay. New York: Photoplay Publishing Company. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  40. Jump up^ Oderman 2005, p. 201.
  41. Jump up^ Sweeney, Kevin W. (2007). Buster Keaton Interviews. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 192–193. ISBN 1578069637.
  42. Jump up^ “Milestones September 8, 1929”Time. September 30, 1929. Retrieved January 30, 2015Sued for Divorce. By Mrs. Doris Deane Arbuckle minor cinemactress, Roscoe Conkling (“Fatty”) Arbuckle, onetime cinema funnyman; at Los Angeles; for the second time. Grounds: desertion, cruelty.
  43. Jump up to:a b Oderman 2005 p.212
  44. Jump up^ Liebman, Roy (1998). From Silents To Sound: A Biographical Encyclopedia Of Performers Who Made the Transition To Talking Pictures. McFarland. p. 5. ISBN 978-0786403820. (Subscription required (help)).
  45. Jump up^ “Arbuckle, Star Film Comedian, Dies in Sleep”St. Petersburg TimesAssociated Press. July 1, 1933. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  46. Jump up^ Chermak, Steven M.; Bailey, Frankie Y., eds. (October 30, 2007). Crimes and Trials of the Century: From the Black Sox scandal to the Attica prison riots, Volume 1. Glenwood. p. 69. ISBN 978-0313341106.
  47. Jump up^ Eagan, Daniel (November 26, 2011). “More on Fatty Arbuckle: His Films and His Legacy”Smithsonian. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  48. Jump up^ King, Susan; Welkos, Robert (April 12, 2001). “Hollywood Star Walk: Roscoe Arbuckle”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  49. Jump up^ Long, Robert Emmet (December 11, 2006). James Ivory in Conversation: How Merchant Ivory Makes Its Movies. University of California Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0520249998.
  50. Jump up^ Mayo, Mike (February 1, 2008). American Murder: Criminals, Crimes and the Media. Visible Ink Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-1578591916. Retrieved January 30,2015.
  51. Jump up^ “Valentino. 1977. Rudolph Nureyev Dances”. YouTube. Retrieved December 24,2014.
  52. Jump up^ Farley, Tom; Colby, Tanner (May 6, 2008). The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts. Penguin. p. 262. ISBN 978-1616804589. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  53. Jump up^ King, Susan (November 15, 2007). “Screening Room”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  54. Jump up^ Schanie, Andrew (2010). Movie Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem in the Film Industry. Clerisy Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-1578603541.
  55. Jump up^ Bovsun, Mara (September 1, 2012). “Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, acquitted for murder of Virginia Rappe in 1922, never recovered from all the bad press”Daily News. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  56. Jump up^ “Rediscovering Roscoe: The Careers of “Fatty” Arbuckle”. moma.org.
  57. Jump up^ Paulus, Tom; King, Rob, eds. (April 21, 2010). Slapstick Comedy. Routledge. p. 86. ISBN 978-0415801799.
  58. Jump up^ Rogers, Garet (1963). Scandal in Eden. Dial Press. Retrieved May 15, 2015.

Roscoe Arbuckle 59

Further reading

  • Atkins, Ace (2009). Devil’s Garden. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. ISBN 978-0-399-15536-9.
  • Edmonds, Andy (1991). Frame-Up!: The Untold Story of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. New York: William Morrow & Company. ISBN 978-0-688-09129-3.
  • Merritt, Greg (2013). Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe, and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-613-74792-6.
  • Neibaur, James L. (December 2006). Arbuckle and Keaton: Their 14 Film Collaborations. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-2831-7.
  • Oderman, Stuart (2005). Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle: A Biography of the Silent Film Comedian, 1887–1933. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-899-50872-6.
  • Stahl, Jerry (2004). I, Fatty: A Novel. New York: Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 978-1-582-34247-4.
  • Yallop, David (1976). The Day the Laughter Stopped. New York: St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 978-0-312-18410-0.
  • The New York Times; September 12, 1921; pg. 1. “San Francisco, California; September 11, 1921. “Roscoe (“Fatty”) Arbuckle was arrested late last night on a charge of murder as a result of the death of Virginia Rappe, film actress, after a party in Arbuckle’s rooms at the Hotel St. Francis. Arbuckle is still in jail tonight despite efforts by his lawyers to find some way to obtain his liberty.”
  • The New York Times; September 13, 1921; pg. 1. “San Francisco, California; September 12, 1921. “The Grand Jury met tonight at 7:30 o’clock to hear the testimony of witnesses rounded up by Matthew Brady (District Attorney) of San Francisco to support his demand for the indictment of Roscoe (“Fatty”) Arbuckle for the murder of Miss Virginia Rappe.”
  • Ki LongfellowChina BluesEio Books 2012, ISBN 0-9759255-7-1 Includes historical discussion of the merits of the Arbuckle case.

Roscoe Arbuckle 60

Roscoe Arbuckle 61

Roscoe Arbuckle 62

Roscoe Arbuckle  63.jpg

Roscoe Arbuckle 64

Roscoe Arbuckle 65

Advertisements

Country Doctor, The (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Country Doctor (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Kate Bruce, Adele DeGarde, Gladys Egan, Rose King, Florence Lawrence, Frank Powell, 

14 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Country Doctor The 1

The Country Doctor is a 1909 American short silent drama film written and directed by D. W. Griffith. Currently in the public domain, prints of The Country Doctor are preserved at the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress.[1]

Plot

A doctor (Frank Powell) leaves his sick daughter (Adele DeGarde) to assist a neighbor that is gravely ill, and ignores his wife’s requests to come home and take care of his own daughter who is getting worse.

Country Doctor The 3

Cast

Country Doctor The 4

See also

Country Doctor The 5

References

Country Doctor The 7

Country Doctor The 8

Country Doctor The 9

Country Doctor The 10

The Gibson Goddess (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Gibson Goddess (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Marion Leonard, Kate Bruce, Frank Evans, Arthur V Johnson, James Kirkwood, George Nichols, Anthony O’Sullivan, Billy Quirk, Mack Sennett, Dorothy West

6 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Gibson Goddess The 1

 

The Gibson Goddess is a 1909 short comedy film directed by D. W. Griffith. It stars Marion Leonard.[1][2]

Cast

Gibson Goddess The 2

References

 

 

 

Narrow Road, The (1912)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Narrow Road (1912)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Elmer Booth, Charles Hill Mailes, Jack Pickford, Christy Cabanne, Max Davidson, Grace Henderson, Adolph Lestina, Alfred Paget, Harry Hyde, Frank Evans

17 Min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Narrow Road The 7

 

The Narrow Road is a 1912 short silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and produced and distributed by the Biograph Company.[1]

A short Biograph film preserved from the Library of Congress paperprint collection.[2]

Narrow Road The 6

Cast

other cast

Narrow Road The 5

References

  1. Jump up^ The Narrow Road at silentera.com
  2. Jump up^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress p. 125 c.1978 by The American Film Institute

Narrow Road The 4

Narrow Road The 3

Narrow Road The 2

Narrow Road The 1

Red Man’s View, The (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Red Man’s View The (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Alfred Paget, Kate Bruce, Charles Craig, Frank Evans, Edith Haldeman, Ruth Hart, Arthur V Johnson, James Kirkwood, Henry Lehrman, Owen Moore, George Nichols, Lottie Pickford, Mack Sennett, Dorothy West

14 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Red Man's View The 1

The Red Man’s View is a 1909 American Western film directed by D. W. Griffith and shot in New York state. Prints of the film exist in the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress.[1]

According to the New York Dramatic Mirror, the film is about “the helpless Indian race as it has been forced to recede before the advancing white, and as such is full of poetic sentiment”.[2]

According to Scott Simon, “the film’s title works out to mean “The Red Man’s Point of View”, and for all the film’s difficulty in making drama from a long, passive march, there’s nothing like The Red Man’s View in Hollywood until John Ford’s Cheyenne Autumn more than fifty years later”.[3]

Red Man's View The 2

Cast

Red Man's View The 3

See also

Red Man's View The 4

References

  1. Jump up^ “Progressive Silent Film List: The Red Man’s View”. Silent Era. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
  2. Jump up^ Thomas Cripps, Hollywood’s High Noon: Moviemaking and Society Before Television, JHU Press, 1997, p. 27
  3. Jump up^ Scott Simon, The Invention of the Western Film: A Cultural History of the Genre’s First, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 55-56

Red Man's View The 5

 

Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley (1918)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley (1918)

Director: Marshall Neilan

Cast: Mary Pickford, William Scott, Kate Price, Ida Waterman, Norman Kerry, Fred Goodwin, Margaret Landis, Tom Wilson, Gustav Von Seyffertitz, Leo White

67 min

Marshall Neilan 1

Marshall Neilan

Amarilly 1

Amarilly 2

Amarilly 7

 

Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley is a 1918 American silent comedy romance film starring Mary Pickford that was directed by Marshall Neilan and written by Frances Marion based upon a novel by Belle K. Maniates.[2]

Amarilly 3

Plot

Set in San Francisco during the early 1900s, the film revolves around Amarilly (Mary Pickford), the daughter of a widowed scrubwoman. Amarilly is proud of her hard-working Irish family, and takes care of her five roughhouse brothers. She is engaged to bartender Terry McGowan (William Scott), who gets her a job as a cigarette girl in his cafe after a fire unfairly causes her to lose her job as a theater scrubwoman. While working as a cigarette girl, she meets Gordon Phillips (Norman Kerry), a handsome and wealthy but frivolous young man, who is a society sculptor.

Terry becomes jealous when Amarilly starts hanging out with Gordon, and he breaks off the engagement. Gordon offers Amarilly a job with his wealthy and snobbish aunt, Mrs. Phillips (Ida Waterman). When the neighborhood is quarantined after a breakout of scarlet fever, Mrs. Phillips decides to take the time to teach Amarilly high class manners in a Pygmalion-like experiment. However, once she discovers her nephew has fallen in love with Amarilly, she turns against her. Mrs. Phillips tries to humiliate Amarilly by inviting her family over for a social party.

Amarilly 6

Amarilly is outraged and returns to her old home. She sees Terry and invites him for supper. He is delighted, and on the way to her house, he stops to buy expensive 50 cent violets, even though he had earlier passed up violets at 15 cents. He is shot by accident, and barely makes it to Amarilly’s house before collapsing. Fortunately, Terry survives. Amarilly visits him in the hospital and tells him that when he gets out, they have a date at City Hall.

The final scene is five years later. Amarilly is in a side car on Terry’s motor bike; they both are nicely dressed and seem to be doing well. Then it is revealed under the blanket she has a baby, and behind Terry is a little boy.

Amarilly 8

Cast

unbilled

Amarilly 5

Reception

Like many American films of the time, Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors required a cut, i Reel 1, of a closeup of money in a man’s hand and, Reel 4, maid opening door to alleged house of ill-fame and man entering.[3]

References

  1. Jump up^ Moviemeter (Dutch) Running time
  2. Jump up^ Progressive Silent Film List: Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley at silentera.com
  3. Jump up^ “Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors”. Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 6 (15): 33. April 6, 1918.

Amarilly 9

 

 

 

Arcadian Maid, An (1910)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

An Arcadian Maid (1910)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Mack Sennett, George Nichols, Kate Bruce, Edward Dillon, William J Butler, Henry Lehrman, Anthony O’Sullivan, Vivian Prescott

16 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

An Arcadian Maid is a 1910 American silent film directed by D.W. Griffith.

Arcadian Maid An 2

Plot

Mary Pickford plays Priscilla an unemployed maid who finds work at a farm. There she meets a no-good peddler who starts flirting with her and makes her fall in love with him. He runs up a gambling bill and asks her to help him pay his debts or he won’t be able to marry her.[1]

Cast

Arcadian Maid An 1

See also

References

Renunciation, The (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Renunciation (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Anthony O’Sullivan, James Kirkwood, Harry Solter, Billy Quirk, Edwin August, Arthur V Johnson, Wilfred Lucas

11 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Renunciation The 2

The Renunciation is a 1909 silent short film directed by D. W. Griffith and st

arring Mary Pickford. It was produced and distributed by the Biograph Company.[1][2]

Cast

Renunciation The 4

other cast

Renunciation The 1

References

Usurer, The (1910)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Usurer (1910)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, George Nichols, Grace Henderson, Mack Sennett, Edward Dillon, Anthony O’Sullivan, Alfred Paget, Kate Bruce, Henry B Walthall, Claire McDowell, Linda Arvidson, Florence Barker, Dorothy West

17 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

The Usurer is a silent short film made in 1910 directed by David W. Griffith for Biograph Company .

Griffith employs many of his favorite actors of that period: Linda Arvidson (wife of Griffith), George Nichols (in the title role), Jeanie Macpherson , who three years later will start a successful career as a screenwriter and the young Mary Pickford in a young girl invalid role.

Usurer, The 1

Plot 

A wealthy, callous moneylender finds a terrifying way to learn about money’s limitations.

Usurer, The 2

Production 

The short film was produced by the Biograph Company . It was shot – from 10 to 15 July 1910 – in New York, at the Biograph studios on Fourteenth Street [1] .

Distribution 

Distributed by the Biograph Company , this film was released in US cinemas on August 15, 1910. A copy of the film is kept in the archives of the Library of Congress and Museum of Modern Art . The rights of the film are in the public domain [1] .

In 2002, Kino on Video published an anthology on DVD entitled Griffith Masterworks: Biograph Shorts (1908-1914) lasting 362 minutes which also contained this film in a version of 18 minutes [2] .

Notes 

See also 

 

Usurer, The 3

Getting Even (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Getting Even (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Billy Quirk, James Kirkwood, Edwin August, Florence Barker, Kate Bruce, Arthur V Johnson, Florence La Badie, George Nichols, Lottie Pickford, Henry B Walthall, Mack Sennett

6 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Getting Even is a 1909 American silent short comedy film directed by D. W. Griffith. A print of the film exists in the film archive of the Library of Congress.[1]

Cast

References

  1. Jump up^ “Her First Biscuits”. Silent Era. Retrieved 6 December 2014.

Getting Even 1

 

Sons Return, The (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Son’s Return (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Charles West, Herbert Prior, Anita Hendrie, Harry Solter, Arthur V Johnson, David Miles, Frank Powell, Billy Quirk, Edwin August, Charles Avery

11 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

 

The Son’s Return is a silent short film made in 1909 and directed by D W. Griffith . Produced and distributed by the Biograph Company , the film – shot in Coytesville, New Jersey – was released in theaters June 14, 1909.

Turns out to be the first film adaptation of a novel by Guy de Maupassant [1] .

Plot 

The son leaves home to go to town to seek his fortune. After many years, back in the parents’ inn that did not recognize him but, noting his bulging portfolio of notes, plan to rob the unknown customer.

Production 

The film was produced by the Biograph Company. He was shot in New Jersey to Coytesville and Leonia .

Sons Return 3

Distribution 

Distributed by the Biograph Company, the film – a short film in a coil – was released in US theaters on June 14, 1909. The film was mastered and poured on DVD. Released in 2006 by Grapevine, it has been included in an anthology titled DW Griffith, Director – Volume 3 (1909) which has a dozen titles for a total of 112 minutes [2] .

Notes 

  1. ^ According to the ‘ IMDb
  2. ^ Silent was DVD

See also 

Sons Return 1

A Beast at Bay (1912)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

A Beast At Bay (1912)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Edwin August, Alfred Paget, Mae Marsh, Marguerite Marsh, Robert Harron, Henry Lehrman, Lottie Pickford, Charles West, Francis J Grandon

17 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Beast at Bay 3

A Beast at Bay is a 1912 silent short film directed by D. W. Griffith. It was produced and distributed by the Biograph Company. Preserved in paper print form at the Library of Congress.[1]

Beast at Bay 1

Cast

Rest of cast

References

  1. Jump up^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collections and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress (<-book title) p.13 c.1978 by the American Film Institute

Beast at Bay 4

D W Griffith and G W Bitzer

1776 AKA The Hessian Renegades (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

1776 AKA The Hessian Renegades (1909)

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith 

Hessian Renegades The 4

 

The Hessian Renegades is a 1909 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith.[1]

Plot

A young soldier during the American Revolution has the mission to carry a crucial message to General Washington but he is spotted by a group of enemy soldiers called Hessians. He finds refuge with a family, but the enemies soon discover him. After that the family and neighbors plan to find out a way to send the important message.

Hessian Renegades The 3

Cast

Hessian Renegades The 2

See also

References

As It Is In Life (1910)


Mary Pickford  1.jpg

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

As It Is In Life (1910)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, George Nichols, Gladys Egan, Marion Leonard, Charles West, Frank Opperman, Mack Sennett

16 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

As It Is In Life is a 1910 silent short film directed by D. W. Griffith and produced and distributed by the Biograph Company. Mary Pickford appears in the film.[1]

The film is preserved from Library of Congress paper prints.[2]

As It Is In LIfe 3

Cast

other cast

See also

References

Unchanging Sea, The (1910)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Unchanging Sea (1910)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Arthur V Johnson, Linda Arvidson, Gladys Egan, Mary Pickford, Charles West, Dell Henderson, Dorothy West

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

 

The Unchanging Sea is a 1910 American drama film that was directed by D. W. Griffith. A print of the film survives in the Library of Congress film archive.[1]

Unchanging Sea, The 7

Cast

See also

References[edit]

Unchanging Sea, The 2

Violin Maker of Cremona, The (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Violin Maker of Cremona (1909)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Herbert Prior, Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, David Miles, Harry Solter, Marion Leonard, Charles Avery, Mack Sennett

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

The Violin Maker of Cremona is an American silent short film made in 1909  and directed by DW Griffith . This is Pickford’s first fully credited film. However, it is presently still unclear whether she had extras roles in previous Biograph films.

Story

Cremona held a competition on the best violin. If you win this game, you may marry the beautiful Gianinna. Two people start fighting for her hand.

Cast 

 Actor Role
Mary Pickford Giannina
Herbert Prior Taddeo Ferrari
Owen Moore Sandro
David Miles Filippo
Charles Avery Worker
Arthur V. Johnson Man in Audience
Anthony O’Sullivan Worker
Mack Sennett Man in Audience

Violin Maker of Cremona 3

Little Princess, The (1917)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Little Princess (1917)

Director: Marshall Neilan, Howard Hawks

Cast: Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, Katherine Griffith, Anne Schaefer, Zasu Pitts, WE Lawrence, Theodore Roberts, Gertrude Short, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Loretta Blake, George A McDaniel, Edythe Chapman, Josephine Hutchinson, Joan Marsh, Joe Murphy

62 min

A Little Princess is a 1917 American silent film directed by Marshall Neilan based upon the novel A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This version is notable for having been adapted by famed female screenwriter Frances Marion.[1]

Marshall Neilan 1

Marshall Neilan

Howard Hawks 1 Howard Hawks

Contents

Plot 

As described in a film magazine,[2] Sara Crewe (Pickford) is treated as a little princess at the Minchin boarding school for children until it is learned that her father has lost his entire fortune, and she is made a slavey (a household servant). She and Becky (Pitts), another slavey, become close friends who share their joys and sorrows.

Little Princess The 9

Christmastime draws near and the girls watch the preparations wistfully. Their loneliness arouses the sympathy of a servant of the rich Mr. Carrisford. On the night before Christmas he prepares a spread for the slaveys in their attic. He calls his master Mr. Carrisford (von Seyffertitz) to watch their joy, but both are witness to the slaveys being abused and whipped by Miss Minchin (Griffith). Carrisford interferes and learns that Sara is the daughter of his best friend. He adopts Sara and Becky and in their new home they have a real Christmas.

Little Princess The 4

The film opens with Sarah’s father moving back to London after serving in the British Army in India. She is opposed to leaving the luxurious life of an officer’s child with a large house and many servants, and is initially shy when enrolled in Miss Minchin’s School. Her reputation as “the little princess” precedes her and the other girls are fascinated with her tales of life in India. The girls sneak into Sarah’s room at night to listen to her stories. One night, she tells “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” which becomes a story within a story with elaborate exotic sets and costumes.

Little Princess The 10

Cast

References

  1. Jump up^ Progressive Silent Film List: A Little Princess at silentera.com
  2. Jump up^ “Reviews: A Little Princess. Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (22): 29. November 24, 1917.

Little Princess The 8

Dream, The (1911)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

The Dream (1911)

Director: Thomas Ince

Cast: Mary Pickford, Owen Moore, Charles Arling, William Robert Daly, J Farrel MacDonald, Lottie Pickford

11 min

Dream The 1

The Dream is a 1911 short film, one reel, produced and released by the Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP) and directed by Thomas H. Ince and George Loane Tucker. It starred Mary Pickford and her husband Owen Moore after they left working at the Biograph Company. This film is preserved at the Library of Congress, a rare survivor from Pickford’s IMP period. It appears on the Milestone Films DVD of Pickford’s 1918 feature Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley.[1]

47cd13265547c46bab0641c111d327aa

Plot

The film opens in a fancy restaurant where the husband and a woman who is not his wife are polishing off a bottle of wine. Cut to home, where a dejected wife sits at the dining room table waiting for her husband. She briefly nods off before rousing and checking the wall clock indicating that it’s getting late. Cut back to the fancy restaurant, where the husband settles the check with a large wad of bills. The waiter obliges by helping the husband and his lady companion with their hats and coats. The other woman kicks the husbands hat out of his hand.

Six hours later, the husband strides through the door awakening his wife who is still sitting by the dining room table. He rebuffs her attempt to take his hat, whereupon she points to the wall clock. She draws his attention to dinner, which still sits on the dining table. He upends a few dishes then overturns a chair before collapsing on the sofa, cigarette in hand. Upset, the wife walks off camera and the scene fades to black.

Dream The 2

In the next scene, introduced by a title card stating “HIS DREAM”, the wife returns, clad in a form-fitting dress and a plumed hat. She awakens the husband by jostling his head. Talking animatedly, she downs a couple of glasses of wine from a decanter on the sideboard and tosses the wineglass on the floor. She drop-kicks a plate, lights up a cigarette, flicks the match at her husband, and blows smoke in his face. She pelts him with a pillow that has been lying on the floor, slings her coat over her arm, pulls down the curtains covering the door, and blows the husband a kiss goodbye. A well-appointed gentleman arrives at the front steps to their house a second or two before the wife steps out the front door and they leave together.

Confounded by what he has just witnessed, the husband grabs his hat and coat and leaves. The wife and her gentleman caller arrive by taxi at the fancy restaurant where they are shown to the same table the husband had occupied earlier. The husband arrives hot on their heels, briefly considers confronting them, but then flees, distressed by the whole affair. He stumbles out into the street before returning home. There he rants wildly, repeatedly grasping his forehead before settling down to compose a letter which reads in part “You’re not the woman I supposed you were.” Stumbling to the sideboard, he pulls out a small revolver from a drawer, points it at his abdomen, pulls the trigger, and collapses spasmodically on the sofa.

In the next scene, introduced by a title card stating “HIS AWAKENING”, he falls off the sofa and stands up, clutching his abdomen. His wife enters the scene, this time reclad in her modest attire, and startles him. He recounts his vivid experience, she comforts him and helps him realize it was all just a dream. While she turns her attention to preparing dessert on the dining room table, he pulls his address book from his suitcoat pocket and shreds it. Reconciled, they embrace and then settle down to eat the confection.

Dream The 3

Cast

References

 

Dream The 5

 

 

Sweet Memories (1911)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Sweet Memories (1911)

Director: Thomas Ince

Cast: Mary Pickford, King Baggot, Owen Moore, William E Shay, Jack Pickford, Lottie Pickford, Charles Arling, J. Farrell MacDonald, Charlotte Smith

 10 min

hqdefault (1)

Sweet Memories (also known as Sweet Memories of Yesterday and Sweetheart Days) is a 1911 silent short romantic drama film, written and directed by Thomas H. Ince, released by the Independent Moving Pictures Company on March 27, 1911.[1]

47cd13265547c46bab0641c111d327aa

Thomas H Ince

Plot

Polly Biblett (Mary Pickford), a young lady, tells her grandmother Lettie about her new boyfriend. The news provokes the elderly woman to reminisce about her own sweetheart, long time before. The touching sequence expresses the power of lives going on, the older woman aging as her grandchildren grow and knowing they will soon have children of their own.

Cast

References

sweetmem2

Lonely Villa, The (1909)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Lonely Villa, The (1909)

This is one of the earliest surviving prints from the beginning of Mary Pickford’s career. It is assumed to have been her 9th film.

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: David Miles, Marion Leonard, Mary Pickford, Gladys Egan, Adele DeGarde, Robert Harron, James Kirkwood, Florence Lawrence, Owen Moore, Mack Sennett

8 min

Lonely Villa The 3

The Lonely Villa (1909)

The Lonely Villa is a 1909 American short silent crime drama film directed by D. W. Griffith. The film stars David Miles, Marion Leonard and Mary Pickford in one of her first film roles. It is based on the 1901 French play Au Telephone (At the Telephone) by André de Lorde.[1] A print of The Lonely Villa survives and is currently in the public domain.[2]

Lonely Villa The 2

Plot

A group of criminals waits until a wealthy man goes out to break into his house and threaten his wife and daughters. They refuge themselves inside one of the rooms, but the thieves break in. The father finds out what is happening and runs back home to try to save his family.

Cast

Lonely Villa The 4

Production notes and release

The Lonely Villa was produced by the Biograph Company and shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[3][4] It was released on June 10, 1909 along with another D.W. Griffith split-reel film, A New Trick.[2]

See also

Lonely Villa The 5

References

  1. Jump up^ Choi, Jinhee; Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo, eds. (2001). Horror to the Extreme: Changing Boundaries in Asian Cinema. Hong Kong University Press. p. 111. ISBN 962-209-973-4.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b “Progressive Silent Film List: The Lonely Villa”. Silent Era. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  3. Jump up^ Koszarski, Richard. Fort Lee: The Film Town. John Libbey Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 0-86196-653-8.
  4. Jump up^ “Studios and Films”. Fort Lee Film Commission. Retrieved May 30, 2011.

 

Lonely Villa The 6

 

New York Hat, The (1912)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

New York Hat, The (1912)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Mary Pickford, Charles Hill Mailes, Kate Bruce, Lionel Barrymore, Alfred Paget, Claire McDowell, Mae Marsh, Madge Kirby, Lillian Gish, Jack Pickford, Robert Harron, Dorothy Gish, Mack Sennett

16 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

New York Hat, The 1

The New York Hat (1912)

New York Hat, The 2

The New York Hat (1912)

New York Hat, The 3

The New York Hat (1912)

New York Hat, The 4

The New York Hat (1912)

New York Hat, The 5

The New York Hat (1912)

 

The New York Hat (1912) is a short silent film directed by D. W. Griffith from a screenplay by Anita Loos, and starring Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, and Lillian Gish.

Production

The New York Hat is one of the most notable of the Biograph Studios short films and is perhaps the best known example of Pickford’s early work, and an example of Anita Loos‘s witty writing. The film was made by Biograph when it and many other early U.S. movie studios were based in Fort Lee, New Jersey at the beginning of the 20th century.[1][2][3]

New York Hat, The 6

Plot

Mollie Goodhue leads a cheerless, impoverished life, largely because of her stern, miserly father. Mrs. Goodhue is mortally ill, but before dying, she gives the minister, Preacher Bolton, some money with which to buy her daughter the “finery” her father always forbade her.

Mollie is delighted when the minister presents her with a fashionable New York hat she has been longing for, but village gossips misinterpret the minister’s intentions and spread malicious rumors. Mollie becomes a social pariah, and her father tears up the beloved hat in a rage.

All ends well, however, after the minister produces a letter from Mollie’s mother about the money she left the minister to spend on Mollie. Soon afterwards, he proposes to Mollie, who accepts his offer of marriage.

New York Hat, The 7

Cast

New York Hat, The 8

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Koszarski, Richard (2004), Fort Lee: The Film Town, Rome, Italy: John Libbey Publishing -CIC srl, ISBN 0-86196-653-8
  2. Jump up^ Amith, Deninis (January 1, 2011). “Before there was Hollywood there was Fort Lee, NJ”. J!-ENT.
  3. Jump up^ The New York Hat at silentera.com
  4. Jump up^ “The New York Hat”. Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 December 2011.

New York Hat, The 9New York Hat, The 10

The Female of the Species (1912)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Female of the Species, The (1912)

Director: D W Griffith

Cast: Charles West, Claire McDowell, Mary Pickford, Dorothy Bernard

17 min

DW Griffith 2

D W Griffith

Female of the Species 2

The Female of the Species (1912)

Female of the Species 1

The Female of the Species (1912)

The Female of the Species is a 1912 short film directed by D. W. Griffith.[1]

Cast

References

 

Female of the Species 3

Johanna Enlists (1918)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Johanna Enlists (1918)

Director: William Desmond Taylor

Cast: Mary Pickford, Anne Schaefer, Fred Huntley, Monte Blue, Douglas MacLean, Emory Johnson, John Steppling, Wallace Beery, Wesley Barry, June Prentis, Jean Prentis, Joan Marsh (uncredited), Bull Montana (uncredited)

72 min

Johanna Enlists 1

Johanna Enlists 2

Johanna Enlists 3

Mary Pickford with Frances Marion – Female Hollywood Pioneers

Johanna Enlists 4

Mary Pickford with Frances Marion – Female Hollywood Pioneers

Johanna Enlists 5

Mary Pickford in Johanna Enlists 

Johanna Enlists 6 Mary Pickford behind the camera

Johanna Enlists 7

Mary Pickford taking a picture of Douglas Fairbanks 

Johanna Enlists is a 1918 silent film comedy-drama produced by and starring Mary Pickford with distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was directed by William Desmond Taylor from a short story by Rupert Hughes, The Mobilization of Johanna. Frances Marion, a frequent Pickford collaborator, wrote the scenario. The film was made at a time during World War I when sentimental or patriotic films were immensely popular. It was an early starring vehicle for Monte Blue, the male lead opposite Pickford. The film survives in several prints, including one at the Library of Congress.[1][2][3]

Johanna Enlists 8

Plot

As described in a film magazine,[4] Johanna Renssaller (Pickford), an uncouth, freckled country lass, works from dawn until late at night. Her only love affairs were with the hired man and a “beautiful brakeman” on the railroad. The hired man proved to be married and the brakeman proved impossible. She prayed for a beau, and then a whole regiment of soldiers came along and camped on the farm. Everyone from Captain Archie van Renssaller (MacLean) down to Prvate Vibbard (Blue) fell in love with her, ate her pies, and sat in her hammock. She took milk baths and tried Isadora Duncan style calisthenics and finally fell in love with Captain van Renssaller. When the troops moved on, she rode at the head of the officer staff.

Johanna Enlists 9

Cast

Reception

Like many American films of the time, Johanna Enlists was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors required a cut, in Reel 4, of views of a nude figure in a book.[5]

References

  1. Jump up^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature films: 1911–20 published by The American Film Institute, c. 1988
  2. Jump up^ Progressive Silent Film List: Johanna Enlists at silentera.com
  3. Jump up^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, p. 93 by The American Film Institute, c. 1978
  4. Jump up^ “Reviews: Johanna Enlists. Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (14): 28. September 28, 1918.
  5. Jump up^ “Official Cut-Outs by the Chicago Board of Censors”. Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (17): 43. October 19, 1918.

Johanna Enlists 10

Suds (1920)


Mary Pickford 1

Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Suds (1920)

Director: John Francis Dillon

Cast: Mary Pickford, Albert Austin, Harold Goodwin, Rose Dione, Darwin Karr, Lavendor the Horse, Taylor N Duncan, Joan Marsh, Nadyne Montgomery, Theodore Roberts, Hal Wilson

75 min

Suds 1

Suds 6

 

 

Suds is a 1920 American silent comedy film directed by John Francis Dillon and starring Mary Pickford. The film is based on the 1904 English stage play ‘Op o’ Me Thumb, a one-act work first produced in London and presented the following year in New York with Maude Adams, a curtain raiser for her appearance in Peter Pan.[2]

Suds 4

Plot

Amanda Afflick (Mary Pickford) is a poor laundry woman working in London. She is too weak to do the hard work, but is always picked on and humiliated by her boss Madame Didier (Rose Dione). Amanda is desperately in love with the handsome customer Horace Greensmith (Albert Austin), but none of her colleague think she stands a chance of being his sweetheart.

One afternoon Amanda gets in trouble again and is forced to work all night long. All alone, she fantasizes about her first and only meeting with Horace, eight months ago. All the fellow employees ridicule her for still having faith that he will return someday to pick up his clothes. Amanda is fed up with all her colleagues making fun of her and lies that she is a duchess, coming from a wealthy family. She comes up with a story of her having an affair with Horace. Her father found out and sent her to live in London.

Meanwhile, co-worker Benjamin Jones (Harold Goodwin) has the job of collecting laundry with his cart. One day, his beloved horse Lavender is too weak to go up a hill and falls. The cart is destroyed and when Benjamin admits the truth to Madame Didier, she asks for the horse to be killed. Benjamin reveals to Amanda what will happen with Lavender and she tries to stop the horse from being killed. She eventually buys the horse and takes it into her own home.

Amanda is not allowed to take the horse into her own apartment and is noticed on the streets by the wealthy and sympathizing Lady Burke-Cavendish. She offers to take the horse to live at her country place. Amanda is delighted and accepts her offer. Later, Lady Burke-Cavendish stops by to tell Amanda the horse is doing very well. Amanda lies to the fellow laundry women Lady Burke-Cavendish is actually her aunt.

They are interrupted by Horace: he has returned for his laundry. The fellow workers assume he will recognize Amanda, since they were lied to he is her secret lover. Amanda is desperate and successfully pretends to be reunited with him. Horace is confused and wants to leave. While the laundry women are away she tells the truth to Horace. Benjamin walks in on them, initially trying to flirt with Amanda , but when he notices Horace’s presence he leaves.

Horace sympathizes with Amanda and invites her to his mansion. He changes his mind when he becomes ashamed of her. Amanda notices this and pulls back. Horace leaves and Amanda is left behind with a broken heart. She is later hired as Lady Burke-Cavendish’s personal maid and now lives in wealth. She finds out Horace is a worker at the country place and they fall in love with each other.

Suds 3

Remake

The original film was adapted to a musical written by Deonn Ritchie Hunt with music by Kim Douglas in the 2000s.

Cast

  • Mary Pickford as Amanda Afflick
  • Albert Austin as Horace Greensmith
  • Harold Goodwin as Benjamin Pillsbury Jones
  • Rose Dione as Madame Jeanne Gallifilet Didier
  • Darwin Karr as The Archduke
  • Taylor N. Duncan (undetermined role) (uncredited)
  • Joan Marsh (undetermined role) (uncredited)
  • Nadyne Montgomery (undetermined role) (uncredited)
  • Theodore Roberts (undetermined role) (uncredited)
  • Hal Wilson (undetermined role) (uncredited)

Suds 5

Production crew

  • Produced by Mary Pickford
  • Cinematography by L. William O’Connell and Charles Rosher
  • Art Direction by Max Parker
  • Costume Design by Adele Crinley
  • Assistant Director William A. Crinley
  • Art Department – Alfred L. Werker (props)
  • Other crew – William S. Johnson (electrical effects)

See also

References

Taming of the Shrew, The (1929)


Mary Pickford 1Mary Pickford Season: FD Cinematheque

Taming of the Shrew, The (1929)

Director: Sam Taylor

Cast: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Edwin Maxwell, Joseph Cawthorn, Clyde Cook, Geoffrey Wardwell, Dorothy Jordan, Frankie Genardi, Charles Stevens

63 min

Taming of the Shrew 1929 2

Taming of the Shrew 1929 3

 

 

 

 

The Taming of the Shrew (1929) is the first sound film adaptation of the Shakespearean play of the same name. The movie was directed by Sam Taylor, adapted by Taylor from William Shakespeare‘s play, and stars Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks.

Douglas Fairbanks 1929 - The Taming of the Shrew

Cast

Taming of the Shrew 1929 21

Production

The first sound version of the play on film, this version was planned as a sound film from the start. Pickford had already made her sound film debut in Coquette (1929) so The Taming of the Shrew marked her second talkie. [1] This version of the film is primarily known for how Pickford delivers Katherina’s last speech. As she moves though the litany of reasons why a woman should obey her husband, she winks toward Bianca, unseen by Petruchio. Bianca smiles in silent communication with Katherina, thus acknowledging that Katherina has not been tamed at all. Pickford and Fairbanks’ marriage was breaking down even before filming began, and animosity between the couple increased during filming. In later years, Pickford stated that working on the film was the worst experience of her life, although she also acknowledged that Fairbanks’ performance was one of his best.

Taming of the Shrew 1929 19

Reception

Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance, writing in 2008, believes “Taming of the Shrew has never received the recognition it deserves as the first talking film of a Shakespeare play. It was not only technically superior to the majority of talking pictures in 1929 but would unquestionably be the finest translation onto film of Shakespeare for some time to come.” Vance also sees the film as a window into the Pickford-Fairbanks marriage: “As a reenactment of the Pickford-Fairbanks marriage, Taming of the Shrew continues to fascinate as a rather grim comedy. The two willful, larger-than-life personalities working at cross-purposes and conveying their resentment and frustration to each other through blatant one-upmanship and harsh wounds is both the movie and the marital union.” [2]

Taming of the Shrew 1929 10

Home media

After many years out of circulation, the film was re-released in 1966 in a new cut supervised by Pickford herself. New sound effects and music were added throughout, much of the voice dubbing was enhanced with newly available technology, and seven minutes were cut from the initial print. This re-released version is the only version now available on DVD or VHS.[3]

Taming of the Shrew 1929 17

References

  1. Jump up^ John C. Tibbetts; James M. Welsh. Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century. Books.google.com. p. 225. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  2. Jump up^ Vance, Jeffrey. Douglas Fairbanks (Berkeley, 2008), 280.ISBN 978-0-520-25667-5.
  3. Jump up^ Aikman Archive DVD booklet

Taming of the Shrew 1929 4