Volume II: Filmography


Style and Arrangement Notes x.

for Thanhouser Releases 1910-1917


In the following filmographies the information is arranged in the following order, when known or deemed relevant:


TITLE: Film title used at the time of release in the United States.

BRITISH RELEASE TITLE: Film title used at the time of release in Great Britain (British release dates are listed in a separate appendix).

WORKING TITLE: Working titles are given in instances in which such are known. If a film was released under more than one title, the alternate title, preceded by the notation a.k.a. (also known as), is also given.

RELEASING COMPANY OR DIVISION: In instances, beginning in 1913, when films were released under the Princess name, or, beginning in 1915, under the Falstaff name, this is indicated in parentheses, as (Princess) or (Falstaff). In instances in which a film was released by other than the usual releasing agency at a given time, the agency is listed in parentheses, as in the case of a certain 1917 film, The Man Without a Country: (Jewel Productions, Inc.).

DATE OF RELEASE: The calendar date and week day of the film's release in the United States. The limited number of prints made it impossible for a large number of theatres to show films on the release date. Typically, a Thanhouser film remained in distribution for several months thereafter. Large theatres in important cities showed the films first, after which prints were distributed to smaller theatres in various locations. Certain Thanhouser films remained in circulation for up to several years after their initial release, although the useful life of a typical film was usually less than a year or two. The release dates of Thanhouser films in England, France, and elsewhere were always later than the release dates in the United States.

FILM LENGTH: The length of films of the early years, primarily 1910 and 1911, is expressed in feet, per Thanhouser's advertisements. Typically, a one-reel film was listed as 1,000 feet by the manufacturer, although in actual practice very few films ever measured exactly 1,000 feet. However, certain trade periodicals, including Motography and The Cinema, gave precise measurements for the same films, and in instances in which these figures are known, they are given. For example, the 1910 Thanhouser film, The Flag of His Country, is listed as 1,000 feet, representing the length stated by Thanhouser. Another 1910 film, The Converted Deacon, is listed as 985 feet, a more precise measurement taken from a trade publication. After about 1911, Thanhouser expressed the length of its films in reels, rather than in feet, such as 1 reel, 2 reels, etc. Again, a 1-reel film usually did not measure exactly 1,000 feet, and in instances in which a precise figure is known, this is given in parentheses after the reel length. An example is provided by Old Jackson's Girl, a 1914 film which Thanhouser listed as 2 reels in length, but which The Cinema, a trade magazine, states is 1,797 feet; this is listed in the present work as: 2 reels (1,797 feet). In another instance, that of The Six-Cent Loaf, a 1915 film, Thanhouser listed it as 2 reels but the actual length was only 1,300 feet. Similarly The Runaway Princess, a three-reel 1914 film, was just 2,204 feet long. The Ward of the King, billed as a two-reel film in 1913, was in actuality just 1,193 feet in length. In instances in which a reel is split, and has more than one subject on it, this is indicated. Prints of a given film were apt to vary in length when shown in different areas, due to the removal of certain scenes because of local or state censorship and also due to the addition of frames giving notice that a film had been passed by certain boards of censors.

CHARACTER: The character of the film: drama, comedy, documentary, or whatever, as typically taken from Thanhouser's advertisements or news releases. In some instances a release was called a drama in one notice and a comedy in another, etc., and this is also indicated. In numerous instances Thanhouser indicated a particular film was a drama, while reviewers considered it to be a comedy. Items within quotation marks are direct quotations from Thanhouser publicity.

DIRECTOR: The identity of the director, usually called the "producer" or "manager" in the early years, is given when known. It was not until about 1916 that Thanhouser identified directors for most films, and even then this credit was often omitted.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: The identity of the assistant director, if there was one and if such is known, is given.

SCENARIO: The author of the scenario is given when known. If the scenario was derived from a book, play, poem, or other known source, this is indicated.

CAMERAMAN: Throughout the history of Thanhouser releases, 1910-1917, the cameraman was not identified in advertising. However, from interviews, trade magazine articles, and biographical sketches many attributions have been made.

CAST: Cast members and the roles played are listed, with the latter given in parentheses when known. In many instances, especially among early Thanhouser films, the identities of cast members are not known today, or only a few names are known, even though a film may have had many cast members. In such instances, the known players are listed, even though they may not have been the only players or may not have had the leading roles. For example, among 1910 films Marie Eline (the Thanhouser Kid) was often mentioned in advertising or in reviews, but other cast members were not. Thus, others in certain early films, even though they may had more important parts than Miss Eline, are not listed. In some instances (in the film Jane Eyre for example) certain character names assigned by Thanhouser differ from those in the literary work from which the film scenario was adapted. In such instances the names assigned by Thanhouser are given. In a number of instances the character names given in Thanhouser publicity differ from those used in subtitles in the film itself. For example, in the 1915 film, Mme. Blanche, Beauty Doctor, the guardian of Mme. Blanche, played by Riley Chamberlin, was named Simon Southwick in publicity but in the film he was known as Adolphus H. Gray. In many instances the synopses furnished by Thanhouser gave specific names to the characters, but no names were used in the film itself.

LOCATION: The geographical area in which the film was photographed. For titles for which no location is given, the subject was usually filmed in or near the New Rochelle, New York studio.

NOTES: Title errors, variant release dates, and other information is given.

BACKGROUND OF THE SCENARIO: Under this heading, primarily used for films based upon previously published literature, the background of the play, poem, etc. from which the scenario was derived is given.

ADVERTISEMENTS: In many instances, advertisements featuring the films are given. In instances in which more than one advertisement is listed, they are given in chronological order. Typically, the same advertisements appeared in several different trade magazines. Unless stated otherwise, the advertisements were placed by Thanhouser or its distribution agency.

ARTICLES: Articles about the films are given, listed in the chronological order of the articles' appearance. In many instances, such articles are based upon the manufacturer's synopses and are often little different from the synopses to follow. Typically, the same articles, sometimes slightly paraphrased, appeared in several different trade magazines.

SYNOPSES: A synopsis, usually just one, is given for each film, except for rare instances in which the author could not locate such. Usually, synopses printed in various American trade publications were identical to each other, although in many instances the longest or most expanded synopses were to be found in The Moving Picture News and, after mid-1913, in Reel Life. Certain trade magazines such as The Billboard printed abbreviated synopses.

REVIEWS: Reviews are listed in alphabetical order by the title of the publication in which they appeared. In many instances the description of the story line found in a review of a given film will differ from the story line in the synopsis, particularly with regard to the relationships of cast members with each other (sister, mother, cousin, etc.).

MODERN SYNOPSIS: In certain instances in which the present author has viewed a surviving print of the film and has listed his observations, this is given last under the heading "Modern Synopsis." The original subtitles of the film are listed in capital letters, followed by the author's observations and commentary.

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.