Volume II: Filmography


Thanhouser Filmography - 1915


Important Players

The October 16, 1915 issue of The Moving Picture World printed a list of important players with various companies. Considered prominent with Thanhouser were Gladys Hulette, Louis Emerald Bates, Winifred Kingston, Inda Palmer, Morgan Jones, George Harris, Tulla Hough, Ethel Jewett, Eleanor Spaulding, Barnett Parker, Francis Keyes, William Carroll, Riley Chamberlin, Lorraine Huling, Mignon Anderson, Florence LaBadie, Helen Badgley, Harry Benham, Kathryn Adams, Wayne Arey, Morgan Jones, Robert Whittier, Morris Foster, Claude Cooper, and Arthur Cunningham.

Beginning in early 1915 Edwin Thanhouser resumed command of the company which bore his name. Numerous one-reel films produced under his aegis were more than the standard 1,000-foot length. Apparently, he wanted to given an extra measure of value to his exhibitors.


Synopses and Reviews

The Bioscope, a British trade publication, printed reviews of Thanhouser films, giving commentaries from the viewpoint of English audiences.

The Morning Telegraph, a New York City newspaper, ran reviews in its film section, but as in the previous year, in 1915 such reviews were for the most part little more than abbreviations of the plot synopses provided by Thanhouser. In the vast majority of instances, it is evident that if a reviewer actually saw the film, he had little original to say concerning it. After about September 1915 the "reviews" consisted of just one to a few words describing the theme; such items are not reprinted here.

The Moving Picture World: During the year synopses of nearly all Thanhouser, Princess (later, Falstaff) films were printed. In the "Comments on the Films" column, most reviews were short, and many were highly critical. In addition, Louis Reeves Harrison, the long-term Moving Picture World reviewer who typically took a thought deserving of a single sentence and expanded it by padding into a paragraph, wrote detailed commentaries on several films. Toward the end of the year, synopses often gave the names of cast members and sometimes listed the roles played as well. The synopses were essentially the same as those printed in Reel Life, the official journal of the Mutual Program.

The New York Dramatic Mirror: During the first several months of 1915, from January through March, Thanhouser was not an advertiser in this publication, and, as a result, relatively few news items concerning the firm appeared in print, and even fewer reviews were published. Thanhouser advertisements, bearing personal messages from Edwin Thanhouser, who was trying to put his personal touch on each release, appeared beginning in April. Regular reviews of Thanhouser releases resumed in the April 28, 1915 issue, when three films were discussed. Later, in the summer, when Thanhouser advertisements were discontinued, reviews of Thanhouser films became very occasional.

Reel Life: This publication, official journal of the Mutual Program, was issued weekly and printed synopses (but not reviews) of various Thanhouser, Princess, and, later, Falstaff films, in conjunction with synopses of other films released on the Mutual Program. Today, this periodical stands as by far the best single source of contemporary Thanhouser (and Mutual) information, although certain trade news articles had to be taken cum grano salis, as the intent was to promote Thanhouser and other Mutual companies and to depict each company and its products in the best possible light. The spelling of certain Thanhouser players' names was atrocious, with Wayne Arey's last name appearing as "Aery," "Avery," and "Eyrie," for example! The implied dates given in news releases were often inaccurate, at it was not unusual for Reel Life to state that someone had just arrived at the Thanhouser studio when, in fact, he had appeared on the screen in Thanhouser films months before!

Variety, the weekly magazine of show business, reviewed only a few Thanhouser films in 1915, but those reviews were quite detailed.


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