Volume II: Filmography


Thanhouser Filmography - 1917



Synopses and Reviews

Exhibitors Herald: This trade journal, oriented toward theatre owners, printed reviews of unusual candor. In addition, numerous fillers, news items, and other mentions of Thanhouser were printed throughout the year.

The Exhibitor's Trade Review printed numerous critical reviews of Thanhouser films in 1917.

The Morning Telegraph, a New York City newspaper, provided detailed critical reviews of many Thanhouser films during the year.

Motion Picture Mail, a supplement to the New York Evening Mail, published detailed critical reviews of several Thanhouser films in 1917.

The Moving Picture World furnished detailed reviews, signed by the reviewers, of Thanhouser productions in its "Reviews of Current Productions" column; short reviews, unsigned, in its "Comments on the Films" column; and detailed synopses, from information provided by the manufacturer, in its "Stories of the Films" section. The latter synopses typically listed cast members and the roles played. Reviews tended to be favorable, and any pejorative comments were presented gently.

The New York Dramatic Mirror printed lengthy reviews of Thanhouser films in 1917, usually combining general and quite gentle criticisms with a synopsis of the scenario, usually concluding with the advice that the film would be a good one for exhibitors to book.

Variety, the weekly show business magazine, printed lengthy, detailed critical reviews of Thanhouser productions in 1917.

Wid's Film and Film Folk printed many reviews and commentaries of Thanhouser films, most of which were unfavorable.


Astra Films

Early in the year, desiring to retire from films and faced with decreasing business, Edwin Thanhouser began to curtail operations at the studio in New Rochelle. Director William Parke and a number of Thanhouser players were "loaned" to Astra, which also released through the Pathé Exchange, Inc. Soon, the loan became permanent. Prominent among the Thanhouser players going to Astra over a period of time were Gladys Hulette, William Parke, Jr., J.H. Gilmour, Doris Grey, Kathryn Adams, Gerald Badgley, William P. Burt, Tula Belle, and Inda Palmer.

Although Edwin Thanhouser in his recollections noted that he had given advice concerning a number of the Astra films, they were not Thanhouser films, and, accordingly, the Astra-for-Pathé films featuring former Thanhouser players are not cross-referenced to those players' Thanhouser filmographies in the present book, nor are other Astra players listed (unless they were once with Thanhouser).

Confusing to the readers of contemporary trade journals was the advertising by Pathé of certain Astra-produced films of this era, which mentioned earlier Thanhouser pictures in which the players were seen, as in this notice for The Cigarette Girl in The Moving Picture World, June 30, 1917: "Gladys Hulette, star of The Shine Girl, Prudence the Pirate, Her New York, and The Candy Girl, is announced in the Gold Rooster Play The Cigarette Girl - an intense story of modern city life in which intermingle innocence and sophistication, heart interest and thrills. The little cigarette seller in a fashionable restaurant, marked as easy prey by a tango crook, unexpectedly finds a rich husband and saves him from disaster."

The following article, from The Moving Picture World, June 23, 1917, also contains a mixture of Thanhouser and Astra information: "Gladys Hulette, star of The Shine Girl, Prudence the Pirate, Pots and Pans Peggie, Her New York, and The Candy Girl, all Gold Rooster plays which have been more than ordinarily successful, is announced in the first picture in which she has appeared since joining the Astra forces. The Cigarette Girl is the title, and it will be released July 8. It was directed by William Parke, director of The Shine Girl. In the cast are Warner Oland, the celebrated villain of Patria, and William Parke, Jr. The Cigarette Girl gives Miss Hulette an excellent chance to portray a character in which she is much at home. There is a rare charm to the little Cigarette, the charm of Spring, Youth and Mayblossoms. It is a thoroughly meritorious production."

Astra-for-Pathé films of the era included the following and are listed here as some historians have confused them with Thanhouser productions:

The Cigarette Girl, July 8, 1917. Length: 5 reels; Director: William Parke; Scenario: Philip Bartholomae; Cast: Gladys Hulette, William Parke, Jr., Florence Hamilton, Warner Oland, William Sullivan.

The Last of the Carnabys, July 22, 1917. Length: 5 reels. Director: William Parke; Scenario: George B. Seitz from a story by Samuel Morse; Cast: Gladys Hulette, William Parke, Jr., Eugenie Woodward, Paul Everton, Harry Benham (a prominent Thanhouser player in earlier years). In his manuscript notes, Edwin Thanhouser stated that he supervised the production of this film, apparently on an advisory basis.

The Streets of Illusion, August 12, 1917. Length: 5 reels. Director: William Parke; Scenario: Philip Bartholomae; Cast: Gladys Hulette, J.H. Gilmour, William Parke, Jr., Richard Barthelmess, William Dudley, Doris Grey, Gerald Badgley, Kathryn Adams, Warren Cooke, William P. Burt, Logan Paul, William Yerance, William Marion. (William Yerance, whose name was often misspelled "Yearance," was a stage actor with Edwin Thanhouser at the Academy Theatre, Milwaukee, nearly 20 years earlier.)

Miss Nobody, August 19, 1917. Length: 5 reels. Director: William Parke; Cast: Gladys Hulette, A.G. Andrews, Cesare Gravina, Joyce Fair, William Parke, Jr., Sidney Mather.

A Crooked Romance, September 30, 1917. Length: 5 reels; Director: William Parke; Scenario: from a story by Tom Cushing; Cast: Gladys Hulette, Paul Clerget, J.H. Gilmour, William Parke, Jr.

Over the Hill, December 1917. Length: 5 reels; Director: William Parke; Scenario: Lois Zellner from her previously published story; Cast: Gladys Hulette, William Parke, Jr., Chester Barnett, J.H. Gilmour, Joyce Fair, Richard Thornton, Dan Mason, William Sullivan, Paul Clerget, Tula Belle, Inda Palmer, Johnny Carr.


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