Volume II: Filmography





January 23, 1914 (Friday)

Length: 1 reel (1,002 feet)

Character: Drama

Scenario: Lloyd F. Lonergan

Cast: David H. Thompson (the diamond-seeking butler), Carey L. Hastings (Mrs. Burr, a wealthy old widow), Mignon Anderson (Bettina, her secretary and companion), William Noel (hoodlum)

Notes: 1. On the film title and subtitles the film name was given as The Elusive Diamond (as evidenced by a print preserved by The National Film Archive, London). 2. The valuable diamond was named Queen of the West. 3. In its June 1914 issue, The Photoplay Magazine referred to this film as The Euclid Diamond. One can suppose that the writer of that notice had heard the title but had not seen it in print!


ARTICLE, The Moving Picture World, January 31, 1914:

"Since Mignon Anderson hasn't had to put her young life in peril since she raced an auto against a train in The Plot Against the Governor, she registered a huge kick with the Thanhouser directors last week, resulting in her being told to jump from a window for a new drama called An Elusive Diamond. Here's what Mignon performed: Leaped from a second story window and grabbed to the bough of a tree on the way down. Here the weight of her own body determined the finale. It bore the bough to a distance so near the ground that Miss Anderson was able to spring off in safety! Sounds like 'press stuff,' of course. Then see the picture on its release, January 23, and guess again."


ARTICLE, The Photoplay Magazine, June 1914:

The following is a recollection by Mignon Anderson: "In The Euclid Diamond [sic] production to escape robbers I swung myself from a window 22 feet above the ground, dropped ten more, jumped into a machine I was not sure I could operate and drove for the police at top speed. The thought of swinging out the window was terrible. One mishap and - well, the director congratulated me when it was all over, so it was worthwhile."


SYNOPSIS, Reel Life, January 17, 1914:

"Mrs. Burr's favorite niece was to be married Thursday evening - and wishing to make Clementine a very valuable present, the widow selected from her collection a noted diamond which she entrusted to her companion, a bright, capable girl, with instructions to deliver it safely into the hands of the prospective bride, at her suburban home. The companion's suspicions were aroused by the conduct of the butler - and she took pains to conceal the diamond in the most unlikely place before setting out. In the suburban town she was met by a man who pretended to be an employee of the niece, sent to conduct her to the house. It did not occur to her that this might be an accomplice of the butler - and she presently found herself a prisoner in a deserted house. Her belongings were searched - and she threw the jewel case, concealed in her hair, out of the window, where her captor and his wife wasted much precious time hunting for it, the girl meanwhile making her escape. She came back with two policemen - and then it was revealed that the elusive diamond had not been out of her possession at all. It was cleverly hidden in Bettina's traveling bag, embedded in a cake of soap."


REVIEW, The Bioscope, March 26, 1914:

"Here is a modest single-reel drama which is fully as good, and which contains fully as much incident and excitement, as many a much-boomed 'feature' three times the length. Of its kind, indeed, An Elusive Diamond, is quite a perfect little film. Every inch of it contains essential action; it is crammed with 'thrills'; and yet it is all entirely natural, without any of the undue abbreviations often to be found in so comparatively short a picture. Admirably constructed, it is also admirably acted by some of the Thanhouser Company's cleverest players, including that charming and accomplished young actress, Miss Mignon Anderson, who achieves a most sensational escape from a high window by swinging to earth on a slender bough of a tree, and Mr. Dave Thompson, who gives a wonderfully finished study of the villain of the piece, an impassive, shifty-eyed butler. The climax of the story is magnificently worked up, and one is held enthralled from beginning to end. It would be impossible to desire a better play of its type. An Elusive Diamond should be seen by everyone."


REVIEW, The Moving Picture World, January 31, 1914:

"A good offering, full of snap and go and acted acceptably. Mignon Anderson, as the secretary of a woman of great wealth, is sent with a $20,000 diamond. She has an exciting adventure with crooks and makes a truly startling escape. There are pretty scenes and many popular elements that should go well."


REVIEW, The New York Dramatic Mirror, January 28, 1914:

"David Thompson and Mignon Anderson are noticeable in the cast of this picture. One of the thrills of the picture is where Mignon Anderson, in the role of secretary, so we assume, of the widow who is sending the $20,000 diamond to a friend, having been installed as the messenger, and having been abducted by some crooks, jumps out of an upper story window, and swings to the ground by grasping the bough of a tree. The diamond has been cleverly concealed in a cake of soap, and when she has succeeded in obtaining the police, who soon have the crooks in hand, she reveals the hiding place of the diamond to the great disgust of those who have striven so hard for its possession."

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