Volume II: Filmography



Working title: RICHELIEU

March 1, 1914 (Sunday)

Length: 4 reels

Character: Drama; Thanhouser Big Production

Director: W. Eugene Moore

Scenario: Lloyd F. Lonergan from a story by Bulwer-Lytton

Cast: James Cruze (Richelieu), Florence LaBadie (Julie de Mortemar, his ward), Morris Foster (Chevalier Adrian de Mauprat), Nolan Gane (Francois), Justus D. Barnes (Huguet), Arthur Bauer (Joseph), Lila Chester (Marion DeLorme), Frank L. Gereghty, George Barnes

Notes: 1. A scene from this film was used to illustrate the cover of the May 9, 1914 issue of The Moving Picture World. 2. This film was advertised as marking the Thanhouser film debut of Nolan Gane, an adult actor who had been on the stage since he was 13 years old. However, this is not correct. He appeared in The Farmer's Daughters, released on September 28, 1913. 3. This film was originally titled Richelieu, but then it was learned that Universal had produced a film with this title, so a change was made.


BACKGROUND OF THE SCENARIO: This work was created by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (first Baron Lytton), born the son of General Bulwer in 1803, and educated at Trinity College. He became a member of Parliament, representing St. Ives and Lincoln, drawing upon his literary efforts to support his lifestyle. Later he was Secretary for the Colonies in 1858 and 1859. In 1866 he was named Baron Lytton of Knebworth. The Thanhouser scenario was adapted from Richelieu, a play published in 1838 and performed in London in March 1839. Two of his other plays were successful in their time, but since have been forgotten, although The Lady of Lyons was familiar to audiences into the 20th century. His novel, The Last Days of Pompeii, is his best known work. Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton died in 1873. His son, Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, was also a well-known writer.


ADVERTISEMENT, The Moving Picture World, February 28, 1914:

"One good film deserves another, and so Joseph in the Land of Egypt is followed by Cardinal Richelieu's Ward.... You never saw so dramatic a version of this famous theme! The film was the first Thanhouser Big Production produced in its entirety in the great new Thanhouser studio. For some of the immense sets, we use the entire vast new stage - half a city block long! Cardinal Richelieu's Ward is a monument to the production possibilities of the new studio. When you see it you will have realized that we have only just begun to make BIG Productions...."


SYNOPSIS, Reel Life, March 21, 1914:

"Intrigue and conspiracy, plot and counterplot ruled the court in the days of Louis XIII, king of France. Scandal and suspicion nurtured themselves on each other, and no man or woman was long at ease in court circles. The attitude of the king toward things mundane had contaminated the court, and the unrest and uneasiness was spreading among the populace. In such an atmosphere, Cardinal Richelieu, one of the most powerful and influential men of the day, found it necessary to watch vigilantly over his ward, Julie de Mortemar. She was a beautiful little creature, full of life, with the abandon of youth and endowed with lustrous brown eyes and a wealth of hair to match them. Small wonder was it that Louis XIII himself became enamored of Julie, and that the King's favorite, Count de Baradas, also loved her. With two pairs of such greedy eyes upon his ward the Cardinal had plenty to do. How to protect Julie was the main question. But she had another suitor - Adrian de Mauprat, on whom she looked with favor. Mauprat was an attractive fellow, a soldier of fortune, and Julie loved him. So the Cardinal married his ward to de Mauprat to protect her from the King.

"Naturally this move did not please either the King or Count de Baradas. When Baradas went to the King and asked him to issue an order annulling the marriage, his plan was welcomed. Louis XIII issued the order and went further. He demanded that Julie return to the court. Baradas, essentially a plotter, was busy meanwhile with conspiracies other than those of love. Together with Gaston, Duke of Orleans, a brother of Louis XIII, he was planning to dethrone the King and murder Cardinal Richelieu. By subtle venom Baradas poisoned the mind of de Mauprat against Richelieu and induced him to join the conspiracy against the King. This made a triumvirate of secret plotters, Baradas, Gaston, and de Mauprat. Richelieu was the first object of the conspirators; his murder their first step according to their plans. In the dead of night, when the darkness made a fitting shroud for evil deeds, de Mauprat entered the chambers of the Cardinal, but chance not only forestalled the murder but lead to a change in his plans. The conspirator met Richelieu face to face. Unmoved, the Cardinal talked to the man who sought his death. In a few works Richelieu showed the conspirator that Baradas had lied when he represented that the Cardinal was de Mauprat's enemy.

"De Mauprat saw the strength of Richelieu's words. He saw his own folly and ingratitude in plotting against the man whom he revered. His plans changed, and he resolved to be faithful to the Cardinal. At the door the other conspirators waited to make sure of Richelieu's death, but the Cardinal and de Mauprat tricked them by pretending that the prime minister had been strangled in his sleep. Not knowing that they had been balked in their purpose, those who came to murder went away without having accomplished their intention. Meanwhile Count de Baradas had been busy gathering together a force of armed men. He succeeded in establishing himself at the head of an army on the French frontier. There his co-conspirators sent him a document important to him and to those on the side of the King in that it contained the names of all concerned in the conspiracy against the throne. By the aid of his spies Richelieu obtained possession of this precious bit of paper which gave him the key to the whole situation at a glance. Going straight to the King, he exposed the whole conspiracy, and, his loyalty proved beyond all question, resumed his old position at court, and in the esteem of Louis XIII. Richelieu was not the only one to be rewarded, though for what happened for Adrian de Mauprat, husband of the Cardinal's ward, was made to have no regrets for his loyalty in the Cardinal's time of great need and his subsequent faithfulness to his King."

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