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Robert W. Chambers

proprietary research for upcoming 
Miskatonic University Press 
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Title and Credits
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Cardigan  (1922)

USA 1922 B&W
Sound Mix: Silent
Produced by: Messmore Kendall
Distributed by: American Releasing Corporation (ARC) [us]

Directed by: John W. Noble

Written by: 
Robert W. Chambers  (adaptation)
from the novel "Cardigan" by Robert W. Chambers

Cinematography by: Max Schneider
John Stumar (as John S. Stumar)
Ned Van Buren

Other crew

Messmore Kendall .... presenter


Director: John W. Noble (Dir)
Release Date: 19 Feb 1922
Duration (in feet): 6,788
Duration (in reels): 7
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Cast: William Collier Jr. (Michael Cardigan)
Betty Carpenter (Silver Heels)
Thomas Cummings (Sir William Johnson)
William Pike (Captain Butler)
Charles Graham (Lord Dunmore)
Madeleine Lubetty (Marie Hamilton)
Hattie Delaro (Lady Shelton)
Louis Dean (Sir John Johnson)
Colin Campbell (The Weazel)
Jere Austin (Jack Mount)
Frank Montgomery (Chief Logan)
Eleanor Griffith (Dulcina)
Dick Lee (Quider)
Jack Johnston (Colonel Cresap)
Florence Short (Molly Brandt)
George Loeffler (Patrick Henry)
William Willis (John Hancock)
Austin Hume (Paul Revere)
Summary: In Johnstown, New York, two years before the American Revolution, young Michael Cardigan, an unwilling subject of King George III, falls in love with the English governor's ward, who is known as Silver Heels. At the outbreak of hostilities between the Colonists and the Indians, Michael is sent by Sir William to carry a peace message to the Cayugas but is intercepted by Britishers; he is saved from being burned at the stake by an Indian runner. In Lexington, Cardigan is admitted to the secret councils of the Minute Men, where he meets Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and Paul Revere and joins in the cause for liberty. Following the famous ride of Paul Revere, the Battles of Lexington and Concord prefigure the retreat of the Redcoats; Cardigan rescues his sweetheart from the advances of Captain Butler, then promises to return to her at the end of the war.
Distribution Company: American Releasing Corp.
Director: John W. Noble (Dir)
Producer: Messmore Kendall (Pres)
Writer: Robert W. Chambers (Adpt)
Photography: John S. Stumar (Dir of photog)
Ned Van Buren (Dir of photog)
Max Schneider (Dir of photog)
Source Text: Based on the novel Cardigan by Robert William Chambers (New York, 1901).
Authors: Robert William Chambers
Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
American Releasing Corp. 17/3/1922 dd/mm/yyyy LP17655
Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Romance
Sub-Genre: Historical

Subjects (Major): Cayuga Indians
Concord (MA)
John Hancock
Patrick Henry
Sir William Johnson
Johnstown (NY)
Lexington, Battle of, 1775
Paul Revere
United States--History--Revolutionary War, 1776-1783
Bibliographic Sources: Date Page
MPW 4 Mar 22 p. 85.
MPW 11 Mar 22 p. 170.
New York Times 20 Feb 22 p. 7.
Variety 24 Feb 22 p. 34.

Cast (in credits order)

William Collier Jr. .... Michael Cardigan
Betty Carpenter .... Silver Heels
Thomas Cummings .... Sir William Johnson
William Pike .... Captain Butler
Charles Graham .... Lord Dunmore
Madeleine Lubetty .... Marie Hamilton
Hattie Delaro .... Lady Shelton
Louis Dean .... Sir John Johnson
Colin Campbell .... The Weazel
Jere Austin .... Jack Mount
Frank Montgomery .... Chief Logan
Eleanore Griffith .... Dulcina
Dick Lee .... Quider
Jack W. Johnston .... Colonel Cresap (as Jack Johnston)
Florence Short .... Molly Brandt
George Loeffler .... Patrick Henry
William Willis .... John Hancock
Austin Hume .... Paul Revere

William Collier, Jr.

Synopsis:   This middling period drama, based on the Robert W. Chambers novel, takes place in pre-Revolutionary War times and relied quite a lot on the audience's patriotism for its interest. Michael Cardigan (William "Buster" Collier, Jr.) is one of many American inhabitants who don't want to be under the King's rule. However, he's in love with Felicity -- called "Silver Heels" by the Native Americans (Betty Carpenter) -- the ward of the English governor. As the friction between the Tories and the Colonists builds, Cardigan finds himself fighting for both a new country and for Felicity's love. Along the way, he exposes the treachery of Captain Butler (William Pike), and is almost burned at the stake by Indians sympathetic to the British. Then Paul Revere (Austin Hume) makes his famous ride, the battles of Lexington and Concord are fought and the Red Coats are sent packing. Eventually Cardigan and Felicity are reunited. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide
. . .
The Common Law (1923)

USA 1923 B&W
Sound Mix: Silent
Produced by: Selznick Pictures Corporation

Release Date: 30 Aug 1923

Directed by: George Archainbaud

Written by Edward J. Montagne
George Archainbaud (story)
from the novel by Robert W. Chambers

Other crew
Myron Selznick .... supervisor


The Common Law
Director: George Archainbaud (Dir)
Release Date: 30 Aug 1923
Duration (in feet): 7,527
Duration (in reels): 8
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Cast: Corinne Griffith (Valerie West)
Conway Tearle (Louis Neville)
Elliott Dexter (José Querida)
Hobart Bosworth (Henry Neville)
Lillian Lawrence (Martha Neville)
Bryant Washburn (John Burleson)
Doris May (Stephanie)
Harry Myers (Cardemon)
Miss Du Pont (Lily Neville)
Phyllis Haver (Rita Terris)
Wally Van (Samuel Ogilvy)
Dagmar Godowsky (Mazie)
Summary: Valerie West, an artist's model, falls in love with Louis Neville, an aristocratic artist. His family, scorning Valerie, elicits her promise that she won't marry him. Valerie promises Neville that she will become his common-law wife on a certain date the next summer. Before that time arrives, the fiancé of Neville's sister forces his attentions on Valerie, but she escapes to Neville's home and wins his father's consent to their marriage.
Production Company: Selznick Pictures
Director: George Archainbaud (Dir)
Producer: Myron Selznick (Supv)
Writer: Edward J. Montagne (Adpt)
Source Text: Based on the novel The Common Law by Robert William Chambers (New York, 1911).
Authors: Robert William Chambers
Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Selznick Pictures 26/7/1923 dd/mm/yyyy LP19245
Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Melodrama
Sub-Genre: Society

Subjects (Major): Artists
Marriage--Common law
Class distinction

Cast (in credits order)

Corinne Griffith .... Valerie West
Conway Tearle .... Louis Neville
Elliott Dexter .... José Querida
Hobart Bosworth .... Henry Neville
Lillian Lawrence .... Martha Neville
Bryant Washburn .... John Burleson
Doris May .... Stephanie
Harry Myers .... Cardemon
Miss DuPont .... Lily Neville
Phyllis Haver .... Rita Terris
Wally Van .... Samuel Ogilvy
Dagmar Godowsky .... Mazie

rest of cast listed alphabetically

Phyllis Dare

Corinne Griffith and Conway Tearle

Hobart Bosworth and Elliott Dexter

Doris May and Harry Myers

Ms. Dupont and Phyllis Haver

Wally Van

Synopsis:    A remake of a 1916 Clara Kimball Young vehicle, Common Law  stars Corinne Griffith as a woman more sinned against than necessary. Forced to support herself after the death of her wealthy mother, Griffith becomes an artist's model in Paris. While being kept by wealthy Conway Tearle (reprising his role from the 1916 film), she falls in love with tempestuous artist Elliot Dexter. A tragedy results, but don't worry, Griffith ends up with the man she truly loves all the same. Common Law was remade a second time in 1931, with Constance Bennett in the lead. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Valerie West, an artist's model, falls in love with Louis Neville, an aristocratic artist. His family, scorning Valerie, elicits her promise that she won't marry him. Valerie promises Neville that she will become his common-law wife on a certain date the next summer. Before that time arrives, the fiancé of Neville's sister forces his attentions on Valerie, but she escapes to Neville's home and wins his father's consent to their marriage.

Corinne Griffith


The Orchid Lady of the silent screen, Corinne Griffith (born Griffin) became a star with First National in the 1920s, her films more noted for their protagonist's much lauded beauty than any dramatic claims. Her later court testimony to the contrary, the former dancer had made her screen debut with Vitagraph as far back as 1915, when she was considered a replacement for the defecting Anita Stewart . Top stardom, however, eluded her until signing with First National in 1924. Tagged The Orchid Lady of the Screen, Griffith played a series of beautiful yet suffering women in dramas whose focal points became the star's ever-changing wardrobe. She made up for a lack of thespian talent by sheer beauty, however, much like the later Billie Dove and Hedy Lamarr . As a personality rather than an actress, Griffith was ill-equipped to tackle talkies, and is considered one of the more notorious casualties of sound.

The studio did everything they could for her, however, and the expensively mounted The Divine Lady (1929), a silent with talkie sequences, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination for playing Lady Hamilton, was vastly popular and so was Saturday's Children (1939), from Maxwell Anderson 's stage hit. Griffith's voice, unfortunately, was not distinct and she retired in 1932, after a notorious string of flops. A wealthy woman due to shrewd real-estate investments, the outspoken, politically conservative Griffith proved a fine author, whose childhood memoirs were turned into Papa's Delicate Condition, a pleasantly nostalgic family comedy that featured the Academy Award-winning song "Call Me Irresponsible."

Despite her literary triumphs, Griffith remained a controversial figure and never more so than during the divorce proceedings from one of her four husbands. On the witness stand, Griffith issued the startling claim that she wasn't the real Corinne Griffith at all, but her much -- MUCH! -- younger sister and stand-in, the original silent star having died years before. A parade of former coworkers, including actress Lois Wilson, then took the stand, all testifying that the plaintiff was unmistakably the one and only Corinne Griffith.

Earning a bit of renewed notoriety when her memoirs were sold to Paramount, Griffith herself returned to the screen briefly in 1957, when she accepted a supporting role in something called Stars in the Back Yard, a cheap Hugo Haas production about former film actors making their own home movie. Retitled Paradise Alley, the film was finally released to stony silence in 1961.

~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

Conway Tearle


American actor Conway Tearle headed for England after graduating West Point, in hopes of pursuing a stage career. He made his theatrical debut in 1892, working steadily in London until his return to the States thirteen years later. Establishing himself as a romantic lead on Broadway, Tearle eased in motion pictures in 1914 with The Nightingale. None of his silent films were particularly memorable, but he was able to build up a following in roles calling for dependability and inner strength. Such was his fame with female fans that the ad copy of his first talking picture, The Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), enthusiastically promised "love scenes as only CONWAY TEARLE can play them." Unfortunately the actor was well past 50 when talkies came in, and also reportedly was fighting a losing battle with Demon Rum. By the mid '30s Tearle's stock in Hollywood had fallen so low that he was forced to accept a starring job in a mercifully brief series of B-westerns! Conway Tearle's last film role of value was as Prince of Verona in Romeo and Juliet (1936), wherein he carried himself well despite the fact that he (and the rest of the cast, for that matter) was twenty years too old for the part. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


. . .
America  (1924)

USA 1924 B&W
Sound Mix: Silent
Distributor: United Artists [us]
Runtime: USA:141
Reels: 12
Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. Produced by: D.W. Griffith
Also Known As:  Love and Sacrifice (1924) (UK)

Premiere February 21, 1924 at the 44th Street Theatre in New York, New York.
General release August 17, 1924. 

Survival Status: Print exists in the Museum of Modern Art film archive (of the British Love and Sacrifice version).  The surviving British version differs from the American release in stressing Butler’s American birth and did not emphasize his disfavor with the British.  {Restored version: Runtime: 141 min / USA:93 min (Killiam Restoration with narration) Distributed by: Kino On Video (video)]

Directed by: D.W. Griffith

Scenario by John L E. Pell, from a story by Robert W. Chambers (also story)

Cinematography by: G.W. Bitzer
Marcel Le Picard
Hendrik Sartov
Harold S. Sintzenich

Film Editing by: James Smith
Rose Smith

Original Music by Joseph Carl Breil & Adolph Fink 
Music score arranged by Joseph Carl Breil. 

Art Direction by Charles M. Kirk 

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herbert Sutch .... assistant director
Frank Walsh (I) .... assistant director

Art Department
William J. Bantel .... director of construction
Charles E. Boss .... scenic artist

Visual Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... matte painter

Other crew
Frank J. Diem .... still photographer
Vincent J. Farrar .... akeley camera operator
John L.E. Pell .... historical arrangement
Benjamin Turner .... studio projectionist
Presented by D.W. Griffith.

D. W. Griffith

Neil Hamilton promo still

Louis Wolheim, as brutal villain Captain Hare


Director: D. W. Griffith (Dir)
Release Date: 15 Aug 1924
Premiere Information: New York premiere: 21 Feb 1924
Duration (in feet): 14,700
Duration (in reels): 15
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Movies Unlimited DVD VHS LaserDisk
Cast: Neil Hamilton (Nathan Holden)
Erville Alderson (Justice Montague)
Carol Dempster (Miss Nancy Montague)
Charles Emmett Mack (Charles Philip Edward Montague)
Lee Beggs (Samuel Adams)
John Dunton (John Hancock)
Arthur Donaldson (King George III)
Charles Bennett (William Pitt)
Frank McGlynn Jr. (Patrick Henry)
Frank Walsh (Thomas Jefferson)
Lionel Barrymore (Capt. Walter Butler)
Arthur Dewey (George Washington)
Sydney Deane (Sir Ashley Montague)
W. W. Jones (General Gage)
Harry O'Neill (Paul Revere)
Henry Van Bousen (John Parker, Captain of Minutemen)
Hugh Baird (Major Pitcairn)
James Milady (Jonas Parker)
Louis Wolheim (Captain Hare)
Riley Hatch (Chief of Mohawks, Joseph Brant)
Emil Hoch (Lord North)
Lucille La Verne (A refugee mother)
Downing Clarke (Lord Chamberlain)
P. R. Scammon (Richard Henry Lee)
Ed Roseman (Captain Montour)
Harry Semels (Hikatoo, Chief of Senecas)
H. Koser (Colonel Prescott)
Michael Donovan (Major General Warren)
Paul Doucet (Marquis de Lafayette)
W. Rising (Edmund Burke)
Daniel Carney (Personal servant of Miss Montague)
E. Scanlon (Household servant at Ashley Court)
Edwin Holland (Major Strong)
Milton Noble (An Old Patriot)
Summary: The romance of Nathan Holden, a Boston patriot, with the aristocratic daughter of a Virginia Tory is set against the background of the Revolutionary War, showing the events that led to the conflict and terminating in the surrender at Yorktown.
Production Company: D. W. Griffith, Inc.
Distribution Company: United Artists
Director: D. W. Griffith (Dir)
Herbert Sutch (Asst dir)
Producer: D. W. Griffith (Pres)
D. W. Griffith (Prod)
Writer: John L. E. Pell (Scen)
Robert W. Chambers (Story)
Photography: G. W. Bitzer (Dir of photog)
Marcel Le Picard (Dir of photog)
Hendrik Sartov (Dir of photog)
Hal Sintzenich (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Charles M. Kirk (Art dir)
Film Editor: Rose Smith (Film ed)
James Smith (Film ed)
Music: Joseph Carl Breil (Mus arr)
Production Misc: William J. Bantel (Construction dir)
Country: United States
Language: English
Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
D. W. Griffith, Inc. 1/5/1924 dd/mm/yyyy LP20288
Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Historical

Subjects (Major): Samuel Adams
Boston (MA)
Edmund Burke
George III, King of England, 1738-1820
John Hancock
Patrick Henry
Thomas Jefferson
Mothíer, Gilbert du, Marquis de Lafayette
Richard Henry Lee
William Pitt, the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham
Paul Revere
Seneca Indians
United States--History--Revolutionary War, 1776-1783
George Washington
Note: This film was originally copyrighted as 14 reels. It was later cut to 13 reels, 12,600 ft, and then to 11 reels, 11,000 ft.
Bibliographic Sources: Date Page
Film Daily 2 Mar 1924 p. 9.
New York Times 13 Jan 1924 Sec. 7, p. 5.
New York Times 22 Feb 1924 p. 20.
Variety 28 Feb 1924 p. 22.

Cast (in credits order) 

Neil Hamilton .... Nathan Holden
Erville Alderson .... Justice Montague
Carol Dempster .... Miss Nancy Montague
Charles Emmett Mack .... Justice Charles Montague
Lee Beggs .... Samuel Adams
John Dunton .... John Hancock
Arthur Donaldson .... King George III
Charles Bennett .... William Pitt
Downing Clarke .... Lord Chamberlain
Frank Walsh .... Thomas Jefferson
Frank McGlynn Sr. .... Patrick Henry
Arthur Dewey .... George Washington
P.R. Scammon .... Richard Henry Lee
Lionel Barrymore .... Captain Walter Butler
Sydney Deane .... Sir Ashley Montague
W.W. Jones .... General Gage
Edward Roseman .... Captain Montour
Harry Semels .... Hikatoo
Harry O'Neill .... Paul Revere
Henry Van Bousen .... John Parker, Captain of the Minute Men
Hugh Baird .... Major Pitcairn
James Milady .... Jonas Parker
H. Koser .... Captain Prescott
Michael Donavan .... Major General Warren
Louis Wolheim .... Captain Hare
Riley Hatch .... Joseph Brant, Chief of the Mohawks
Paul Doucet .... Marquis de Lafayette
William S. Rising .... Edmund Burke
Daniel Carney .... Personal Servant of Miss Montague
E. Ecanlon .... Household Servant at Ashley Court
Emil Hoch .... Lord North
Lucille La Verne .... A Refugee Mother
Edwin Holland .... Major Strong
Milton Noble .... An Old Patriot

rest of cast listed alphabetically
Edward Dillon .... (uncredited)

Neil Hamilton and Carol Dempster

Charles Emmett Mack


Love of tender girlhood! Passionate deeds of heroes! A rushing, leaping drama of charm and excitement!  A Thrilling Story of Love and Romance

Plot Outline: The story of a family caught up in the American Revolutionary War.

Silent History Done Right
Slow but beautifully-mounted story of the American revolution. Griffith's story-telling eems a lot less heavy-handed than in his earlier historical epics and his tableaux work is fully integrated into the action. Lionel Barrymore is an utter swine, Neil Hamilton is poor but dashing and Carol Dempster is.... well, Carol Dempster is most of what is wrong with Griffith in this period, but she doesn't show up often enough to slow the pace and drama.

     Note that the trivia for this movie says it came in originally at slightly more than 2 hours when first released, but that no cut exists that runs longer than 90 minutes.  However, the dvd release has been presented at a slower fps rate that increases the tension and brings it back to a bit over two hours.
     Far better in terms of story-telling than sound versions, such as THE PATRIOT. While not quite in the league of Griffith's best, such as WAY DOWN EAST and BROKEN BLOSSOMS, an excellent way to spend a couple of hours. 
boblipton, New York City
24 August 2002

Theatrical release: February 21, 1924.Filmed on location in Virginia and New York.According to the 1924 Variety review, this film supposedly cost about $950,000 to make--a high figure for the time.Star Neil Hamilton later played Comissioner Gordon in the popular 1960s BATMAN TV series.According to the 1924 Variety review, this film supposedly cost about $950,000 to make -- a high figure for the time.Other crew: Robert W. Chambers (story and titles); John L.E. Pell (historical arrangement); and H. S. Sintzenich (cinematographer).


TV GUIDE:  One of D.W. Griffith's most ambitious films, AMERICA is a stirring survey of the key events of the American Revolution, overlaid with and compromised by an outdated melodrama of villainy amok.

Nathan Holden (Neil Hamilton)--Minute Man, express rider, and humble farmer--is in love with Nancy Montague (Carol Dempster), an aristocratic Virginian far above his station. Nancy's father (Erville Alderson), a Tory, opposes the message of support sent by the Virginia House of Burgesses to the Boston insurrectionists led by Samuel Adams (Lee Beggs) and John Hancock (John Dunston), who are about to flee to Lexington to avoid arrest.

The war begins when the redcoats meet the rebels at Lexington and Concord. After fighting in both battles Nathan furtively woos Nancy, who is stopping with her family in Lexington, midway in a trip north. Their tryst is interrupted by Nancy's brother Charles (Charles Emmett Mack), who challenges Nathan to a duel, but the duel is forestalled by the sudden appearance of Paul Revere (Harry O'Neill), who has come to alert the countryside that "the British are coming!"

Charles shifts allegiances and joins the colonial forces at Bunker Hill, where he is mortally wounded. Meanwhile, his father is seriously injured by a bullet he and Nancy mistakenly believe was fired by Nathan. As her father lies at the brink of death, Nancy comforts him by bringing Charles's body to his bedside. Montague is not told that his son died fighting for the rebels.

Montague recovers and he and Nancy travel to the Mohawk Valley to visit Montague's brother (Sidney Deane). The area is the site of a series of massacres perpetrated by the followers of Captain Walter Butler (Lionel Barrymore), an ostensible Royalist who is in truth a megalomaniac secretly seeking to establish his own private empire on American soil.

Nathan, who has been sent north to spy on Butler, overhears him planning to attack Fort Esperance and kill all the colonials there, including the women and the children. Nathan is forced to choose between riding forth to warn the inhabitants of the fort and saving Nancy from being raped by Butler. He chooses to answer his country's call, but Nancy is saved from Butler's lust when the captain is called away to battle.

During the attack on Fort Esperance, Butler is killed and Nancy and her father are rescued from death by Nathan and Morgan's Raiders. Shortly thereafter, Britain surrenders and George Washington (Arthur Dewey) is inaugurated first president of the new republic. Cheering him on are Nathan, Nancy, and Montague, who now heartily approves of both his new country, the United States of America, and his future son-in-law, Nathan.

A decade after his monumental Civil War film THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915), Griffith was motivated to make a Revolutionary War epic by a suggestion made in a letter the Daughters of the American Revolution sent to Will Hays, the head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. It turned out to be one of the costliest pictures he ever created but far from the most popular: its failure to turn a profit essentially ended Griffith's tenure as a major independent filmmaker.

Critical reaction was mixed. Although Variety, felt that the film "ranks with the best that this director has given to the screen" and Theatre Magazine said, "In sheer pictorial beauty, AMERICA has no equal among the moving pictures of the past," the consensus was that the inspiring historical material had been seriously undercut by the climactic melodramatics. Particularly unimpressed was Griffith's leading lady and acolyte Lillian Gish, who wrote in her autobiography: "Apart from a few scenes, the film was a heartbreaking disappointment."L Although the picture has survived as a more striking achievement than Gish and posterity have allowed, the critics were right about its split personality. Watching AMERICA is like watching a double bill made up of a good movie of some 90 minutes in length followed by a mediocre co-feature of some 60 minutes in length.

Part one of AMERICA is an involving survey of the events that launched the Revolutionary War. Most of the major milestones and talismans (such as the Liberty Bell) are invoked and the locations and colonial buildings on display are highly evocative. Framed by the immortal lines "One if by land, two if by sea" and "To arms-the British are coming!", the sequence that retells the story of the midnight ride of Paul Revere provided the American silent cinema with one of its high points. The fictional thread that Griffith and writer Robert Chambers introduced to humanize the historical drama is generally unobtrusive and, indeed, the romance between Nathan and Nancy is by and large quite charming.

The action shifts from Massachusetts to the Mohawk Valley and stock Victorian melodrama sets in, as The Shot Heard 'Round the World gives way to The Fate Worse Than Death. What had begun as a stirring saga about a group of ordinary people caught up in the sweep of history degenerates into a potboiler in which history is reduced to local color. Un-Americanism is personified and trivialized in the figure of Walter Butler, who, as Griffith expert Edward Wagenknecht noted "may have been as bad in life as he is in the film but can hardly have been quite so important; in the second half of AMERICA, the colonials almost seem to be fighting not England but Captain Butler."

The most complete and widely viewed extant print of AMERICA is the one that was prepared for release in England under the title LOVE AND SACRIFICE. Somewhat of an anglophile, Griffith probably suffered little discomfort in revising his film to placate the British. Viewers of this print will find it easy to identify the adjustments, as the most ingratiating intertitles are rendered in smaller letter than the others. (Violence.)  — Dale Thomajan

see also: 
Murray, Lawrence L. "History at the Movies during the Sesquicentennial: D. W. Griffith's 'America.'" Historian 41:3 (1979:May) 450

Corliss, Richard and Schickel, Richard
"Writing in Silence."Film Comment, XXI/4, July-Aug 85; p.70-75. Describes the nature of scriptwriting and the work of several writers in the silent period. Discusses D.W. Griffith's relationship with novelist Robert W. Chambers and reprints a playlet by that author.

References: Baer-Film p. 7; Bardèche-History p. 202; Barry-Griffith pp. 32, 33, 71, 73; Brownlow-Parade pp. 80-81, 93, 578; Everson-American p. 52; Lahue-Triangle p. 106; Limbacher-Feature p. 7; Maltin-Guide p. 32; Pitts-Hollywood pp. 6, 38, 39-41, 89, 176; Shipman-Cinema p. 82; Sweeney-Coming p. 70.

Synopsis:   This epic tale about the American Revolution broke the bank for filmmaker D.W. Griffith. Robert W. Chambers loosely adapted his novel, The Reckoning, which focuses on the battles in New York state. Griffith however, found it necessary to add a romance, so Chambers obligingly added one for him. Captain Walter Butler (Lionel Barrymore), a supporter of the king, goads the Iroquois Indians into attacking settlers who are loyal to the Revolution. Nathan Holden (Neil Hamilton) is a dispatch rider for the Boston Committee on Public Safety, and a patriot. While on a mission in Virginia he meets Nancy (Carol Dempster), the daughter of Justice Montague, a Tory (Erville Alderson). The Montagues are on hand in Lexington for the ride of Paul Revere (Harry O'Neill)--one of the highlights of the film. Nancy's brother, Charles (Charles Mack) sides with the rebels and dies during the fighting at Bunker Hill. Nancy and her father go to visit relatives in the Mohawk Valley; Holden meanwhile is with Washington (Arthur Dewey) at Valley Forge. He is sent North with Morgan's raiders to quell the Indian uprising and discovers that Montague has naively betrothed Nancy to the evil Captain Butler. When Montague finds out that Butler is responsible for the massacres it is too late. Holden overhears Butler's plan for another attack and he goes to sound the alarm, even though he must leave Nancy in the lustful clutches of Butler. But the Indians insist on attacking immediately, saving Nancy from Butler's grasp. Morgan's raiders come to the rescue, killing Butler and halting the massacre. Montague finally realizes Holden's worth and approves of a match between him and Nancy. This picture cost nearly a million dollars, got mixed reviews, and did not make its money back. Griffith made one more picture--Isn't Life Wonderful--as an independent. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide

. . .
Between Friends (1924)
USA 1924
Sound Mix: Silent
Produced by: Vitagraph Company of America

Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton
Written by Robert W. Chambers (also novel)

Cinematography by W. Steve Smith Jr. (as Stephen Smith Jr.)

Other crew
Albert E. Smith .... presenter



Between Friends
Director: J. Stuart Blackton (Dir)
Release Date: 11 May 1924
Duration (in feet): 6,936
Duration (in reels): 7
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Cast: Lou Tellegen (David Drene)
Anna Q. Nilsson (Jessica Drene)
Norman Kerry (Jack Greylock)
Alice Calhoun (Cecile White)
Stuart Holmes (Quair)
Henry Barrows (Guilder)
Summary: When Jack Greylock elopes with Jessica, wife of his lifelong friend David Drene, they are taken with remorse and she commits suicide. Later, Jack falls in love with Cecile, David's model, who loves Drene. A jealous rival, Quair, informs David about the elopement with Jessica, and to satisfy David's vengeance Jack proposes to kill himself. By mental telepathy, David prevents the tragedy and forgives him.
Production Company: Vitagraph Co. of America
Director: J. Stuart Blackton (Dir)
Producer: Albert E. Smith (Pres)
Writer: Robert W. Chambers (Scen)
Photography: Stephen Smith Jr. (Dir of photog)
Source Text: Based on the novel Between Friends by Robert William Chambers (New York, 1914).
Authors: Robert William Chambers
Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Vitagraph Co. of America 8/4/1924 dd/mm/yyyy LP20116
Physical Properties: b&w:

Genre: Melodrama

Subjects (Major): Infidelity

Cast (in credits order)

Lou Tellegen .... David Drene
Anna Q. Nilsson .... Jessica Drene
Norman Kerry .... Jack Greylock
Alice Calhoun .... Cecile White
Stuart Holmes .... Quair
Henry A. Barrows .... Guilder (as Henry Barrows)

stars Lou Tellegen & Anna Q. Nilsson

Norman Kerry and Alice Calhoun

Synopsis:   Based on a 1914 novel by Robert William Chambers, this silent melodrama from the pioneering Vitagraph Company starred one of the era's great matinee-idols, the Dutch-born Lou Tellegen. Tellegen, who had been a leading man to stage diva Sarah Bernhardt, played David Drene, whose supposedly docile wife Jessica (Anna Q. Nilsson) suddenly elopes with her husband's best friend Jack (Norman Kerry). Jessica's guilt drives her to suicide, and the affair goes unnoticed for years, until the day David announces his engagement to Cecile (Alice Calhoun) and is contacted by a jealous rival, Quair (Stuart Holmes). The evil Quair obligingly tells David of Jack's treachery, and the latter proposes to kill himself. But David, using telepathic powers, prevents the tragedy and forgives him. Between Friends was directed by Vitagraph's founder J. Stuart Blackton. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

Anna Q. Nilsson


Born in Sweden, actress Anna Q. Nilsson was lured to the U.S. as a teenager by dreams of luxury and creature comforts. Her first job was as a nursemaid, but Anna learned English quickly and was able to advance herself professionally. Her striking Nordic beauty made her a much sought-after commercial model; one of the photographers with whom Nillson worked suggested that the girl was pretty enough for motion pictures, and recommended her for a one-reel epic titled Molly Pitcher (1913). She worked her way up to stardom, and her career might have continued unabated had not Nillson been seriously injured in 1925 when, while riding a horse, she was thrown against a stone wall. Nillson was an invalid for one whole year, working arduously with therapists and specialists in Sweden and Vienna until she was finally able to walk without aid. One of Nillson's comeback films was The Babe Comes Home (1927), in which she worked like a Spartan to give her own performance while trying to make baseball star Babe Ruth look good. When talking pictures came in, Nillson, whose career had been faltering since her accident, gave up films to concentrate on charity work. Occasionally she'd accept featured or bit roles, though few are worth mentioning except for her appearance as one of the silent-star "waxworks" - including Buster Keaton and H.B. Warner - in the 1950 film drama Sunset Boulevard. Anna Q. Nilsson retired in 1963 to Sun City, California. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Lou Tellegen


At the apex of his film career, Dutch actor Lou Tellegen was considered one of the best-looking players on stage and screen. Born Isidor Van Dameler in Holland, he first appeared on the Amsterdam stage in 1903. By 1909, he had become a leading man in Paris and frequently played opposite Sarah Bernhardt . In 1910, Bernhardt and Tellegen went on a North American tour. A little later, the two acted together in three films for the Film d'Art company. One of those films, Queen Elizabeth , was a box-office smash in America. In 1913, Tellegen returned to the U.S. and launched a brief Broadway career before going to Hollywood to star in a number of silent films. At one time he was married to film and opera star Geraldine Farrar. He published his memoirs, Women Have Been Kind, in 1931. Tellegen also directed a few films. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

Norman Kerry


Of German descent, American silent screen actor Arnold Kaiser wisely changed his name to the less inflammatory Norman Kerry at the outset of World War I. With his waxed mustache and devilish smile, Kerry would become a popular leading man to such powerful female stars as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, and Corinne Griffith. But the actor's lack of thespian qualities became painfully obvious when directorErich Von Stroheim surprisingly chose him to portray his alter ego in The Merry-Go-Round (1923). Much of Kerry's inadequacy could be blamed on Von Stroheim's replacement, Rupert Julian, and Kerry was equally unsatisfactory as the nominal leading man in Julian's later Phantom of the Opera (1925). An early talkie, Bachelor Apartment (1931), only proved that Kerry had little future in sound films. He did not have a good speaking voice, a fact he tended to hide by mumbling. Offscreen, Kerry earned the same kind of notoriety as the later Errol Flynn and he generated a great deal of publicity by stowing away on an ocean liner in an attempt to woo back an estranged wife. He later joined the French Foreign Legion, returning to the U.S. only when France was invaded by Nazi Germany. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

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