Her Lord and Master (1921) Vitagraph Co. of America. Director: Edward Jose. Scenario: J. Clarkson Miller. Camera: Joe Shelderfer. Cast: Alice Joyce, Holmes Herbert, Walter McEwen, Frank Sheridan, Marie Shotwell, Louise Beaudet, Eugene Acker, Joun Shtherland, Ida Waterman. 6 reels. This film appears to be LOST
|Lobby card |
Click on the thumbnail for a larger view
|another lobby card
thanks to Derek Boothroyd for these scans
A fragmentary slice out of the placid pages of life in society as lived here and in England is translated to the screen for Vitagraph by Edward Jose, director, from a story by J. Clarkson Miller, entitled "Her Lord and Master." In it Alice Joyce is starred, and leads a cast of exceptionally able players--cast as desirably as anyone could possibly wish for--but, whose abilities are limited by a vehicle, which through direction, is lacking in action.
The story is not good picture material from the start, although it shows off the star to advantage. That, however, in addition to the able cast and a production carefully managed, is sufficient to warrant five reels. The element of surprise is lacking. The humor arising from a situation in which the heroine mockingly conforms to the modest ideas of an elderly and Victorian mother-in-law is not generously distributed to form a story in itself. Neither is it sufficient to make up for absence of action. Sequences between a youngish grandmother of the heroine setting her hook for an elderly and titled bachelor are amusing.
Its climax is weak, absent from any gripping force that otherwise would justify the preceding four reels. The star's most commendable bit of artistry is portrayed in several "shots," "registering" her happiness upon seeing her parents.
The action is laid in the opening scenes in an autumn resort of a self made American millionaire. Here the heroine is wooed and won by the scion of an aristocratic English family. Before her marriage the heroine exacts a promise from her future husband that during their married life in the event that she displays self will, her husband is never to give in no matter how much he loves her. The subsequent scenes are laid in the home of her husband, and the climax is arrived at with a rebellious wife going out to dine with her parents on a Sunday evening, against the wishes of her husband, who deems it improper for a lady to be seen in public on the Sabbath. The difference of opinion ends in a reconciliation the morning after.
In addition to Miss Beaudet, the character work of Ida Waterman as the mother-in-law and John Sutherland as the butler are two examples of fine screen acting, finished and polished in every degree. Marie Shotwell and Frank Sheridan as the parents have little to do. Holmes E. Hobart [sic] is typical of the cold, dominating English husband, while Eugene Acker has a bit.
The photography is even, well lighted and includes several excellent long shots commendable for their range and pictorial effect.
"Her Lord and Master"
Alice Joyce Presents Engaging Type of American Girl in Screen Version of Stage Play
Reviewed by Edward Weitzel.
When Martha Morton wrote "Her Lord and Master" she probably intended it as a warning to American girls who contemplate marrying foreign aristocrats. If so, she hasn't made out much of a case against the titled Englishman who honors her American heroine by bestowing his name upon her. The Rt. Hon. Thurston Ralph, Viscount Canning, is still terribly afraid of the bugbear of English high society, "good form," and becomes real angry when his wife shows herself in public on Sunday night, after he has explained to her that it isn't done in their set. The fact that she goes to the hotel where her father and mother are stopping and dines with them in the supper room does not alter the decree of social law. She is banished from her husband's good graces and locked out for the night. Being an American girl she does not take the matter too seriously and the picture ends with the dove of peace perched over the family hearthstone.
Spectators who follow the example of the heroine and do not make matters too seriously will find a wholesome enough little love story with more amusement in it than emotional appeal.
There is "good form" in every branch of the production, and Alice Joyce is delightfully natural in the lighter moments of the action. Her gowns will be voted "dreams" by competent judges, and even some of the men out in front will agree with this verdict.The Cast.
|Indiana Stillwater||Alice Joyce|
|Rt. Hon. Thurston Ralph, Viscount Canning||Holmes E. Herbert|
|Lord Nelson Stafford||Walter McEwen|
|Mr. "Fred" Stillwater||Frank Sheridan|
|Mrs. Stillwater||Marie Shotwell|
|Mrs. Chazy Bunker||Louise Beaudet|
|Lady Canning||Ida Waterman|
Stage Play by Martha Morton.
Scenario by J. Clarkson Miller
Directed by Edward Jose.
After being thoroughly spoiled by her father, a wealthy railroad man, Indiana Stillwater loses her heart to the Rt. Hon. Thurston Ralph, Viscount Canning, and the couple are married. On their arrival in England, Thurston takes his wife to the Canning home. The American wife is welcomed by Lady Canning but her English social breeding finds Indiana too pronounced in her manners and her choice of gowns. However, she is treated with great kindness by her husband and his mother, and no serious trouble happens until Mr. and Mrs. Stillwater come over to visit their daughter and invite Indiana to their hotel for a Sunday night supper. Thurston tells his wife that he does not want her to be seen in a public place on Sunday. Indiana disobeys his orders and when she comes home finds herself locked out. She is let in through a window by the old butler. The next morning she teacher her lord and master that he is not match for a woman's wit, when that woman truly loves her husband. The little domestic tragedy ends in the familiar but satisfying lover's embrace.
Program and Exploitation Catchlines: The American Wife of a Titled Englishman in "Her Lord and Master" Proves Too Much for Her Husband When He Locks Her Out on the Doorstep After Midnight.
Alice Joyce as the Heroine of "Her Lord and Master" Teaches American Brides of English Aristocrats How to Be Happy Though Married to a Title.
Exploitation Angles: Go strong on Miss Joyce and her gowns. If your audience is largely feminine tell them that this play was written before the emancipation of women. Offer a free admission on a certain night to any woman who will certify that her escort is her lord and master and not really her slave, but make her prove it.
Last revised January 10, 2009