Clara Kimball Young home

Camille (1915)

Camille (1915) Schubert Film Corp. Distributor: World Film Corporation. Director: Albert Capellani. Scenario: Frances Marion. Camera: Lucien Andriot. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Paul Capellani, Lillian Cook, Robert Cummings, Dan Baker, Stanhope Wheatcroft, Frederick C. Truesdell, William Jefferson, Edward M. Kimball, Louis Ducey, Beryl Morhange. 5 reels. Prints of this film are held by Gosfilmofond (35 mm, 1409 meters),Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek (unconfirmed), Norsk Filminstitutt (unconfirmed), and the Národní Filmový Archiv (Czech Film Archive, 35 mm, 1400 meters). All are reported to have foreign intertitles (the Czech Film Archive titles are confirmed as Czech)

This film screened at the Cineteca di Bologna in 2011, here are the program notes

cover Clara strikes a theatrical pose with Fred Truesdell as the count. Thanks to Bill Rabe for this picture.
Click thumbnail for a (much) larger image.
This photo turns up a lot, this version is an unidentified clipping.cover

Review from Variety
Reviews from Moving Picture World
Review from Photoplay

Review from Variety, January 7, 1916

Armand Duval Paul Capellani
Cecile, his sister Lillian Cook
M. Duval, their father Robert Cummings
Joseph, the servant Dan Baker
Robert Bousac Stanhope Wheatcroft
Count de Varville Robert C. Truesdell
Gaston William Jefferson
The Doctor Edward M. Kimball
Madame Prudence Louie Ducey
Naoine Beryl Morharge
Camille Clara Kimball Young

Five-part World Film feature, starring Clara Kimball Young in a screen adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' immortal drama. If for no other reason than that the book was read by practically everybody, both old and young, and the stage version witnessed by nearly all, the moving picture should attract them. Miss Young makes an ideal Camille in all respects but one--she's too disgustingly healthy looking for the role of the consumptive heroine. All the make-up in the world could not conceal her abundance of health and beauty. The cast throughout is one of the best that the World has ever assembled for a picture. Paul Capellani (Brother of Albert Capellani, who directed the feature) plays Armand, and gives it that indescribable touch so essential to the creation of the French atmosphere. Robert Cummings, as the father of Armand, is also entitled to a special phrase of favorable comment. The "locations" and the interior settings are very much in keeping with the story and properly preserve the locale. It is a smooth, even production, designed for drama and making no bid for sensationalism


Reviews from Moving Picture World

January 8, 1916

Famous Character is Beautifully Portrayed by Clara Kimball Young in World Film Production
Reviewed by Lynde Denig.

"Camille" as you may recall, is the story of a courtesan doomed to a premature death, the story of a woman who loved honestly, yet was denied all save fleeting moments of happiness. There is nothing strikingly fresh here, for frequently enough authors have to all intents and purposed duplicated the plot of "Camille" and presented much the same style of courtesan under a different name. But, conceding all this, it remained for Clara Kimball Young to bring out the full value of the famous character in a superlatively fine performance. It is easy to wax enthusiastic over an actress so thoroughly accomplished in comedy or drama as is Miss Young, and at no time in the past has she given fuller justification for enthusiasm.

[Photo omitted, Armand raises the dying Camille.]

She presents a beautiful woman, rather bored by luxuries which do not satisfy, however much she may crave them. And hanging over her is the shadow of death, not to be escaped unless she foregoes a life of unhealthy dissipation. Physically, Miss Young is quite the ideal Camille. She has the requisite grace and distinction, and a judicious use of make-up gives to her face and eyes the expression born of a fatal illness. No subtitles are needed to inform an audience that Camille is suffering from tuberculosis, that deep down in her heart she is pitiably unhappy and that in her love for Armand Duval she is as sincere as previously she has been false

The appeal of the central character is based first of all on an audience's normal sympathy for an unhappy woman who is playing a losing game, next on the woman's whole-souled devotion to the man she loves. This devotion meets all tests with each misunderstanding, each new manifestation of superb unselfishness, Camille inspired deeper sympathy. One is thoroughly in the mood for the poignant scenes in the final reel, showing her death in the arms of her lover, and it is here that Miss Young reaches the highest mark in a really beautiful performance.

The World Film Corporation was fortunate in securing a director of the French school, such as Albert Capellani, to produce this subject; also in casting Paul Capellani as Armand, and certainly both did much toward giving the drama a French atmosphere. Then there are others deserving of mention for capable acting, among them Robert Cummings, Frederick C. Truesdell and William Jefferson. Carefully prepared in so many respects, it is surprising that in a picture of this importance several poorly photographed scenes and one or two affected by static were allowed to pass.

December 18, 1915

(Schubert, Dec. 27)--The cast: Camille (Clara Kimball Young); Armand Duval (Paul Capellani); Cecile, his sister (Lillian Cook) ; M. Duval, their father (Robert Cummings); Joseph, the servant (Dan Baker); Robert Bousac, Cecile's fiance (Stanhope Wheatcroft); Count de Varville (Frederick C. Truesdell); Gaston (William Jefferson); The Doctor (Edward M. Kimball); Madame Prudence (Louie Ducey); Naoine (Beryl Morharge).

Marguerite Gautier, known as "Camille" on account of her fondness for camellias, is queen of the underworld. She has a wealthy lover in Count de Varville, whom, though he supplies her with plenty of money, she does not love in return. Her affections are set upon Armand, a young lawyer from the country. She suffers from her excesses, and the doctor warns her that she must change her mode of living, but she laughs at his advice. Armand's love for her renews her interest in life, and she goes with him and lives quietly in the country. But their happiness is short. Camille has had to sell her jewelry and horses in order to pay her debts and learning of this, Armand becomes suspicious.

Armand's father, hearing of his son's attachment for Camille, demands that the woman should abandon Armand. For the sake of Armand's young sister, Cecile, Camille agrees to sacrifice herself and returns to her former live with Count de Varville. But Armand's love for Camille will not be suppressed. They meet again. He begs Camille to go away with him. She refuses. Armand accuses her of loving De Varville. The two men meet and quarrel. There is a duel, and Armand wounds de Varville. Armand learns that Camille always loved him and that her aim was to please the father by preserving Armand's family's good name. In the end Camille dies with a smile on her lips and expressing her love for Armand.

January 1, 1916

(Five Parts; Jan. 8)--The cast: Camille (Clara Kimball Young); Armand (Paul Capellani); Cecile (Lillian Cook); M. Duval (Robert Cummings); Joseph (Dan Baker); Robert Bousac, Cecile's fiance (Stanhope Wheatacroft); Count de Varville (Frederick C. Truesdell); Gaston (William Jefferson); Doctor (Edward M. Kimball); Mme. Prudence (Louie Ducey); Naoine (Beryl Morharge).

Marguerite Gautier, known as "Camille" on because of her fondness for camellias, is queen of the underworld of Paris. She has a wealthy lover in the Count de Varville, whom she discards when she falls in love with Armand Duval, a newcomer to Paris.

Armand and Camille retire in a pretty cottage, content with their love alone. Armand's father seeks them out and prevails upon Camille to leave his son rather than wreck his promising career. Camille, after a struggle with her selfish promptings, gives in an din order to make Armand turn from love to scorn leaves him with the impression that she is tired of simple life and wants to return to de Varville and the gayety of Paris.

Armand tries to forget Camille, but fails. At last he seeks de Varville, forces a quarrel on him, and wounds him in a duel. By this time Camille is dying of consumption. Armand finds her on her deathbed. Their love is renewed, and Camille dies with a smile on her lips and Armand's arms about her.

Undated Review from Photoplay

The Shadow Stage, by Julian Johnson.

"Camille," as produced by the World Film Corporation, is a substantial screening of literature's deepest well of tears.

Clara Kimball Young's study of Marguerite Gautier, who dies from age to age in an eternal chorus of her own hectic barks, has been thorough. There is nothing new to do in "Camille," but contrariwise, a new Camille might not be so very satisfying. Clara Kimball Young is very, very beautiful, and those who have leaked erstwhile over Camille's fruitless repentence and death will pick up all their old thrills, shed some new tears in the old way, and depart more fully convinced than ever that though a past may not be a good thing for those who intend to live it certainly induces a blue light and slow music demise.

One adventure of Mlle. Clara's is real novelty: the chaise-longue of her final departure. No clumsy bed, with its deep suggestions of a good night's rest intended of being a footstool for the destroying angel. The exquisite Young is draped so beautifully over this bed-room decoration and implement of lazy chatter that Camille's very ghost must have come back admiring.

Paul Capellani as Armand puts a new note into leadingmanship. Here is a young Frenchman who makes his tailor a secondary matter. He and his personality are first. His clothes do not clutter him. He has all the French eloquence of movement, the dynamic passion, the swiftness of climax, the rapid light and shade of the French stage. In the first reel you may not like young Capellani. That's because not only he but his style is genunely new. In the last act you'll be a Capellani enthusiast.

This whole production, from its splendid settings to its servitors, has the style and the manner of substantial drama. Small use is made of the satiric and very good comedy of Mme. Preddence--an oversight, it sees. The surroundings are modern, the attire in the mode.

Back to Filmography
Back to Clara Kimball Young Home

Last revised February 5, 2014