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Lola (1914)

Lola (1914) World Film Corp.; A Schubert Feature. Distributor: World Film Corporation. Director: James Young. Assistant Director: Edwin L. Hollywood. Adaptation: James Young. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Alec B. Francis, Edward M. Kimball, James Young, Frank Holland, Olga Humphreys, Irene Tams, Mary Moore, Julia Stuart, Baby Esmond. 4-5 reels. LOST

This lost film was Clara Kimball Young's first film released by World Film Corporation, and was re-released with new intertitles in 1916 under the title Without a Soul.

Pictures from the Photoplay novel
Review from Variety
Review from Moving Picture World

Pictures (and captions) from the Photoplay novel

Thanks to Steve Joyce for giving us a tantalizing glimpse at this lost film.

Click on thumbnails for larger view

Dust jacket Clara Kimball Young as "Lola" Frontispiece Lola visits the Mooney family.
picture 1 Lola shocks her father and his friends by her heartlessness. picture 2 Lola accepts the chaperonage of Mrs. Harlan.
picture 3 Lola confesses her love for Dick Fenway. picture 4 Lola in Dick Fenway's rooms. [note, this same dress turns up in a scene in Trilby where she is rehearsing with Svengali]
picture 5 Lola is happy in Dr. Fenway's rooms. picture 6 Lola's thoughts revert to the handsome stranger whom she met on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
picture 7 Lola goes to keep her appointment at the steel pier. picture 10 Dr. Mortimer warns Lola that too much excitement may prove fatal to her.

Review from Variety, November 13, 1914


The first of the Clara Kimball Young features, to be released by the World Film Corporation this month, is the picture version in four parts by James Young of Owen Davis's play, "Lola." To say that it is daring is putting it mildly, Miss Young's picture of the Jeckyll-Hyde career of Lola Barnhelun along the primrose path is a triumph of pantomimic acting. Two or three of its hectic love scenes double--Cross Victoria and out--Elinor Miss Glyn. On this count the film should be a sensation. One highly spiced episode in Lola's career is an "affair" with an Atlantic City life guard, involving much picturesque lovemaking on the moonlit beach, which is graphic to say the least. Not less vivid was the scene in which Lola sat in her hotel bedroom and went over in her mind these exhilarating passages with the husky life guard, the lamp light playing over her face which pictured her emotions with appealing fidelity. Miss Young handles the scene with the finest skill, but the camera simply will not juggle subtleties. Lola, the sweet and dutiful, is the homebody, caring for her father, a scientist, who has discovered a medical process by which in certain cases life may be restored after the heart for several hours has ceased to beat. Lola is "killed" in a street accident, and, by means of her father's discovery, restored to life. But with the difference that the spirit that made her a warm-hearted, loving woman has fled and she returns to life only a soulless creature of the flesh. She tosses away the love of her former sweetheart, John Dorris, and becomes the mistress of Dick Fenway, who already has a wife. Dick has a bankroll, but Lola's light love refuses to stay put. Hence, the episode of the husky life guard, and later, when Dick's bankroll departs, a transfer of affection and elopement with Dick's millionaire friend. Lola falls ill and is told by the doctors she may die at any minute. Only then does she think of her abandoned father. To him she returns with the demand that when she dies he must bring her back to life for the second time. The answer of the father, who has had time and opportunity to see the evil worked by his discovery, is to send a hammer crashing through the machine that restores life to bodies vacated by their souls. And so Lola falls lifeless for good and all. Trick photography is twice invoked to make the spiritual phase of the tale plain, once when the shadowy semblance of Lola is seen to ascend from her body in her father's laboratory and once again, when she dies finally, the spirit returns to view its one-time tenement. The film aims at no scenic effect, probably with intent. All the back grounds are simple to the degree of bareness. In the same way the distance never varies, with the result that the figures come upon the screen in exact life size. The effect of this is to concentrate attention on the people of the story, their character evolutions, and thus upon the development of the psychic theme itself. Whether that was the intention or not, it was the effect. The story is interesting, the acting exceedingly well done and the "punch" delivered with stunning force. Miss Young's lady Frankenstein is very likely to start something in filmdom.

Review from Moving Picture World, Nov. 21, 1914

A Woman Whose Soul Has Been Claimed by Death, But Whose Body Still Lives, Is Played by Clara Kimball Young
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson

Spectators of a mystical turn of mind may find in this picture an idea of startling interest. Its central character is a young and beautiful woman, whose face is not more lovely in its grace than is her character; for sympathy and a heart of charity have endeared her to all about her. "Everybody loves Lola," is remarked by the servant girl.

She is knocked down by an automobile and carried back to her father's house a lifeless corpse. Her father is a doctor and she is pronounced dead by his confrere, a famous physician, at the time visiting them. But the girl's father, though obscure, has discovered a machine that will recall life to the dead. The body is laid out on the operating table and the current applied. The muscles of the face relax, the eyelids tremble and the girl lives once more.

A few days before this terrible accident and marvelous restoration, the doctor had been showing the apparatus to the girl's fiance. He was horror-stricken at the thought of recalling the body to life after the soul had gone. It must be confessed that the man failed to get strong sympathy for this objection; but now, as life is coming back into the girl, we discern that the author's intention had been to have the spectator accept the fear; for a vague shadow of Death is seen hovering over the still body and even while life is once again flowing in the girl, Death exacts the soul whom he carries away, leaving only the form of Lola to her friends.

In the opening scenes we were shown that Lola had been attracted by two lovers, one a rather questionable individual, the other all that a fine girl would choose and it was to the latter that she gave her affections. Not when no soul is mistress of her will, a demon seems to have entered the empty dwelling, her beautiful body. Soon we hear the servant exclaiming in astonishment and fear, "Lola, how terribly you have changed!" She is such that when, after she has wrecked the happiness of two or three men, has developed heart disease and dies, her father refuses to resuscitate her a second time.

The cast is a very strong one. Clara Kimball Young plays with her usual discrimination and ease the rather difficult role of Lola. Frank Holland portrays the character of her accepted fiance from whom she turns after her soul leaves her. The wilder man to whom she then goes is taken by James Young. Alec Francis takes the part of the father of the girl. If the offering has any particular weakness, it lies in the idea more than the development or staging. With many it may appeal as a startling and deeply entertaining offering.

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Last revised April 10, 2010