Madame Jealousy (1918) Famous Players Film Co. Distributor: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.; Paramount Pictures Corp. Presenter: Adolph Zukor. Director: Robert G. Vignola. Scenario: Eve Unsell. Story: George V. Hobart. Camera, Ned Van Buren. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Thomas Meighan, Frank Losee, Charles Wellesley, Isabel O'Madigan, Elsie Macleod, Ina Rorke, Frances Cappelano, Grace Barton, Edwin Sturgis, Marcia Harris, J.K. Murray. 5 reels.
This unusual allegorical film appears to be LOST
Designed as a complete departure from the usual style of photoplay feature, "Madame Jealousy" is an unqualified success. But as a picture bidding for popular appeal, its popularity is questionable. It is a picturesque allegory by George V. Hobart, with brilliantly sumptuous settings and a number of innovations in photography (Ned Van Buran, cameraman). There are allegorical interiors of Oriental splendor such as "the house of heavy hours," exteriors visualizing "the garden of delight" and so on in profusion. These, interspersed with modern interiors and exteriors undoubtedly required the exercise of considerable imagination by Robert Vignola, the director. Allegory, however, has always been a dangerous thing to experiment with in pictures. The usual better-class audience at the second show at the Strand last Sunday viewed the feature with polite interest and at the finish there was nothing to indicate whether they enjoyed it or not. The theme of the plot is that jealousy is the sum and substance of all evil. Pauline Frederick enacts the allegorical eJalousy [sic], alternately garbed in Oriental flowing robes and in modern gowns and frocks. Her sartorial equipment alone must have represented a neat fortune, while the entire production cost is probably staggering. The various allegorical figures materialize and fade out much more artistically than is generally the case in double exposure work. eJalousy is a sort of she-devil, who reclines amid Oriental splendor, views worldly personages through the medium of her hand mirror and when they are happy, calls upon her menials to set forth and destroy their peace of mind. In this particular pilgrimage there is first seen Charm, fair daughter of the rich, who waits for Valor, her lover. Charm and Valor marry. Charm's father and mother are labeley [sic] respectively Commerce and Pride, her uncle Good Nature. Valor's parents are Fiance [sic] and Display. eJalousy's servants are Mischief, Treachery, Dame Rumon [sic], etc. A title states that "human hearts are made to break and human eyes must weep." On their honeymoon Valor meets a former sweetheart, known as Forgotten. When later, Charm finds an old photograph of Forgotten in her husband's desk, endorsed with a message of love, she is obsessed with suspicion. Valor, meanwhile, is led by Mischief to a card accompanying some flowers, which reads "For little sweetheart, from one who loved her then and loves her now." It was sent to Charm by her uncle, Good Nature. Wife goes to her parents and Valor to his. This precipitates a financial fight between their parents, Commerce and Finance, in which each, spurred on by Treachery, endeavors to ruin the other. Sorrow appears to the wife and says: "I shall never leave you until Happiness comes to drive me out." Valor spends his substance in riotous living and strikes down his own father. Valor, at Treachery's suggestion, is about to commit suicide when Sorrow tells him that Charm lies in the valley of despair. He rushes to her and Chance came out of the valley and brought with her Happiness in the form of a child. All rejoice and eJalousy is ignored. She departs taking Treachery with her, saying: "I shall go out of their lives, but humanity is weak and will call me back again." Returning to her abode she resumes her mirror peering and dicovers [sic] another pair of young lovers, and prepares to prey upon them in the same manner. The seriousness of the allegory and the dignified production are bound to command the utmost respect and admiration, but the thing, as a while, is probably to "high brow" to be really understood and enjoyed by the general run of film patrons.
Adolph Zukor Presents Pauline Frederick in a Modern Morality Play by George V. Hobart, Author of Experience and Everywife
|Madame Jealousy||Pauline Frederick|
|Good Nature||J.K. Murray|
The Story: Though a morality play by the author of two famous stage successes along these lines, "Madame Jealousy" is at the same time a vivid and fascinating drama of the society of today, and with the characters bearing other names would be still a gripping drama. The novel treatment merely gives an absorbing story still greater interest.
For the Program: A modern story in old-time form.
Ages old, but ever new.
Advertising Phrases: George V. Hobart's newest play.
"Everyman" and "Everywife" knows "Madame Jealousy.".
Feature These Players Pauline Frederick in the title role.
Thomas Meighan as Valor.
Elsie McCloud as Charm.
Stunt Suggestions: Run newspaper liners as, "Are you jealous?" "Is your wife jealous?" "Is you sweetheart jealous?" and similar questions. When ready to disclose the title run, "If your wife is jealous take her to see "Madame Jealousy (house and date)." The same copy can be used for posted paper if expense permits, and the questions can be bunched on your street wagon with the trailer added on the day of showing. With a little trouble you can show a dressed doll buried to the neck in the quicksands, and an explanatory card, "As she sinks into the quicksands of life: Madame Jealousy, "I go out of their lives, but others shall call me back,' See 'Madame Jealousy' (with Pauline Frederick (house and date)".
Advertising Aids: Two styles each one, three and six-sheets. One 24-sheet. Rotogravure. Photos 8x10, 11x14, 22x28. Eight by ten photos of star. Ten cuts each for star and production on one, two and three-column widths. Heralds. Slides. Window cards. Press book.
Released February 4.
Allegory in Which Symbolizing Figures Play a Drama of Human Fates.
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson.
The object of allegory is to make emotions real and vivid by bringing them bodily before us and making them act in accordance with the character given to them. It is a remarkable illustration of the faculty of accepting and blending impressions when a spectator who would be affected by seeing a lover's sorrow is even more deeply moved by seeing a figure in sable weeds whom he knows is Sorrow's self waling at the lover's side, her hand upon his arm. Yet the unimaginative, critical faculty is highly developed in our modern, well-instructed minds.
The less naive a man's mind is, the slower he is to see reality in personified Sorrow of Jealousy; they look too much like ordinary human beings to him. Allegory was supposed to be dead. Then we had a revival of "Everyman," and since that time there have been many allegories and they have made much money for producers and theaters. Here is another allegory by Paramount called "Madame Jealousy," with Pauline Frederick in the leading role. It is most interesting, but the dramatic illusion grows thin at times. As entertainment it is not a failure by any means, yet I believe it is the least effective of all recent Paramounts I have seen.
The picture is marked by magnificent and beautiful settings and backgrounds. The players are intelligent in acting and keep the story clear-cut. The love story played by Valor and Charm, with Finance and Pride as parents of the one and Commerce and Display as parents of the other, with Charm's uncle, who is called Good Nature, and all the others, holds as a human love story in the background of big human beings; but the "House of Heavy Hours," where Madame Jealousy lives with her servitors, Mischief, Rumor, Treachery and all that belongs to her, fails to get over with the same effectiveness--of course, it is all unbelievable. There is no experience in its symbolism.
Among the players, Elsie McCloud takes the role of Charm; Thomas Meighan, Valor; Frank Losee, Finance, Charles Wellesley, Commerce, Isabel O'Madigan, Pride; Ina Bourke, Display, and Frances Cappelano plays Mischief. Robert Vignola directed it.
Last revised, September 17, 2005