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One Week of Life (1919)

One Week of Life (1919) Goldwyn Pictures Corp. Distributor: Goldwyn Distributing Corp. Presenter: Samuel Goldwyn. Director: Hobart Henley. Scenario: Willard Mack. Story: Cosmo Hamilton. Camera: Edward Gheller. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Thomas Holding, Sydney Ainsworth, Corinne Barker, Percy Challenger. 5 reels. This film appears to be LOST

Still photo
Thanks to Gail Orwig for this picture, and to Pete Jones for identifying it. Click on thumbnail for larger view
Frederick in One Week of Life
Frederick in One Week of Life Still photo
Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this scan. Click on thumbnail for larger view

See also a Lantern Slide advertising this film from the collection at the Cleveland Public Library

Review from Variety
Advertisement and Review from Moving Picture World
Review from the New York Times

Review from Variety, May 23,1919

Marion Roche Pauline Frederick
Mrs. Kingsley Sherwood " "
Kingsley Sherwood Thomas Holding
LeRoy Scott Sydney Ainsworth
Lola Canby Corinne Barker

Pauline Frederick appears in a dual role in the five-reel Goldwyn feature at the Rialto. It has been adapted for the screen by Willard Mack from a story by Cosmo Hamilton. Hobart Henley was the director. With the star and Messrs. Hamilton and Mack working in unison, it is only natural a photoplay out of the ordinary would be the result, and such is the case.

"One Week of Life" is an unusual picture in theme and production. There is but one plot, without the usual smaller chain of incidents.

Besides the star there are but three in the cast, with their parts important. They share the honors, and have almost as much prominence on the screen as Miss Frederick. The latter is Marion Roche, a young art student of the Washington square south variety, and Mrs. Kingsley Sherwood, the wife of an aristocratic New Yorker who is a habitual drunkard, the sort of souse who drinks alone at home and is only a few bottles removed from D.T.

LeRoy Scott, the society villain (Sydney Ainsworth), and Mrs. Sherwood are in love and carrying on an intrigue of which her husband has no knowledge. At one of their many clandestine meetings she remarks that for "one week of life" with her lover she was prepared to sell her soul. They get the week together.

This is cleverly worked out, and is made possible by the meeting of LeRoy Scott and Marion Roche. The latter plays upon Marion's sympathy, telling her a pitiable story about a woman whose child is ill in California and her husband refuses to allow her to go and nurse it. Marion says she will take the woman's place in order that the mother may go. Marion Roche then becomes Mrs. Sherwood. The latter informs her double that she need have no fear of her husband, she has not seen him for three weeks and their apartments are at opposite ends of the house.

From then on the story is of the following week, with a large calendar thrown on the screen. About Friday LeRoy Scott and Mrs. Sherwood are drowned in Lake Placid, and Sherwood discovers the woman living under his roof is not really his wife. He promptly jumps on the water wagon. After they have met once or twice both appear to be satisfied with the new arrangement.

Sherwood says he will go away for six months, and she promises to marry him at the end of that time if he has not taken a drink. The bargain is sealed with a handshake--no clinch. That's the end.

The work of the cast is unusually good. Thomas Holding (Kingsley Sherwood) looks the gentleman in his few sober moments, and at the same time he has all the appearances of a habitual souse. It is a part easily overplayed, but Mr. Holding handles it very well. Miss Frederick is better at Marion Roche than Mrs. Sherwood. Sydney Ainsworth is an acceptable villain, and Corliss Barker as Lola Canby, Marion's girl companion give a finished performance.

There is an abundance of fine photography, including neat long shots and fine country views, rich interiors and artistic close-ups. Elaborate sets and good lighting distinguish the production throughout.

"One Week of Life" is an entertaining feature, and should make an excellent program feature, besides holding a good title.

Review from Moving Picture World

Advertisement, April 26, 1919

[Omitted, full length picture of Frederick, in a dark evening dress cut low in the back, face in profile]

Goldwyn Delivers --
Star Value--

Beauty and power united by intelligence and building on success after success, have given Pauline Frederick a following possessed by no other emotional star of screen or stage. From "The Eternal City" to "One Week of Life" runs a record of pleased patronage that means absolute box office draw.

Story Value--

She was married to a drunkard, she ached for one week of life in a paradise of love. And she found another woman to take her place. What happened in those seven terrible, magical days is the story that Cosmo Hamilton of Cosmopolitan fame has written especially for Goldwyn.

Production Value--

Everything that Goldwyn stands for. Quality in direction. Quality in cast. Quality in setting, photography, laboratory work. Director Hobart Henley has built a splendid ensemble out of a cast headed by such well known players as Thomas Holding, Sydney Ainsworth and Corinne Barker.

Samuel Goldwyn, President
16 East 42nd Street, New York City

May 31, 1919

"One Week of Life."
Goldwyn Presents Pauline Frederick in a Dual Role Story by Cosmo Hamilton Adapted for the Screen by Willard Mack.
Reviewed by Louis Reeves Harrison.

In the dual role of a dissatisfied wife intent on enjoying "A Week of Life" with a lover, and a nice young lady who takes the wife's place during that week. Pauline Frederick successfully interprets both roles, and she is admirably supported by Thomas Holding as a dissipated husband in the last stages of alcoholism. On Miss Frederick's dignified and intelligent performance, and on the remarkable picture given by Mr. Holding of a drink victim's sufferings in an attempt to redeem himself when encouraged to do so, a large part of the value of this Goldwyn production rest.

Mr. Holding's vivid picture, one of the most intense of its kind ever shown on the screen, may be regarded as timely, and it is certainly a piece of artistic interpretation in makeup, general attitude and revelation of feeling. Mr. Mack has attempted to do away with too much narrative subtitle, a commendable effort on his part, and he is dramatic at picturing frail human nature as it exists, but he sacrifices clarity at times, confusing the spectator in the continuity of events, a matter to be remedied by more careful editing.

Notwithstanding the fact that the dual role, where two individuals are portrayed by the same actress, is destructive of the illusion of reality, so far as the spectator is concerned, and the fact that resemblances, while possible, are far from probable in the case of a substituted wife, the story holds fairly well.

The Story:
When Mrs. Kingsley Sherwood found life unbearable with her drunken husband and longed for "A Week of Life" with LeRoy Scott, a lying lover, she considered herself alone, making no attempt to redeem the weakling she had promised to love and honor. The lover, on finding almost her duplicate in sweet Marion Roche, speaks of the two women to each other and arranges a little plan of substitution, inducing Marion to take the place of Mrs. Sherwood, while the latter goes to visit a pretended child who is ill. He manages thus to escape with the erring wife, but Marion's delicate situation becomes complicated when Sherwood recognizes in his supposed wife finer qualities than were ever revealed by the real one, and, at her suggestion, makes an effort to give up drinking.

[Omitted: Picture of Frederick on the telephone. Caption: Pauline Frederick Hears the call and answers it in "One Week of Life."]

Sherwood does not realize that any substitution has been made until he comes upon a letter she has dropped. He then sets a trap to discover her purpose. He manages to enter her bedroom when she returns at night from a friendly visit, and there exposes her folly--his wife has not gone to visit her sick child, because there is none.

Marion is overwhelmed, but she has become interested in Sherwood because of the plucky self-struggle he has put up, while he attributes his reform to her encouragement. They are becoming interested in each other when news comes that the erring wife and her lover have been drowned while out in a canoe. There is then a future for the redeemed man in the love of a woman whose words of encouragement are responsible for his redemption.

Marion Roche Pauline Frederick
Mrs. Kingsley Sherwood " "
Kingsley Sherwood Thomas Holding
LeRoy Scott Sydney Ainsworth
Lola Canby Corinne Barker

Story by Cosmo Hamilton.
Directed by Hobart Henley.

Program and Advertising Phrases: Story of a Dissatisfied Wife Intent on Enjoying "One Week of Life,' and of a Shop Girl Who Takes Her Place.
Absorbing Story of Two Women Who Form Different Motives Desired "One Week of Life," and What Befell Them.
Pauline Frederick in Remarkable Characterization of Two Women of Vastly Dissimilar Types.
How a Foolish Wife's Substitution of Her Double in Her Place Brought About the Reformation of Her Drink-Crazed Husband.

Advertising Angles: Play strongly upon Miss Frederick's popularity, and work on the angle of the shop girl who becomes a society matron for a week, and the society matron who took a week off. Make most of your campaign an effort to arouse curiosity as to why Mrs. Sherwood wanted a week and what she planned to do with it.

Advertising Aids: One one-sheet Two three-sheets, one six and one 24 sheet. Rotogravure one-sheet. Lobby displays, 8x10, 11x14 and 22x28. Coming and current slides. Advertising and scene cuts.

Review from The New York Times, May 19, 1919

"One Week of Life," by Cosmo Hamilton, adapted for the screen by Willard Mack, with Pauline Frederick playing two parts, is the photoplay. It is another story about an unhappy marriage, only this time it is the wife who makes the unhappiness, and the husband who escapes from her into the arms of another. Mrs. Sherwood is the wife. She drives her husband to drink. She falls in love with Le Roy Scott, and she says she wishes she had one week of life in freedom. Now Le Roy runs across Marion Roche, who bears "a remarkable resemblance" to Mrs. Sherwood. He arranges to have Marion substitute for Mrs. Sherwood in her home while the wife disappears for a week. Result: Marion falls in love with Sherwood and rescues him from a drunkard's gravel Any difficulties that might have resulted from the return of the wife are overcome by an accommodating storm that upsets a canoe and drowns its occupants, Mrs. Sherwood and Le Roy.

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Last revised, July 12, 2011