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Paid in Full (1919)

Paid in Full (1919) Famous Players-Lasky Corp. Distributor: Famous Players-Lasky Corp; Paramount Pictures. Presenter: Adolph Zukor. Director: Emile Chautard. Scenario: Charles E. Whittaker. Camera: Jacques Bizeul. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Robert Cain, Wyndham Standing, Frank Losee, Jane Farrell, Vera Beresford. 5 reels. This film appears to be LOST

Still photo
Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for these scans. Click on thumbnails for larger view
Frederick in Paid in Full Lobby card Frederick in Paid in Full

Review from Variety
Reviews from Moving Picture World

Review from Variety, February 28,1919

Emma Brooks Pauline Frederick
Joe Brooks Robert Cain
Jimsy Smith Wyndham Standing
Captain Williams Frank Losee
Mrs. Harris Jane Farrell
Beth Harris Vera Beresford

"Paid in Full" has lost none of its strength of story in this, its second appearance of the screen. It is still a powerful drama and the manner of its recital via the screen will hold the interest of any audience. Some years ago, when the old All Star Co. was in existence the first screen version was made. The lease of the property ran out and as all of the prints had disappeared it was decided to remake the picture.

It is a Paramount product in which Famous Players present Pauline Frederick as the star. The scenario was the work of Charles E. Whittaker and the production was directed by Emile Chautard.

Miss Frederick is supported by a very excellent cast and the action being confined to practically but four principals send the story along in good shape. Robert Cain has the role of Joe Brooks, the husband who is willing to sacrifice his own life to keep himself from jail, while Wyndham Standing plays the role of Jimsy. Frank Losee is very satisfactory as Capt. Williams. Jane Farrel and Vera Beresford play the mother and sister of the heroine.

As the picture nears the close there is a scene or two where the action drags a little, but this could be remedied with a title or two which could easily be inserted.

"Paid In Full" was the feature attraction of the current week's bill at the Rivoli and was thoroughly enjoyed by an audience that packed the house on Sunday night.


Article and Reviews from Moving Picture World

March 8, 1919

Estimating the Paramount Production Featuring Pauline Frederick in "Paid in Full" and Appraising the Appreciation of the Rivoli Spectators at the Same Time
By Edward Weitzel

[Omitted: Picture of Frederick in chair surrounded by men in formal dress. Caption: The Musical Artist Playing on His Instrument--Such is "Paid in Full."

We used to hear a good deal in the old days about the discernment and appreciation of the man in the gallery. The nearest approach in a modern moving picture theater to the place where he got a dollar's worth of enjoyment for every penny spent is a back seat in the balcony. Being minded to test the ancient belief as applied to a moving picture entertainment the writer climbed the stairs at the Rivoli last Sunday afternoon and sat through the entire program with the class of spectators that, with but few exceptions, is not surfeited with amusement and is quick to recognize and to respond to its human and its serious appeal.

The Old Gentleman and his Neighbors.
The feature picture was "Paid in Full," a screen version of Eugene Walter's stage play of the same name. Admirably acted and directed, this fine drama held the entire balcony through all its five parts, and swayed the emotions of the spectators at will. From the hush over all the house it was evident the skillful unfolding of the story was exercising the same grip on the people downstairs.

Not everyone got exactly the same emotional effect from the situations. An old gentleman who had listened attentively with his hand to his ear during the playing of Tschaikowsky's "Fourth Symphony" and applauded vigorously at the end kept laughing out loud during the scene where Captain Williams comes to the new home his bookkeeper has furnished with money stolen from the captain. The old gentleman saw nothing but the grim humor in the ship owner's sarcastic remarks to the defaulter's innocent and trusting wife. The two girls who had chatted incessantly of their private affairs during the playing of the overture watched the scene with tense faces, the one thought in their minds being sympathy for the faithful woman whose dream of happiness was to have a bitter awakening. Like the majority of those present the two girls were played upon by the dramatist as musical artist plays upon his instrument and their thoughts and feeling were completely under his control.

Author and Scenarist.
Only a perfect combination of the different factors that influence the making of a screen drama could insure so satisfactory an outcome. First honors go to Eugene Walter for having created an absorbing a transcript of contemporaneous life and shown to so fine a type of American womanhood as the wife of Joe Brooks. Captain Williams, selfish old sensualist, is another character that helps the story by his conduct when he confronts Emma Brooks alone at night in his own home and realizes that only loyalty to her husband has brought her there. One must go far and search diligently for a dramatic equation of equal power. The faithful Jimsy and Joe Brooks complete the cast[?] of persons who carry the burden of the action, which is always blended adroitly and is a model of expert construction.

Next honors go to Charles E. Whitaker for preserving the spirit and form of the original and fashioning a scenario that contains the same direct thrust and concentration of subject that made the stage version of "Paid in Full" an uncommonly effective play. Not once, until he comes to the finish, has the scenarist found it necessary to go outside of the Walters plot, and although granting Joe Brooks sufficient manhood to commit suicide is giving him a decent instinct that does not square with his dastardly nature, it may be excused on the ground of providing a dramatic ending and visually completing the story.

Another strong point in the scenario's favor: It is without cutbacks.

The Director's Good Work.
Let us now consider the part taken by Emile Chautard. No one need be reminded of the importance which is attached to the labor of the director. The accomplished Frenchman who overlooked the construction of the screen version of the drama was content to assist Charles E. Whitaker in his conscientious endeavor to add nothing to or take nothing from the original, but transfer it to the silent stage with as few changes as possible. Familiar with the method of the expert dramatist and quick to grasp the merit of his material, Emile Chautard has made no effort to draw attention to himself by introducing any embellishment in the way of local color or symbolic incident, but has kept to the straight road surveyed, graded and completed by the man who knew just where he was headed for and just how to get there.

Everything a character does and the surroundings in which he does it is consistent with the man's birth and environment. Joe Brooks, his wife and the entire personnel of the cast are everyday Americans living in New York who become figures in a vital and absorbing drama. The comprehensive skill of the director is used for the sole purpose of carrying out this understanding of his task and the resources of his craftsmanship bring each detail of setting, lighting and acting into proper harmony and effect.

The Star and Her Support.
Pauline Frederick is the featured player of the cast. In Emma Brooks she finds a character that calls for a sympathetic personality and the ability to indicate a nature whose strength lies beneath the surface. Until she learns of her husband's guilt the wife of Joe Brooks is a quiet but happy and contented woman whose worth is understood only by the man she once refused. Although stunned by the knowledge that she has been living in a fool's paradise she does not permit it to crush her, and chooses her future path with a clearness of vision that wins instant respect. These are the attributes given Emma Brooks by the author. Pauline Frederick embodies them unmistakably in her impersonation. Robert Cain, Wyndham Standing and Frank Losee are excellent selections for their respective roles.

March 8, 1919

Paramount Screen Version of Stage Success with Pauline Frederick is Splendid Entertainment.
Reviewed by Edward Weitzel

By sticking to the incidents and the form of the stage version of Eugene Walter's "Paid in Full," scenarist Charles E. Whitaker has enabled Director Emile Chautard, Pauline Frederick and the other members of the cast to produce a moving picture that has entertaining qualities equal to the original. The story is a strong one, and the Paramount Company has not thought it wise to have it altered for the screen. It is free from any hint of staginess, its characters being drawn from life and the things they do are never forced or unreal. There is that steady growth of interest in the plot that is found in expertly made stage plays and the climax of the big scene between Emma Brooks and Captain Williams has al the power that had so much to do with the long run of "Paid in Full" on Broadway.

Pauline Frederick as Emma Brooks, Robert Cain as her husband, Wyndham Standing as Jimsy Smith and Frank Losee as Captain Williams are the four principals. The picture will please all classes of moving picture patrons. An extended review is printed on another page of this issue.

Emma Brooks Pauline Frederick
Joe Brooks Robert Cain
Jimsy Smith Wyndham Standing
Captain Williams Frank Losee
Mrs. Harris Jane Farrell
Beth Harris Vera Beresford
Directed by Emile Chautard

The Story: Joe Brooks is a bookkeeper for Captain Williams, a wealthy ship owner, whose morals are decidedly lax in regard to women. In a weak moment Joe steals from his employer and continues the practice until he has taken over $16,000. His wife, Emma, knows nothing of this and believes that a high priced flat and expensive clothes are the result of Joe's raise in wages. Jimsy Smith, who has always loved Emma, finds out the truth at the same time the captain learns of Joe's shortage. The ship owner has always admired Emma and when her husband realizes he has been found out he tells his wife everything and begs her to go to Captain Williams's rooms that night and get him to promise not to let the law take its course. Anxious to save the man who loves Emma does as she has been asked. Before she arrives at the captain's room the that person receives a visitor. It is Jimsy. He proves his friendship for Emma by offering to pay her husband's debt. Williams will not accept his money. Knowing of the intended visit Jimsy warns the captain he will kill him if any harm happens to Emma.

In the scene between Emma and the captain he offers to give her a receipted bill for the full amount of Joe's debt if she will sacrifice her honor. Emma's horror at his suggestion convinces Williams that she has no part in the plot planned by Brooks to escape the consequences of his crime. For all his loose living, the captain is not wholly bad. He gives Emma the receipt a token of his respect for her. She goes home, hands the paper to her husband and tells him she cannot live with him any longer. Brooks tries to choke her to death. The arrival of Jimsy prevents the murder, and Emma and her faithful friend leave the apartment. As they close the door behind them Jim Brooks kills himself with a revolver.

Feature: Pauline Frederick as Emma Brooks and Frank Losee as Captian Williams.

Program and Advertising Phrases: Pauline Frederick Star of Screen Issue of Sensational Stage Success.
Great Sociological Problem Settled in Gripping Scenes of Photoplay.
How Much Shall a Wife Share in the Dishonor of Her Husband's Deceit?
Worthless Husband Pays All Claims Against His Treachery and Baseness.
Proving That Bags of Gold Cannot Always Overbalance Virtue.

Advertising Angles: "Paid in Full" is by the author of "The Easiest Way" and other notable successes. It enjoyed a long run in New York, followed by a tour of the country. Play up the stage success, and tell Miss Frederick's admirers that this story gives her unusual opportunities. You can do some trick advertising with the title where the reputation of the play will not suffice to carry it to success.

Advertising Aids: Two each one, three and six-sheets. One 24-sheet. Lobby displays, 8x10, 11x14, 22x28. Cuts from one to three columns on star and production. Advertising lay-out mats. Slides. Press book.
Released February 23.

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Last revised, February 8, 2009