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Cousin Kate (1921)

Cousin Kate (1921) Alice Joyce Productions ; Vitagraph Co. of America. Presenter, Albert E. Smith. Director: Mrs. Sidney Drew. Adaptation: L. Case Russell. Camera: Joe Shelderfer. Cast: Alice Joyce, Gilbert Emery, Beth Martin, Inez Shannon, Leslie Austin, Freddie Verdi, Francis Miller Grant, Henry Hallam. 5 reels This film appears to be LOST

Lobby cards from the film (Thanks to Derek Boothroyd )

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

Review from Moving Picture World
Review from Photoplay

Review from Moving Picture World, January 29, 1921

"Cousin Kate"
Alice Joyce, Under Direction of Mrs. Sidney Drew, Is Her Usual Delightful Self in Vitagraph's New Comedy
Reviewed by Louis L. McCloskey.

Simplicity and naturalness characterize this latest release of the Vitagraph Company, in which the entire cast co-stars with Alice Joyce to produce a really beautiful picture. Although the play is rather lighter material than Miss Joyce ordinarily chooses, her charm is lessened not one whit by the change.

The star has the role of a pseudo-cynical novelist who is none the less a bulwark of common sense and the final advisor of her family of country cousins. "We don't know what to do about this," say they; "We'll have to ask Kate. Kate's always right." In pursuance of this policy Kate is called upon to settle a lovers' quarrel between her cousins, Amy, and the latter's fiance. By accident she meets the fiance without recognizing him and falls in love with him. Later, in a finely emotional scene which displays all her ability, she discovers the true state of affairs and endeavors to turn the situation with a jest so that Amy's happiness will not be sacrificed; but the lovers find that they have both been mistaken, another man is found, and the complications end happily for everyone.

The artistic touches of Mrs. Sidney Drew's direction can be detected throughout. The titles are clever and well-placed, the photography and other technical arrangements are excellent.

The Story.
Amy Spencer is engaged to Heath Desmond, an artist who believes in an outdoor worship of natural beauty rather than any churchgoing religion. Being influenced by James Bartlett, a minister and a "nice" villain, Amy quarrels with Heath on the score of his unorthodoxy, and the engagement is broken. Cousin Kate Curtis is sent for to try to patch up the breach.

On the train Kate and Heath meet and fall in love at first sight, neither being aware of the other's identity. Kate sees her cousins and goes walking to think things over when a storm comes up and she takes shelter in Heath's house. After an hour or two together, during which they become hopelessly enamored of each other, Amy appears and divulges Heath's position. To save he cousin's happiness, Kate pretends to Heath that she was merely flirting amid clever badinage on either side.

While Heath is still endeavoring to ascertain the real state of Kate's affections, Bartlett, the divine who originally caused the quarrel, discloses himself as a rival claimant to Amy's heart. She accepts him, Heath is free to marry Kate and the wedding bells ring out right merrily.

Program and Exploitation Catchlines: They Always Asked Kate--They Thought That She Was Always Right--But Then a Love Affair Set in and She Thought That It Was Not Right--But All Ended Happily for Her
A New Alice Joyce Picture
A Love Story with Alice Joyce and Directed by Mrs. Sidney Drew.

Exploitation Angles: Co-star the lead and the producer, for Mrs. Drew's clever work is as valuable to you in reputation as Miss Joyce's well-founded popularity as a star. Make it always "Alice Joyce" in Mrs. Sidney Drew's production of and not merely Alice Joyce. Sketch the plot lightly, but sell on personalities.

Review from Photoplay, March 1921

film still

Photo caption: "Cousin Kate" the story of the novelist who fell victim to a romance as wild as those she wrote, has been adapted by Mrs. Sidney Drew into delightful entertainment. Alice Joyce is charming.

COUSIN KATE--Vitagraph

"Cousin Kate" was one of the pleasantest romances that found its way into the repertoire of Ethel Barrymore when she was a girl. The story of the young novelist who secretly scoffed at the sugary romances she concocted for the sweet young things who were her heroines and then fell victim to a love affair that was quite as wildly romantic as any of those which she had written, had delightful comedy vale and enough dramatic quality to make it delightful entertainment. In the screen version which is distinctly a feminine affair, having been adapted by Mrs. L. Case Russell, directed by Mrs. Sidney Drew and played by Alice Joyce, most of these values are preserved. Being a typically fussy masculine critic I naturally feel that while the dear ladies may have made the best of the material they have not made the most of it. Mrs. Drew, for instance, has been too abrupt and not at all convincing in bringing together Cousin Kate and the engaging young man who was to marry her puritanical young cousin, though he really didn't love her, in the storm-bound cottage in which they were forced to play at "keeping house," and where they discovered that love, in place of being "so much trouble," as Cousin Kate had written, was really something with which young people have to reckon, in real life as well as in fiction. Past this weakened foundation, however, the story is well handled, and none of the screen heroines could have made "Cousin Kate" more charmingly feminine than did Miss Joyce.

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Last revised December 27, 2015