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The Short Films of Alice Joyce, 1914 : Reviews

The Hand Print Mystery
The Shadow
The Cabaret Dancer
The Dance of Death
Nina of the Theater
The Show Girl's Glove (with picture)
The Weakling
In Wolf's Clothing
The Beast
The Vampire's Trail
The Old Army Coat
The Brand
The Mystery of the Sleeping Death
(with viewing comments and link to online video)
The Green Rose
The Viper
Fate's Midnight Hour
The Girl and the Stowaway
The Lynbrook Tragedy
The Riddle of the Green Umbrella
The Theft of the Crown Jewels (with pictures)
The Price of Silence
The Mayor's Secretary

The Hand Print Mystery

2 reels. Directed by Robert G. Vignola. AJ as Ruth, with Tom Moore, James B. Ross, Harry Millarde and Marguerite Courtot.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, January 28, 1914


Two-Reel Feature Made by the Kalem Company Under the Direction of Robert G. Vignola. Released Feb. 4.

Mr. Field James B. Ross
Kenneth, his son Harry Millarde
Ruth, daughter Alice Joyce
Bess, daughter Marguerite Courtot
Dick, Ruth's sweetheart Tom Moore

A two-reel feature film that reads interestingly as it runs. The acting is probably the part of the play that carries it along the best. The story is not especially strong, nor is the setting especially elaborate as it should be in places. There seems a good deal of the unplausible about it, and some of the characters with whom we are asked to sympathize commit deeds that do not call for anything but censure. The title is not the happiest selection for the series of events, and the whole point of the play, the finding of the finger prints, led up to with a good deal of mystery and suspense, with many feet of film, is lost in the way the author has chosen to develop his plot. At one point we are shown an apparently empty house, but due to the outdoor settings of the studio the wind blows merrily among the draperies. Why wasn't the telephone shut off in the empty house? There are many other unanswered queries that naturally come to the mind of the critical. Yet it is a good mystery film. The acting of Alice Joyce in a part that was rarely fitted to her talents was the treat of the week. She was great in a part that called for emotional display, lovable in the scenes with her fiance, and at all times attractive, fragile and full of pathos. Marguerite Courtot as the sister is second to Miss Joyce in the excellence of her work.

The son of the house wants money to complete his invention, and the older sister steals all the jewelry in the house to help him. She leaves telltale finger prints, but her lover comes to her rescue and wipes them away. At this critical juncture the brother announces the success of his invention and returns all the jewelry.


Review from Moving Picture World, January 31, 1914

THE HAND PRINT MYSTERY(Special--2 parts--Feb. 4)--Kenneth, an inventor, is ordered from the house upon his refusal to enter his father's business. Ruth, his sister, believes in her brother's eventual success, while Bess, the younger sister, sides with her father. The Fields close their home and leave for the country. Dick, Ruth's sweetheart, presents her with a valuable diamond ring. Later, the boy is called from the city on important business. To supply Kenneth with money with which to enable him to complete his invention, Ruth steals jewelry belonging to her father and sister. She adds her engagement ring to the pile to avert suspicion. She leaves for the Fields' city home, where she is to meet Kenneth. In entering the house, Ruth leaves the front door open. Dick passes and discovers the open door. He enters the house and investigates. Ruth hears him and hides. Dick leaves a few minutes later. Kenneth arrives and is given the jewels, which he promises to return in a few days. Ruth hastens back to the country, where she finds a detective at work on the robbery. Dick arrives and reports his discovery. The family leave for the city, accompanied by the detective. The latter discovers a hand print on the stairwell of the city home. Ruth recognizes it as her own. Dick notices his sweetheart's agitation and persuades Ruth to tell him the story.

The girl leans against a stable and makes another hand print. It is seen by the detective, but before he can examine it, Dick wipes it out as if by accident. Disgusted by Dick's apparent stupidity, the detective leaves. A few days later, the papers blazon the news of Kenneth's success. The boy is welcomed home by his father. Making sure he is unobserved, Kenneth passes the stolen jewels to Ruth. Accompanied by Dick, the girl slyly returns the articles to the cases from which they had been taken. The ring, however, Dick takes. After placing it upon Ruth's hand for the second time, he takes his sweetheart in his arms.

The Shadow

2 reels. Directed by Robert G. Vignola. AJ as Sarah, with Tom Moore, Henry Hallam and Alice Hollister.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, February 18, 1914


Two-Reel Feature Production by the Kalem Company Under the Direction of Robert G. Vignola. For release Feb. 23

Thomas Dean Henry Hallam
Jane, his daughter Alice Hollister
Sarah, his second wife Alice Joyce
Ware, former lover Tom Moore

This is a strong film. Its appeal will be universal. It is pictured beyond the possibilities of a censure. Two reels filled with dramatic scenes, and characters in strong contrast are the medium by which the film "gets over." It starts with a setting forth of the intricacies of the situation without any forward movement. Then, having put the spectator in touch with the situation, it moves swiftly, smoothly, and with exceptional interest. It is a virile, emotional, pathetic play.

There are some scenes that might be disagreeable, but by clever handling the director has eliminated all objectionable traces. The plot is a social quadrilateral, in place of the triangle. Miss Joyce and Miss Hollister have interpreted their parts with an entirely superior intelligence. The photography in this film is a pleasure. In detailed staging the director has succeeded in surpassing himself. A constant attention to the little things lends the play the atmosphere of reality and intimate feeling that are a result of careful forethought and planning. The plot runs smoothly and interestingly under his able command.

The widower marries for the second time, and his daughter does not like her stepmother. The latter, for advice, turns to a former suitor, and at this unlucky instant the husband happens into the room The stepdaughter sacrifices herself to save the wife, and this leads to their becoming friends, so that when the truth of the visit is revealed, the daughter is forgiven by her father, and the household lives happily thereafter.


Review from Moving Picture World, February 21, 1914

THE SHADOW(Special--2 parts--Feb. 23)--Driven to desperation by the enmity of Jane, her step-daughter, Sarah, Dean's second wife, turns to Ware, a friend of the family and a former suitor, for advice. Jane learns that her stepmother has gone to call upon Ware. Realizing the unhappiness that her conduct has caused, the girl is stricken with remorse. Knowing that her father would misconstrue Sarah's visit to Ware, the girl hastens to the man's home to meet her stepmother. Sarah is taken aback when Jane finds her with Ware, but is filled with happiness when the girl announces her desire for a reconciliation. The two are just about to leave when Dean is seen approaching the house. In terror, the two women hide in the next room. Dean enters. He discovers his wife's handkerchief lying on the table and demands an explanation from Ware. To save her stepmother, Jane enters the room and nobly shoulders the guilt. In horror, Dean forbids her ever returning to his home.

Fearing her husband's anger, Sarah selfishly suffers Jane to bear the consequences of her own thoughtless act. For a time, Jane strives to support herself, but finally faces dire poverty. Sarah, learning of her stepdaughter's predicament, is brought to the realization of her own selfishness. She determines to reveal the whole miserable story. Sarah arranges to have Jane and Jack Ware at her home the following day. Dean discovers his daughter's presence and harshly orders her from the home. Sarah, however, reveals the circumstances. She points out that through the course of events, the enmity which had formerly existed between Jane and herself is now replaced by love. Jane and Ware corroborate the unhappy woman's story. Deans sees a new light. Gladdened at the turn of events, he takes his wife and daughter in his arms.

The Cabaret Dancer

2 reels. Directed by Robert G. Vignola. AJ as Linee Hayden, with Tom Moore, James B. Ross, Harry Millarde, Helen Lindroth and Alice Hollister.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, April 1, 1914


Two-Reel Feature Production by the Kalem Company Under the Direction of Robert G. Vignola. Released April 6.

Linee, model and dancer Alice Joyce
Don, artist Tom Moore
Martha, former sweetheart Alice Hollister
His Father James B. Ross
Dupree, Frenchman Harry Millarde
Landlady Helen Lindroth

There is that about a man blinded in the prime of life that will be one of the features to awaken the emotions in this two-reel drama. There are many other commendable features as well; and, while no wonderful conception by any means, it is fully as strong a two-reel offering as will be seen in many week's run of films. In the second reel, Alice Joyce takes the part of the cabaret dancer, and carries the part with grace and distinction. Not only that, but in other parts of the film, especially in her relations with the blinded man, she throws herself into the character so as to outdo her even unusually good work of every-day acting. The others in the cast, surely a well-enough known set of stars, fill their parts with ability. The script is a little hard to believe in several points, but despite this academic criticism succeeds admirably in holding the attention of its audience and in satisfying their most exacting demands for excitement, pathos, and novel action. Mr. Vignola has done well. In entrances and exits that run off smoothly and give the height of realism, and also in the matter of the minor detail, he covers himself with credit.

Don, the artist, falls in love with his model, and marries her. Then he decides to take her home to his father, the local minister, and arrives in the village. The first to greet him is his disappointed childhood sweetheart, and her greeting is not a very kindly one. Then his father disapproves of his new daughter-in-law, and his emotions are violent. The young wife observes all this and decides to leave without letting the husband know. He searches for her in vain for two years, and finally locates her dancing at a cabaret. In protecting her from insult he is threatened with loss of sight, and she takes charge of him in his helplessness without letting him know who she is. Then his father comes to town, in fear that the boy will kill himself, and he finds the two together, and, seeing their great happiness in each other, gives his consent, the more gladly after he hears of her reason for leaving.


Review from Moving Picture World, March 28, 1914

THE CABARET DANCER(Special--2 parts--April 6)--Don Packard, an artist, forgets his country sweetheart, Martha, and falls in love with his model, Linee. The boy marries Linee and takes her to his home. Martha conceives a hatred for Linee when she discovers that the girl has robbed her of her lover. Don's father, a parson, is horrified when he learns of his son's worldly wife. When Linee realizes the trouble her marriage to Don has caused, she runs away. Martha does her utmost to stir up trouble.

For two years Don searches in vain for Linee, who has become a cabaret dancer. Dupree, a Frenchman, falls in love with the girl, but she repels his advances. Don enters the restaurant just as Dupree, mad with jealousy, attempts to shoot Linee. Don saves her life, but loses his sight. Linee assumes charge of the stricken man, but takes care to conceal his identity. Her voice is familiar to Don and he gradually suspects the truth. Rev. Packard, summoned by Linee, comes to the city, accompanied by Martha. Linee learns that they propose to take Don away from her and spirits him away.

Certain that his devoted nurse is Linee, Don removes the bandage from his eyes. By a clever ruse, Linee makes it appear that the mistress of the boarding house is the woman who is taking care of him. The bandage is replaced. Disappointed and heart-sick, Don determines to do away with himself. Fate, however, frustrates the attempt and Linee resumes her place as her husband's nurse. Don's father and Martha finally discover his whereabouts. Linee is seated near Don, reading one of David's Psalms to him, when the minister and Martha enter Don learns that it is his wife who has attended him so faithfully. Touched by the girl's devotion to his son, the old minister takes her to his heart.

The Dance of Death

2 reels. Directed by Robert G. Vignola. AJ as Mabel, with Tom Moore, Mlle. Verna Mersereau, Helen Lindroth, Henry Hallam and James B. Ross.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, April 22, 1914


Two-Reel Feature Photoplay by Robert G. Vignola for the Kalem Company from the Scenario by Phil Lang. For Release April 27.

Sabbi, native dancer Mlle. Verna Mersereau
He Sister Helen Lindroth
Richard Hartley, idler Tom Moore
Mabel, his sweetheart Alice Joyce
Richard's Father Henry Hallam
Langbaum, theatrical manager James B. Ross

There is so much good in the best of it, and so little bad in the worst of it, that the picture stands out at once as a winner among two-reel feature releases. Look at the above cast, and can't you almost imagine what is going to happen. It is, in effect, a Madame Butterfly of the South Sea Islands, with so much and so many good features in it that we will proceed first, saving the best for the last, and say that the only possible point of criticism for the over-captions is that the preliminary before the idler starts for the South sea is a little long. After he gets there, the scenic possibilities of the Florida verdure at its prettiest, with some accurate costuming and cleverly constructed huts, are used to give a sufficient atmosphere of the islands under the Southern cross. There are innumerable sets of selective beauty, one a scene in the Pacific village that is a very apt illustration. Another scene of unusual worth is that in the theater.

Mlle. Mersereau has been especially engaged to take the part of the dancer, and incidentally the lover, as the South Sea beauty. She throws herself into the part of the dancer, and later into the part of the lover, with a passionate and warm-blooded manner that is a direct contrast to the distant way in which Alice Joyce plays the part of the Anglo-Saxon girl. All the others do well in proportion to their parts, but the two women pre-empt most of the action.

In his handling of the scenes, in the introduction of little details that lend heavily to the reality of the offering, and in a hundred-and-one little ways that the director can influence the picture for the good, Robert Vignola has presented a picture that should hold the admiring attention of its audiences. It brims, as the story from Mr. Lang's pen, with action, variety of settings and change in the nature of feelings aroused.

The idler is told by the girl that he must prove his place in the worth-while world before she might say yes. So he accepts the next opportunity to go as secretary to the new consul to the South Sea Island post. There he falls in love with a wonderful native dancer, and captivated, he marries her according to the native custom heedless of the responsibility he is assuming. Then, a while later, a telegram arrives of the sudden death of his father. He decides to leave at once, and takes a cruel farewell from his wife. At home again, he forgets all about the native girl, and becomes engaged to the girl who promised to wait for him. Then a theatrical manager on recreation bound in a cruise in the South Seas, happens on the dancer, and brings her back to the States to feature her in the dance of death. At the first performance, it happens that her husband and the other girl are sitting in one of the boxes. When she sees him she stabs herself to death, a real dance of death. The husband repents bitterly over the dying body of his wife with their little child in his arms.


Review from Moving Picture World, April 25, 1914

THE DANCE OF DEATH(Special--2 parts--April 6)--Because of Richard's indolent habits, Mabel refuses to marry him. To show his ability to make good, the boy leaves for one of the South Sea Islands as secretary to the U.S. Consul. Richard meets Sahki, a native dancing girl. Shortly afterwards, he makes her his wife according to the native rites. Sahki's heart almost breaks when Richard later tells her he must return home. Although he promises to return shortly, the boy forgets Sahki when he meets Mabel upon his return to the States. Mabel agrees to marry Richard. On the Island of Maukalu, Sahki, with her new born babe in her arms, waits for her lover's return. Langbaum, a theatrical manager, comes to the island and sees Sahki dancing before her child. The man induces her to come to America and go on the stage. Because it will take her near Richard, Sahki leaves her home. Nahaku, her sister, goes with her.

The night before their wedding, Richard and Mabel go to the theater. Richard is thunderstruck when he discovers Sahki on the stage. The girl does the "Dance of Death." The weird dance scores a tremendous success. Sahki is compelled to respond to the demand for an encore.

Just as the music commences her eyes fall upon Richard. Intuition tells her he has proven faithless. Sahki throws herself into the dance, holding the audience spellbound. At the climax, she raises her knife and plunges it into her heart. Consternation reigns when it is discovered that the "Dance of Death" has ended in grim reality. Richard hastens to the dressing room. He clasps Sahki in his arms just as she breathes her last. Nahaku grimly places his child in the man's arms. Thus Mabel finds him. The remorse-stricken man tells her the dreadful story. Filled with pity, Mabel takes the infant from Richard's arms and promises to love it as though it were her own.

Nina of the Theater

2 reels. Directed by Kenean Buel. AJ as Mrs. Nina Brent, with Tom Moore, Mlle. Verna Mersereau, Helen Lindroth, Henry Hallam and James B. Ross. First "feature" in the "Alice Joyce Series"

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, June 3, 1914


Two-Reel Feature Production by the Kalem Company. Featuring Alice Joyce. Prepared by Katherine K. Pepper and Staged by Kenean Buel. Released June 8.

Nina Alice Joyce
Paul Kenough Tom Moore
Dr. Brant Jere Austin
Martin, actor Harry Millarde
Stage-Manager Henry Hallam

What impresses most about this feature, being the first of those featuring Alice Joyce, is that it commands a strong series of events that are made to fall into a natural sequence. It is entirely plausible in spite of the very strong mixture of motives that the author has chosen to use. It gets into its stride almost instantly, and never relaxes the pace to the very end. Drama as a rule, a smile creeps in where the doctor, her husband, takes the cat--she has no children--and uses it in spite of her protests, for his anatomical experiments. We see him enter the laboratory with it, and are naturally expectant in the next scene as to the fate of the cat. But no hair of him is ever seen again. Otherwise it is grim drama.

When the girl secures her first position on the stage she falls quickly in love with the lead. The play seems to be Robin Hood, and the scenes of the rehearsal and performance, taken from an angle behind the scenes, are unique. The actor falls sick, and to provide him the necessary treatment, she offers to sacrifice herself to an operation which may mean facial distortion, the operation to aid another patient. Then follows a number of scenes in the operating rooms and wards, all well pictured and slightly grewsome [sic] because of their reality. The girl recovers her good looks, and the scenes attendant, a matter of vision, are better treated here than the matter of words could ever accomplish. The doctor keeps her apart from her lover and a few scenes further on find her married to him, disagreeing as told, and returning to the stage. There is as capable piece of work in the human note struck by the wife, and the cold and scientifically exact nature of the doctor, who in spite of his villainy, is an ardent research worker. This overwork drives him insane, and in pursuing his wife, who comes back to visit him, he falls over the banisters and is killed. Then she is free to marry the actor, whom she has again met upon the stage.

There is a good division of the two reels, the first into cause and the second effect. It is presented with the usual care on the part of the director, who, having an especially worthy scenario, has gone to especial pains to stage it as it deserved.


Review from Moving Picture World, June 6, 1914

NINA OF THE THEATER(First of the Alice Joyce series--Special--2 parts--June 8)--Nina secures a position with a theatrical company through Paul's influence. The two fall in love and become engaged. Paul is stricken with an illness which necessitates expensive treatment. Nina learns that $1,000 is offered to the person who will submit to an experimental operation which may mean permanent disfigurement. To save Paul's life, his sweetheart takes up the offer.

Brent, the surgeon who performs the operation, falls in love with Nina. To part the lovers, he informs Paul, who later calls to inquire about Nina, that she has lost her beauty forever. Brent also intercepts Paul's letters, causing the girl to believe that he no longer loves her. When Nina recovers, she finds that her beauty is unmarred. Brent asks her to be his wife. Impelled by gratitude, Nina marries him. Later, the doctor resigns from the hospital staff and engrosses himself in experimental work. He utterly neglects Nina. Brent's conduct finally becomes such that his wife leaves him and returns to the stage. The actor who portrays the leading role in Nina's company is injured. Meldon, the manager, sends for Paul to take the injured man's place. The former sweethearts are thunderstruck when they face each other once more. In the explanations that follow, Nina learns of her husband's treachery.

Brent's mind becomes unbalanced as the result of overwork. He cunningly plans to send for Nina and kill her when she returns. The girl falls into his trap and comes in answer to his letter. Realizing she has a madman to deal with, Nina frantically runs down the flight of stairs in her attempt to escape. Brent, following, trips and hurtles over the banisters to the floor below. When Nina fearfully places her hand over his heart, she finds that her husband is dead.

The Show Girl's Glove

2 reels. Produced by Robert G. Vignola. AJ as Mrs. Mary Hamilton, with John E. Mackin, Harry Millarde, Alice Hollister, Marguerite Courtot.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, June 17, 1914


Two-Part Offering by the Kalem Company. Featuring Alice Joyce. Produced by Robert G. Vignola. Released June 22

Mary Hampton Alice Joyce
John, her Husband John E. Mackin
Dick, her brother Harry Millarde
Stella Desmond, show girl Alice Hollister
Rosie Marguerite Courtot

Strong scenes and complications that hold the suspense at all times are the keynotes to this two-part drama. While it is a bit fortuitous in parts, that it is not extraordinary in this day of a plentitude of plots. With this slight criticism excepted, there is nothing but praise for "The Show Girl's Glove."

The show girl is engaged to the younger brother of the broker. The news leaks out and the broker puts detectives on her trail. He shows the bad report to his younger brother, who is in business with him, and the disillusioned boy breaks off the relations over the telephone. The girl, however, rushes to the office, prepared to try her fascinations in the last plea, and the older brother leaves them in the office to talk the matter over. A little later she leaves the building alone and comes back a few minutes later with a policeman, to find the older brother leaning over the dead body of his younger brother. In the struggle she stabbed him, but the police think, and she swears to it, that the older brother stabbed him. He is lead to prison, while his wife undertakes the task of finding the culprit.

Alice Hollister takes most of the work. Alice Joyce is always pleasing in appearance and artistry as well. The cast altogether is an All-Kalem-Star one and, aided by good sets, takes a commanding part in the production. The wife discovers a glove in the office, and through a ragpicker's daughter, a friend of hers, finds the other, all blood stained. With the pair she confronts the show girl, after she has secured a position in her employ as maid. Detectives in the next room question the guilty girl before she has had time to recover from the shock of seeing the telltale gloves before her.


Review from Moving Picture World, June 20, 1914

THE SHOW GIRL'S GLOVE(Special--2 parts--June 22)--Hampton, a broker, employs a detective to investigate Stella, a show girl, with whom his younger brother Dick is in love. As a result of the detective's discoveries, Dick breaks his engagement with Stella.

The woman calls at Dick's office late that afternoon. Hampton leaves the two alone. Unable to alter Dick's decision, Stella seazes [sic] a knife and threatens suicide. Dick tries to wrest the weapon from her and is accidentally killed. Stella flees in terror, dropping one of her gloves in her haste.

In leaving the building, the show girl sees Hampton waiting outside for the interview to end. Seized by a diabolical idea, the woman summons a policeman and returns to the office. Hampton is found leaning over his brother's body. The man is placed under arrest.

Missing her glove Stella later throws its blood-stained mate into an ashcan. Mary, wife of the accused man, finds the glove that had been dropped at the secen [sic] of the murder. Suspecting a foul plot, the woman resolves to run the real murderer to earth.

Mary has befriended Rosie, the daughter of a ragpicker. While the girl is doing some sewing for the griefstricken wife, she sees the show girl's glove lying on the table. Rosie mentions the fact that her father had found a glove greatly resembing the one on the table. When the ragpicker's daughter later brings the blood-stained glove her father has found, Mary discovers they are mates.

The wife's chance comes when she learns that Stella is advertising for a maid. Ignorant of the applicant's identity, the show girl employs the wife of the man she has accused. Awaiting her opportunity, Mary places the gloves on Stella's dressing table. Detectives stationed in the next room hear the show girl's cry of horror when she finds the tell-tale gloves. They place the murderess under arrest. Overcome, Stella confesses her crime.

Show Girls Glove poster Show Girls Glove poster text
An advertising poster for the film and a closer look at the text, courtesy of Nick Irwin.

The Weakling

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. AJ as Nancy Berry, with Tom Moore, Henry Hallam, John E. Mackin, and Jere Austin.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, July 1, 1914


Two-Part Feature Made by the Kalem Company. Produced by Kenean Buel. Featuring Alice Joyce. Released July 6.

Judge Berry Henry Hallam
Nancy, his daughter Alice Joyce
Large Largin "cracker" John E. Mackin
Dave, his eldest son Jere Austin
Litt, his youngest son Tom Moore

The third in the series featuring Alice Joyce, this serves to give her and Tom Moore equal prominence. Perhaps this is the greatest distinction of which the picture has, except one point of scenic notice. At one part of the film the camera has caught the characters in a pouring rain storm. The torrents of water pour down, and the producer has cleverly, by proper handling of the tinting and the lighting of the film produced the most artistic equivalent that we have yet had the pleasure of seeing. Followed by a bluish glare will come a blank and dark strip of film, to be succeeded again by the realistic flash of the lightning.

The daughter of the judge goes among the white but illiterate Southerners, where she teaches school. Her most apt pupil is the younger but physically cowardly son of one of the families. The eldest brother tries to make love to her and the youngest summons enough courage to knock him down. She then helps him to go to college and in the class room his courage is shown to fail on several occasions. At commencement he graduates with honors, but when a thief gets into the same room with the daughter of the Judge, and he flees instead of grappling with him, she tells him that she will have no more of him until he loses his cowardice. A little later he thwarts an attempt to shoot the Judge, her father, at the expense of a bullet in his own shoulder. With this we are told that cowardice has flown forever and they embrace.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, July 4, 1914

The Weakling.
New Kalem Special with and Exciting Climax Intensified by a Marvelously Staged Thunder Storm.
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson.

EVERY WORK OF ART chooses some object, some effect upon the human heart and mind, and reaches its ends with all the vigor and felicity that the artist has at his command or at that his time, patience and courage will let him devote to it. Only a truly human theme will inspire an artist to do really good work. His genius may sparkle here and there in a scene or two, while he is dealing with insignificant or artificial situations, but the light that engages the spectator's whole attention won't shine out from any picture unless it's [sic] maker has an object that will let him be sincere all the way through. Kenean Buell, who produced this picture, "The Weakling," had to tell graphically a story with sufficient human significance and has made of it a very desirable offering full of merit.

The picture sets before us the troubles of a youth, richly endowed by nature, but sorely tried by lack of physical courage until, at the end, he overcomes the defect, winning thereby the girl of his choice. It makes it very clear to us that his blemish is not due to heredity but to environment. More intellectual than his relatives, and more sensitive, he is the butt of his elder brother's brutality and of the scorn of his parents s well. He is not weak in body or mind, but younger, and has been trained to cower, so they call him "the weakling." The first scene opens with a picture of the two youngsters playing with large cones before the rough cabin of a mountaineer. The elder brother is already playing the tyrant and the younger has to stand ill treatment from him. Two short scenes carry us along fifteen years. The boys have become young men and the old relationship of bully and "butt" still holds. Dave, the bully, is played by Jere Austin and the younger brother, Litt, by Tom Moore.

At this point we find the girl Nancy, duaghter [sic] of a judge, who is to be the heroine of the story (played by Alice Joyce), leaving her comfortable home in the foothills to do what she can for the illiterate mountain whites. She comes to the settlement where the two brothers live and opens a school for children. The "kids" who attend her school have been felicitously chosen. They have interesting faces and there is naturalness and grace in the way they are handled and also in the school scenes as picture compositions. Litt, athirst for knowledge, comes to the school and studies with the children, thereby, it may be construed, increasing Dave's scorn for him. Dave falls in love with the attractive looking teacher, calls on her in the evening, but gets no encouragement. Litt is a brilliant scholar and the girl takes a good deal of interest in him and this increases Dave's ill feeling, the more since the younger brother lacks the spunk to protect her from his rudeness.

Following these scenes, comes an absolutely convincing but very intense climax. The action is logical, the steps follow in naturally dramatic sequence and the result keeps us absolutely absorbed in what is truly a marvelous portrayal of a significant situation. We watch the preparation for the event and how it comes that Nancy is left along [sic] for a night and how Dave comes upon knowledge of it. He holds Litt in such contempt that he doesn't refrain from jeering at him and this makes Litt suspicious. He follows his brother through a moon-lit forest (some beautifully photographed scenes). Dave reaches the cabin just as a terrible thunder storm breaks and the rest of the incident is accompanied by some of the most startlingly realistic lightning we have ever seen portrayed. It is a marvel of photography. He forces his way in and is roughly handling the girl when his brother appears at the still open door through which now and again the background is filled with bright light or left in blackness. The struggle is now between the brothers and in the midst of it the doorway is filled with such a flash of light that the spectator, with nerves all tense, feels that it has struck close by. The older brother falls unconscious and Litt, believing that he has killed him, flees out into the pouring rain. A real rain storm is pictured. We can actually see the rain splashing in puddles and pools of surface water. Litt, overcome, is found by the judge next day lying unconscious at the road-side and is taken to the judge's home.

Soon after Litt leaves, Dave comes to, his arm paralyzed, and is kept a prisoner until morning by the girl who has found a gun. the girl had already written to her father asking him to continue the education of Litt and he is installed in a college to graduate later with honors. Here, one would think that the story would naturally end, but it is continued to show by two more incidents that Litt has not yet escaped from the bondage of physical cowardice. The girl loves him, but still refuses to marry him on account of this. At a third chance he proves himself a hero indeed, stopping with his body a bullet intended by his father for the judge who is trying his father for illicit whiskey making. Perhaps this scene is hampered somewhat by a lack of restraint, a defect of which the first reel is almost absolutely clean. As a whole it is a very fine offering though a bit too long at the end. Kenean Buell, who produced it, is deserving of very high commendation. [Omitted, two photos]

THE WEAKLING(Special--2 parts--Third of the Alice Joyce Series--July 6)--Nancy, daughter of Judge Berry, devotes her time to the education of the illiterate mountaineers. Litt Largin, whose physical cowardice has won for him the nickname of "The Weakling)" is her brightest pupil. Litt's brother Dave falls in love with Nance. The girl despises Dave and is later insulted by him in the presence of Litt, who fears to interfere. Later, however Litt rescues Nancy when she struggles to free herself from Dave's embrace. The two brothers engage in a desperate battle. Dave is beaten down. Fearing he has killed his brother, Litt flees. Dave recovers. Nancy traces Litt and persuades her father to send him to college. There, Litt's cowardice again makes him an object of contempt, but he graduates at the head of his class. Nancy and her father attend the commencement exercises. The girl promises to wed Litt. A sneakthief enters the cloakroom of the building. Nancy enters the room just as he is about to escape with his loot. Litt finds her confronting the crook, but his cowardice causes him to run. Filled with contempt, Nancy breaks their engagement.

Litt's father is arrested in a revenue raid. In the fight that followed, the man slays one of the government agents. He is placed on trial on charge of murder. Judge Berry tries the case. Litt overhears Dave and several of the mountaineers planning to shoot up the court and rescue his father. Not wishing to betray his brother, he sneaks a means to frustrate the plot. The boy enters the court room during the trial. A move by Dave causes him to spring forward. A shot rings out. Litt falls with the bullet intended for Nancy's father in his own body. When the boy recovers, he finds that his superb heroism has restored Nancy to him.

In Wolf's Clothing

2 reels. Produced by Robert G. Vignola. Author: Mark S. Reardon. AJ as Daisy Brooks, with Tom Moore, Henry Hallam, Robert Walker, Harry Millarde, and Helen Lindroth.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, July 15, 1914

Still photo on the Silent Film Still Archive

Two-Part Kalem Feature Produced by Robert G. Vignola from the Scenario by Mark S. Reardon. Released July 20.

Dick Worth Tom Moore
John Frame, lawyer Robert Walker
Carter Gordon Harry Millarde
Stephen Brooks, millionaire Henry Hallam
Daisy, his daughter Alice Joyce
Mrs. Brooks, her aunt Helen Lindroth

While the general nature of this subject may not be new to film patrons, the particular phase of it that the author has seen fit to develop in the greatest detail is essentially novel and interesting. The daughter of the millionaire is about to marry a fortune hunter, whereas she is really in love with a shy young man, but propriety keeps her from postponing the wedding at the last moment. While the groom is dressing for the ceremony, the lawyer friend of the family bethinks him to test the love of the fortune hunter and writes him an ostensibly friendly note warning that the girl has lost practically the entire fortune through the death of her father, the clearing up of whose will has disclosed the truth of her pecuniary shortness. The groom determines to leave at once, but the bashful suitor, waiting at the ceremony to which the groom does not appear, goes to his room and catches him as he is about to leave. Believing that the girl really loves him, Worth, the bashful one, compels the other to dress and come to the ceremony. There the delayed marriage is about to take place when the lawyer, having found out about the attempted flight of the fortune hunter, stops the proceedings, and Worth is accepted by the bride.

All this action transpires while the bride, at times in a fainting condition, is waiting for the groom to appear. It furnishes a strong suspense and is also pictured with unusual care as to the selection of the cast and the settings which are mostly interiors.

Preliminary to the wedding was the wooing of the daughter by the fortune hunter and his attempt to steal a valuable document from her father, which caused the latter's death of heart failure. It was witnessed by Worth, who held his silence, thinking that the man is loved by the girl.

As a feature that will give Alice Joyce and Tom Moore prominence no better selection than this, the fourth in the series, could be asked. As the bashful man, Mr. Moore does perhaps as well as in anything that he has attempted of late. Robert Walker is a particularly clean-cut and graceful actor calculated to catch the approving eye of his audiences.


Review from Moving Picture World, July 18, 1914

"IN WOLF'S CLOTHING"(Fourth of the Alice Joyce Series --Special--2 parts--July 20)--Carter Gordon, a fortune-hunter, becames [sic] betrothed to Daisy Brooks, daughter of a millionaire. Frame, Brook's attorney, calls at the house to deliver some securities to his client. Carter is furious when he sees Daisy and Dick become interested in each other. The fortune-hunter sees Brooks place the securities in the library safe. Hard pressed for cash, Carter attempts to steal the documents, but is discovered in the act by Dick and Brooks. The shock kills Brooks before he can warn his daughter against marrying the scoundrel. Believing that Daisy loves Carter, Dick maintains silence. Later, he warns Carter that he will hold him accountable for Daily's future happiness.

Realizing how deeply Dick loves Daisy, and knowing that the girl loves his chum, Frame, plans to unite the two. Believing Carter is merely marrying the girl for her money, Frame informs him that Brooks has died penniless. The information reaches Carter on his wedding day. The man promptly prepares to flee. When the bridegroom fails to appear, Dick, who is among the wedding guests, suspects something wrong and goes after Carter. The latter is just about to go abroad. Furious, Dick thrashes him and compels Carter to accompany him. Daisy is overjoyed when the two apear [sic]. Frame, however, realizing the truth, denounces Carter as a fortune hunter just as the marriage ceremony is about to take place. The scoundrel slinks away.

Overcome with shame, Daisy faints in Dick's arms. He carries the girl into the library where she recovers. Then comes the knowledge that Daisy's only reason for not breaking her engagement was her pledged word. Happy in the knowledge that Daisy has loved him all the time, Dick takes her in his arms.

The Beast

1 reel. AJ as Edith, with Tom Moore, Benjamin Ross, Robert Walker, Jere Austin, Henry Hallam.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, July 15, 1914

The Beast (Kalem, July 21).--Tom Moore the "heavy" is likely to supersede Tom Moore the lead if he continues to play up to the part as in this one-reel drama. His, next to Alice Joyce, is the principal part of this one-reel play, eleven scenes of which were produced on the model stage at the New York exposition recently. A powerful skeleton of scenes that ends in a dramatic court episode makes this an exceptional offering, and but for the fact of its being a little hurried at the end would pronounce it among the best of one-reelers. Photography and settings are in harmony with this unusually clever production. The girl marries the brute, who holds a certain threat over her father, of which she learns. Married, he drinks to excess and acts in particular vindication of the title. One night, returning drunk, he falls, and she leaves him apparently lifeless. The coroner finds that he was killed with a blunt instrument, and she is arrested and brought to trial. The testimony of the maid is changed by the sight of the butler carousing with another girl, and piqued by jealousy she tells how, after the husband fell, and his wife had left, he recovered, and found the butler and herself behind the portieres where they were hiding, listening. In the struggle the butler fells him with a wine bottle. Thus the wife is released, while the guilty butler is led away to jail.


Review from Moving Picture World, July 18, 1914

THE BEAST(July 21)--Although she loves Jack Brandon, Edith is compelled to marry wealthy James Melford to save her father from jail. Marriage reveals Melford to be a drunkard and a brute. Edith and her husband visit a fashionable cafe one evening. During their absence, Marie, Edith's maid, and Brooks, the butler, make merry in the library. The unexpected return of master and mistress finds the servants unable to leave the room unobserved. The two hide behind the heavy window portieres. Melford, who is intoxicated, roughly attempts to embrace his wife. Filled with disgust, Edith pushes him away. The man falls, striking his head against the floor. Unable to revive him, Edith flees to her room in terror.

The morning papers inform Jack Brandon that his former sweetheart has been arrested on the charge of murder. He hastens to her aid. Marie and Brooks, who are sweethearts, are the principal witnesses against the unfortunate woman. Shortly before the trial, Marie learns that Brooks has fallen in love with another girl and mentally vows vengeance. The sight of the butler openly flirting with her rival on the day of the trial strengthens Marie in her resolve. Called to the stand to describe how Melford met his death, the maid springs a sensation by declaring Edith innocent and revealing the real slayer. Who the murderer is and how the death of Melford occurred is shown in a denouement of wonderful interest.

The Vampire's Trail

2 reels. Produced by Robert G. Vignola. Author: Benjamin Barondess and Michael Potter. AJ as Laura Payne, with Tom Moore, Robert Walker, Harry Millarde, and Alice Hollister.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, July 29, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Drama, Produced by Robert G. Vignola from a Script by Benjamin Barondess and Michael Potter. Released Aug. 3

Horace Payne, wealthy broker Tom Moore
Laura, his wife Alice Joyce
Phil Olcott, his friend Harry Millarde
Rita, a cabaret singer Alice Hollister
Dugan, reporter Robert Walter

An absorbing narrative, engrossing situations and excellent photography mark this film. As an example of the conflict between a mother's love for her child and her love for her husband, the play presents Alice Joyce in a thoroughly dramatic role. The best part of the first reel is utilized in showing the mother nursing her sick child and the consequent inattention to her husband. The latter spends his time with a cabaret singer whom he meets, the vampire of the title. As the vampire, it would be difficult to conceive of a more artistic, complete or convincing delineation than that of Alice Hollister. Demeanor, facial expression and actions match to make this one of her best roles in a numerous succession of clever and praiseworthy ones. Her artistry is unquestioned; her complete lapse into the more vulgar character that she assumes must be for those unacquainted with her excellent work a complete deception.

The husband, infatuated with the singer, who means to use him in conjunction with a newspaper scandal that involves his and her names, invites her to a reception at his home. That night the baby is taken sick with diphtheria, the house is quarantined, and the vampire, the last to try to leave, is forced to remain.

Succeeding days find the man more and more devoted to the baby and his wife, so that when the quarantine is lifted he orders the girl to leave. Her spell is broken.


Review from Moving Picture World, July 25, 1914

The Vampire's Trail.
Kalem Two-Reel Picture Gives Interesting Development to an Important Situation--An Intimate Story of Domestic Life.
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson.

A YOUNG mother wants to be with her child so much that she is cross to her husband when he asks her to spend a pleasant evening with him away from home. The husband in consequence seeking diversion and relief from business cares alone, drifts away from her. This is a good situation, and the authors of this picture, which makes use of it, (there are two of them, Benjamin Barondess and Michael Potter) have stated it in a simple, direct way that leaves no opening for melodrama, but a fine chance for true dramatic development. It will be noticed that both the husband and wife are not drawn as all good or all bad nor are they presented in a way that compels us to sympathize one way or the other. They are merely set there in their home life with this little entanglement that they must either unravel or trip over to the destruction of the home. The average spectator will probably not see himself or herself in either of them. They will be to him acquaintances only, not wholly approved of as wise human beings, but decidedly of interest, they will be seen as in some things foolish human beings, good gossip material.

When the second reel is opening we find that things have got to such a pass that the husband invites the singer, with whom he has begun a somewhat unsafe friendship, to attend a party at his house and there introduces her to his wife. The spectator's mind hesitates here, for a moment, thinking that it is a bit unbelievable and perhaps it is. But the author's intention is to get her in the home and in some natural and convincing way to have some contagious disease break out. The child gets sick while the party is in progress and the singer lingering behind, is quarantined and compelled to remain there for several days. This singer is the vampire, and it has been her intention to get nation-wide publicity by eloping with the man whom she doesn't love. She has been persuaded to take the step by her reporter lover. The queer trick thus played on her by chance (she had thought that he would elope with her that night) puts her in the frame of mind that makes her give her hacracter [sic] "away" She cares nothing for the sick baby and persists in playing rag time airs. Then her persuading the butler to play cards with her and to get out the wine bottle also makes her seem a most undesirable person. The reporter, wondering why he gets no definite news about the elopement, comes to the house and they, while talking through an open window, are overheard by the wife, who is thunderstruck to learn that she had been entertaining a woman whose sole object was to entrap her husband into an elopement. This is naturally all off now, and we are never sure that her scheme had appealed to the man. We prefer to think not, for if it had, the wife could have forgiven him, but how could she have ever respected his common sense or strength of character afterward? That she does take him back into her love and confidence makes it sure that he was not fooled so wholly as the adventuress had hoped or persuaded herself. The role of the young wife is taken by Alice Joyce; that of her husband Tom Moore and that of the adventuress by Alice Hollister. All three of these have excellent roles and all capably fill the requirements of them. The production was put on the screen by Robert G. Vignola and has many lovely scenes. The photography is fine. [Omitted, two photos]

Another Review from Moving Picture World, August 1, 1914

THE VAMPIRE'S TRAIL(Special--Two parts--August 3)-- With the birth of her son, Laura's affection for her husband is submerged in her mother-love for the child. Deprived of his wife's companionship, Horace drifts away from her. The man falls into the toils of Rita, an actress.

The woman loves Dugan, a reporter on a yellow sheet. Dugan suggests that Rita elope with Horace as a means of getting publicity. The unscrupulous woman agrees. Horace falls into Rita's net and the two plan to elope upon the occasion of a reception given by Laura, which is to be held a few days later.

Laura is amazed to find the notorious actress among her guests, upon the night of the affair. Shortly afterward, a frightened maid informs the hostess that her child is ill. All the guests depart, with the exception of Rita, who waits for Horace. A doctor declares that Laura's baby has a severe case of diphtheria and the house is quarantined.

Rita is furious when she discovers she cannot leave the house. Enraged by the collapse of her infamous scheme, the woman reveals her true self to Horace. Thinking of the little wife who is fighting for their child's life, Horace turns from Rita in disgust.

Several nights later, Dugan, impatient for news, steals to the rear of the house. Evading the police on guard, he attracts Rita's attention. Laura comes upon the two and learns what her neglect of Horace has brought about. She confronts the actress, who shrinks in fear from the enraged wife. Thus Horace finds him.

Falling to his knees, the husband acknowledges his baseness and begs to be forgiven. But Laura, taking him in her arms, declares the fault to have been her own.

The Old Army Coat

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Author: Claude H. Miller. AJ as Alice, with Benjamin Rose, Robert Walker, Jere Austin, and Henry Hallam.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, August 12, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Photo-Drama Featuring Alice Joyce. Produced by Kenean Buel from the Scenario by Claude H. Miller. Released Aug. 17

Major Robertson, veteran Benjamin Rose
Alice, his Ward Alice Joyce
Leroy, his dissolute nephew Robert Walker
Stanton, lawyer Jere Austin
The Doctor Henry Hallam

The old veteran of the Civil War is one of the favorite subjects with scenario writers, and Mr. Miller has not gone far astray in his search for a heart-interest story.

The veteran is burdened with a worthless nephew and rejoices in a good and faithful ward. The nephew's demands for money being refused, he tries to rob the veteran of the money that has been sent him to join the reunion of his former comrades. Foiled, the nephew is ordered from the house, while the old man makes his will in favor of the ward.

At the reunion, in which the old man is skillfully "faked" into the real parade of the veterans on the Coast, he grows reminiscent and tells, pictorially, how the girl happens to be his ward, this part of the narrative being most appealing.

Later the old man dies, and in her fright at the intrusion of the nephew the girl places the will in an old army coat which is thrown out of the window and picked up by a tramp. Unable to prove her inheritance, she is turned out by the nephew and goes to teach in a neighboring county. Here by chance she is accosted on the road and hides behind a scarecrow. The coat is the one discarded by the tramp, and in the pocket she finds the will. The fortuitousness of this chain of circumstances overlooked, the action may be accepted as presented. Nicely handled by the director.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, August 15, 1914

The Old Army Coat.
Two Parts--Kalem Company.
Reviewed by W. Stephen Bush.

THIS short but compact feature gives the Kalem star, Alice Joyce, an opportunity for appeal to the heart and she makes the most of the opportunity as was to be expected.

An old confederate soldier, the uncle of a worthless spendthrift nephew, is passing his declining years in the company of his ward, a charming young woman, the granddaughter of the old man's sweetheart. The latter in the early days of the civil war had refused the veteran and married another man, who fell in battle. In the course of time the veteran chooses the grandaughter [sic] for his steady companion. The old soldier discovers the utter worthlessness of his nephew and decides to disinherit him, bequeathing all his property to his ward. Death comes upon him suddenly after he has made his will and the ward, fearing that in the excitement following her guardian's death the will might fall into the hands of the nephew hides the document in her guardian's old army coat. A passing tramp steals the coat and, as the will cannot be found, the nephew is declared the old man's heir and takes possession of the estate. In the mean time the lawyer who had drawn the will is sorely puzzled but gives up his investigation after a little effort. In its wanderings the army coat falls into the hands of a farmer, who uses it as a scarecrow on his fields. The ward, now a school teacher in the county, hides behind the scarecrow to escape the annoying attentions of the nephew and thus discovers the precious document which, despite winds and storms, was well preserved and leads to the true heir taking the property away from the villainous nephew

[Omitted, one photo]

"THE OLD ARMY COAT"(Special--Two parts--August 17)-- Discovering his nephew, Leroy, to be a rake and a thief, old Major Robertson decides to leave his entire fortune to his ward, Alice. The girl is the daughter of the Major's old sweetheart. Leroy is filled with anger at the turn of events. Fearing lest he find and destroy the will, Alice hides the document in the secret pocket of her guardian's old army coat. Later, Leroy is the cause of a heart stroke which kills Major Robertson. The nephew institutes a search for the will. Coming across the army coat, he throws it out of the window, never suspecting it contains the precious document. A tramp finds the garment and appropriates it.

The fact that Alice is unable to produce the will causes the estate to go to Leroy. The girl thereupon leaves the house to become a school-mistress in the next county. Meanwhile, a farmer discovers the tramp sleeping in his barn. He drives the hobo out. In his haste to leave, the man neglects to pick up the coat which he had used as a pillow. The farmer later uses the garment on a scarecrow.

Several months pass. While out autoing with a crowd of boon companions, Leroy sees Alice walking along the country road. Ignorant of her identity, the scoundrel resolves upon a flirtation. In her effort to escape from the man, Alice hides behind the scarecrow. Despite its battered condition, the girl recognizes the old coat. She searches through the secret pocket and finds the will. Accompanied by her attorney, Alice appears before Leroy, the following day. The news comes like a thunderbolt to the man. Filled with helpless rage, he slinks from the house.

The Brand

Kalem still
A still later apparently used as a news photo, courtesy of Derek Boothroyd.

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Author: Jere F. Looney. AJ as Mary, with Tom Moore, Henry Hallam, Helen Lindroth, John E. Mackin, Alice Hollister, Mary Ross, Doris Hollister.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, August 26, 1914


Kalem Drama in Two Parts. Alice Joyce Series. Written by Jere F. Looney and Directed by Kenean Buel. Released Aug. 31.

Mary Alice Joyce
John Halleck, her father Henry Hallam
Mrs. Halleck Helen Lindroth
Jim Downs John E. Mackin
Rose Hayden Alice Hollister
Burton Manning Tom Moore
Mrs. Clark Mary Ross
Helen Doris Hollister

Two striking and sharply opposed pieces of characterization are found in this picture--those of Alice Joyce as Mary, a typical girl of the country, and Alice Hollister as Rose, and equally typical product of the worst element in the slums. There are other true bits of character drawing as well, but these two girls stand out, because of the impressive delineations by Miss Joyce and Miss Hollister, and because of the force of circumstances that throw them together. "The Brand" is really a story of Mary and Rose, both in a way victims of environment; but only for a time are the results similar.

A cruel stepmother commits Mary to a reformatory, for no better cause than as unwarranted dislike, and there she meets Rose, a leader among the rebellious spirits in the institution. As a climax to her mischief-making, the incorrigible child of the slums sets fire to the building. Mary performs heroic service in saving the lives of the panic-stricken girls, denounces Rose as the instigator of the fire, and as a reward is released that she may have an opportunity to earn an honest living. Rose is determined to ruin her.

The opportunity comes some time later when Mary is employed as governess for the granddaughter of a wealthy woman. Threatening disclosure of an unsavory past, Rose gets all the money the governess can scrape together, and when that is gone tells Mrs. Clark about Mary's career in the reformatory. A fortuitous letter is the means of clearing the unjustly accused young woman. The author might have found a more convincing climax for his story but in the main he avoided hackneyed situations.

Scenes on a farm, at a reformatory and on a country estate make suitable backgrounds, clearly photographed.


Review from Moving Picture World, August 29, 1914

"THE BRAND"(Two parts--August 31)-- Mary's lot, always hard, becomes doubly so upon her father's death. Desiring to re-marry, the girl's stepmother conspires to get her out of the way. Aided by Downs, the man she intends to wed, Mrs. Halleck succeeds in having Mary sent to the reformatory.

Rose Hayden, a girl of the slums, dominates the inmates of the institution. Angered by punishment, Rose sets fire to the building. Due to Mary's heroism, not a life is lost. The girl informs the authorities of Rose's crime. Rose is seized, but vows revenge.

Mary's heroic work results in her release. The girl later secures a position as governess to Helen, granddaughter of wealthy Mrs. Clark Burton. Mrs. Clark's young brother falls in love with Mary. Because of her past the girl refuses to marry him.

Several months later Rose escapes from the institution. The girl learns of Mary's whereabouts and blackmails her under threat of revealing her past to Mrs. Clark. When her victim's money is gone, Rose treacherously informs Mrs. Clark that she is harboring a girl who has served time. Incidentally, Rose manager to seal a letter addressed to Mary, while conversing with Mrs. Clark.

Horrified, Mrs. Clark orders Mary to leave the house. Burton enters and hears Rose's story. So great is his love that the boy declares he will marry Mary in spite of her past. He contemptuously orders Rose from the house. In departing, the girl drops the letter she has stolen. It proved to be Mrs. Halleck's dying statement, and shows Mary to have been innocent of wrong.

A commotion outside attracts the attention of Mary, her sweetheart and Mrs. Clark. They see Rose in the grasp of two detectives who have been searching for her. Thus the girl of the slums passes out of Mary's life forever.

The Mystery of the Sleeping Death

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Author: C. Doty Hobart. AJ as Lizzie/Lola, with Tom Moore, Henry Hallam, Robert Walker, Harry Millarde and Benjamin RossA copy of this film is available at the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (35 mm., 529 meters) and is available online on the EYE youTube channel

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, September 9, 1914


Two-Part Production by the Kalem Company, Featuring Alice Joyce. Staged by Kenean Buel from the Script by C. Doty Hobart. Released Sept. 14

Guy Harrison, reincarnation of Dano, the Hindu Slave Tom Moore
Lizzie, the reincarnation of Lola, the Afghan's daughter Alice Joyce
Afghan, a wealthy Hindu Henry Hallam
Amar, Oriental mystic Robert Walker
Gunga, Lola's suitor Harry Millarde
Kahdin, the high priest Benjamin Ross

A strange mixture of modern and mystic is this feature film. But whatever may be the weird impression that the plot makes upon the audience, the manner in which it has been handled by the director is a pleasing advance over the manner in which similar offerings have been handled heretofore. The atmospheres are noticeable in the oriental interlude in the telling of the story by the Hindu, and the present day way in which the film begins and ends.

The "best little safe breaker in town" enters an apartment and is caught redhanded by the young owner. Instead of the usual bullet he meets her with expostulations over her ode of life. She leaves after refusing the money he offers her. He rushes out after her, to try further to persuade her from her life, and then both he and she are seized with sudden fainting spells, and both are carried to the same hospital, where nothing seems to revive them A Hindu mystic, called, related the following tale by means of the screen pictures:

We see Alice Joyce as the daughter of the rich trader, refusing all suitors. Also the slave market where Tom Moore is sold to the father of the girl. Falling in love, the two elope, but the High Priest by means of his all-seeing powers, enables their pursuers to overtake them. They are cursed by the priest with "Sleeping Death."

The next scene shows the awakening of the two patients in the hospital, this being coincident with the end of the narration, and their atavistic attraction, each to the arms of the other. Of course this does not make sense, if one were to try and pick the flaws in the plot, yet the superb handling makes what is presented seem real, and causes one to forget everything but what is on screen.

Alice Joyce, with a peak cap and her hair down her back, is the good-looking Alice Joyce of yore with a youthful touch, a wild air that befits her well for the part of the girl thief. As the daughter of the Hindu she is equally distinct in one of her Indian costumes. An attempt at expense is evident if a few of the pictures of the Indian settings, and altogether the offering takes its rank well in the front of those of a similar nature.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, September 12, 1914

The Mystery of the Sleeping Death.
New to the Point of Astonishment, the Situation in This Two-Reel Kalem Picture Will Surely Interest.
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson.

EVERY good picture has something new in it; but there never was a motion picture that was a good offering and that hadn't more in it of the old than of the new. Perhaps our greatest pleasure in any story comes from the mind's adventure in the places that it creates. The average mind soon gets tired of walking for pleasure down through the same old weadows [sic] and lanes, and, to such, a brand new path leading out unexpectedly to places that have never been seen before is delightful. The spectator's experience watching this new Kalem offering, "The Mystery of the Sleeping Death," will be very much like that of one taking a new walk. When he gets well into it he will find that everything around him is fresh and new and is stirring him to the lively attention of a new adventure. There is a profound reason for our need of and joy in adventures. Like Tennyson's "Ulysses," our adventures become a part of us. It is the only way we can grow.--Food may make us fat, but adventures, all kinds of them, makes us big. That is why the mind as it grows discriminating demands that all art that pretends to offer an adventure to us give us real bread and not merely a loaf-shaped stone. This picture at first is so new that it seems not plausible--perhaps the handling of the action is at fault now and then--but we soon find that it is eatable and gives us a good meal. The ingredients are novelty of interest, suspense in its action, and sets that are all one could desire both as to photography and to the set itself. It tells a yarn of mystery; is not substantial, not bread but cake. The people will count it good entertainment.

At the first snap of its opening one feels distinct pleasure in the good quality of its photography. The first few scenes travel a well worn path. We are introduced to a rich man (Tom Moore) who is spied upon by a crook looking through a window, putting money away in his safe. This crook goes after a pal of his and together they get the "best little safe breaker in town" (Alice Joyce). Then the three attempt to get the money. The girl is doing the job alone and is caught by the man. He is the "first man who ever spoke kindly to her" and we have a not new situation. But from this point the development is startlingly new. Before a half hour has passed the man has fallen unconscious in one place and the girl is affected in another place in the same way. Both, it happens, are taken to the same hospital where the peculiarities of both cases leave the doctors at a loss. That they call in a mystic from the East to help them solve the difficulty is the least convincing thing in the picture. One is astonished to find the patients talking in their sleep and in a strange tongue that the mystic says is his language. To explain to the doctors how this comes about the mystic tells an old Oriental legend of two lovers, one a white slave and the other an Indian princess. The story is unrolled before us and with skill so that it passes naturally and has a good measure of suspense. These lovers are not happy; for fate thwarts them at every turn until at the end, while trying to escape, they are captured and brought back. In the temple of the elephant got the priest curses them both and they fall lifeless upon two slabs of stone lying ready for them. Their doom is to lie thus as dead, but living for ever and ever. Every century they leave their bodies and are reincarnated to play their love story over again. In this instance it turns out happily.

The scenario is by Doty C. Hobart. It was put on by Kenean Buel and features Alice Joyce. The acting shows intelligence and carries the story clearly on its way.

[Omitted, one photo]

"THE MYSTERY OF THE SLEEPING DEATH"(Special--Two parts--September 14).-- Lizzie, known as "the best little safe-cracker in town," burglarizes the home of Harrison, a young millionaire. Harrison discovers the girl at work, but generously allows her to escape. An hour later, Lizzie is found unconscious on the street. Harrison's butler finds him in the same condition. Millionaire and thief are rushed to the hospital. All efforts to revive the two go for naught; as a last resort the surgeons send for Amar, an Oriental Mystic and hypnotist. The man hears Harrison and Lizzie utter some words in their trance. He recognizes the language as that of his own race. It causes Amar to relate an ancient legend of India to the physicians.

Thousands of years previous, Afgah and his beautiful daughter Lola, dwelt in India. Gunga, a man of wealth, sought to marry Lola, but she was secretly in love with Dano, a fair-skinned slave. Kahdin, a wicked High Priest, also loved Lola, but the girl spurned his advances. The High Priest thereupon swore to be revenged. Lola's love for Dano was discovered. The slave was severely punished, while the girl was informed she must wed Gunga immediately.

Lola and Dano fled, however, but were pursued and captured. In accordance with the ancient law, they were brought before the High Priest. His opportunity for revenge at hand, Kahdin cursed them with the curse of the "Sleeping Death," causing the lovers to fall into a death-like trance. Once in every century, however, the spirit of each was to leave the sleeping body, and meeting, recognize the other. Harrison and Lizzie revive as Amar finishes his tale. The two gaze at each other. Slowly Lizzie comes to Harrison's arms, faltering, "It seems as though I have known you always--for years and years."

Viewing comments

A fun short with a crazy plot, probably shot by Kalem's Florida unit, starring Tom Moore and Alice Joyce, at about the time of their real life marriage. The title are in Dutch but you can kind of figure out what is going on. Tom seems to be a rich young man, and Alice is in with a gang of burglars. When he confronts Alice during the burglary, they seem to feel some sort of instant affinity, and she leaves without the loot. Her annoyed cronies try to rob Tom outside the house when he suddenly faints. Alice runs for help, also faints, and they are brought to the hospital, where they begin speaking in a strange tongue. A guy in a turban is brought in and recognizes the language, and tells the doctors of the strange legend of his homeland, and we have a long flashback to some pan-south Asian place where Alice is a much sought after young woman who is in love with Tom, who appears to be a slave. Interesting to see a nickelodeon-era effort at such a large-scaled exotic setting, though things like large paper-mache elephant sculptures show the budget limitations. The whole thing doesn't really make much sense, but it is an interesting oddball film. PRINT VIEWED: online on the EYE youTube channel

The Green Rose

1 reel. Producer, Kenean Buel. AJ as Kathlyn, with Tom Moore, Jere Austin, Marguerite Courtot, Mary Ross.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, September 16, 1914

The Green Rose (Kalem, Sept. 22).--Alice Joyce and Tom Moore in a one-reel drama with a good deal of suspense and some pretty sets. The suspense lies in the fact that the guardian of the girl covets her fortune, and that his young assistant and a scientific friend discover the fact through the death of the housekeeper, who picked up a deadly rose that he had tinctured with a deadly drug. Ever watchful after that they are just in time to prevent the ward from pricking her skin with another similar rose, and in the struggle that follows the guardian is slain by the very trap he had placed for the girl.


Review from Moving Picture World, September 19, 1914

THE GREEN ROSE(Sept. 22)--Coveting Kathlyn's fortune, Livingston, her guardian, plans to get her out of the way. The scientist decides to poison her in a manner which would divert suspicion from himself. He doctors a rose with anacide, the deadliest of drugs, causing the flower to turn green.

Attracted by the color of the flower, his housekeeper picks it up. A prick from one of its thorns causes the woman's death. Gordon, the scientist's assistant, and Beatrice, a writer of scientific articles, reach Mrs. Bundt's side just as she dies. Gordon analyses the green rose and discovers the presence of the deadly drug.

Livingston later doctors a second rose, placing it in Kathlyn's room. Gordon and Beatrice enter the room just as the girl is about to examine the flower. Their suspicions directed towards the scientist. Beatrice and Gordon charge him with attempting to murder Kathlyn. Livingston attacks Gordon and in the fight, the scientist's hand is scratched by one of the poisoned thorns. A minute later he meets the fate he had planned for Kathlyn.

The Viper

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Author: Mildred Mason. AJ as Mary Putnam, with Henry Hallam, Jere Austin, Harry Millarde, Benjamin Ross, Edmund Jones, and Robert Walker

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, November 4, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Drama, Released Sept. 28

The Viper Harry Millarde
His Wife Alice Joyce

The benefits of expert scenario technique are well shown in this picture. One scene--the last--is the unusual one in the offering. The rest of the plot is built up to and for it. It succeeds in its entertainment mission with a fair amount of success until the final scene, when it outstrips expectations and ends with a crescendo effort that leaves a lasting impression .

It also teaches another lesson, namely, that not alone is action to be considered. Neither the preliminary scenes nor the climax possessed enough of extraordinary action to recommend it unduly. It was merely in the manner of execution of a shooting, in an originality of setting, that the out-of-the-usual was found.

The action dealt with the forbidden marriage of the daughter to the clerk in her father's firm, said clerk later turning out to be a drunkard and gambler. Trying to rob his father-in-law's safe one night to return some gambling debts, he is caught by the butler, whom he slays. His father-in-law, who knows the truth, warns him away forever. That same night in the burning of the gambling house-boat he is reported as having been consumed by the flames.

The daughter marries the man she should have, and on her honeymoon on the yacht they once more meet the "viper," who has not been killed as reported, but escaped and was rescued by smugglers with whom he lived.

His attempt to betray them for the offered reward leads to his pursuit in the motor-boat and his hasty hiding on the yacht which he boarded. As he confronts his wife and her newly married "husband" a shot rings out through the porthole and the pursuers are avenged as well as complications eliminated. It ends abruptly.


Review from Moving Picture World, September 26, 1914

"THE VIPER"(Special--Two parts--September 28).-- Kent, a member of the firm of Putnam & Kent, and Crane, one of the clerks, are rivals for the hand of Mary, daughter of Isadore Putnam. Although it is against her father's wish, Mary weds Crane.

Prosperity goes to Crane's head. Mary soon learns that her husband is a drunkard and good-for-nothing. The man loses heavily while gambling on a house boat owned by Baxter, a card sharp. Unable to pay, Crane is threatened with exposure unless the money is forthcoming within twenty-four hours.

Crane returns home in time to see his father-in-law place a large sum of money in the library safe. Later in the evening Mary and her father visit a friend. Putnam has occasion to all his butler on the 'phone shortly afterward. In answering the phone, the man discovers Crane in the act of rifling the safe. At the other end of the wife Putnam hears a shot, and Crane's horrified exclamation, "My God! I have killed him!"

Hastening home, Mary and her father find the butler slain. Meanwhile, Crane has escaped from the house and makes for the houseboat, where he settles his debt. Later, the houseboat is set afire as the result of a fight. The following morning Putnam and his daughter read that Crane had met his death in the river.

Crane, however, is saved from drowning by smugglers. They take him to their lair. Will, the half-witted brother of the leader of the band, takes a violent dislike to Crane. As time passes, Mary, believing her husband dead, consents to marry Kent.

Crane learns that a reward is offered for the arrest of the smugglers. His treachery is discovered, and the band pursues him. In desperation, Crane takes refuge on a yacht in the river--and confronts Kent and Mary, who are on their honeymoon. As the scoundrel leers at the two, the face of Will, the half-witted boy, appears at the port hole. A shot rings out--the Viper meets his just deserts.

Fate's Midnight Hour

1 reel. Producer, Kenean Buel. Author, Fred'k E. Lindsay. AJ as Maria Milton, with Tom Moore, Marguerite Courtot, Mary Ross, Irene Boyle, Jere Austin.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, October 7, 1914

Fate's Midnight Hour (Kalem, Oct. 10).--Opening with what is in reality the climax, the death of the villain, and then returning to show how it all came about, this melodrama offers a story within a story. Interest is attracted at the start, nor is it permitted to wander until the tale has been told. Awakened by a thunderstorm, Mrs. Durand leaves her room and enters the library where she finds her husband stretched on the floor, dead, and a young woman standing over the body with a revolver in her hand. Maria starts to tell how she came to be there, and the scenes switch back to a peaceful village home disrupted by Durand. We see his attentions to Maria, then his elopement with her sister, Malissa, then the return of the girl after she has been deserted. Maria swears vengeance, and having traced Durand to his home, is about to shoot him when a bold of lightning spares her the trouble. Alice Joyce, Tom Moore, and Marguerite Courtot play the principal parts under the direction of Kenean Buel. Some difficult light effects are well handled.


Review from Moving Picture World, October 3, 1914

FATE'S MIDNIGHT HOUR (Oct. 10).--A terrific flash of lightning awakens Mrs. Durand. The woman flees into the library. There she discovers her husband dead on the floor. Maria Milton, revolver in hand, stands over him./p>

Maria tells of how Durand, after inducing her seventeen-year-old sister Malissa, to elope, had cast the girl aside. Malissa returned home a year later to die. The blow killed their mother. Thirsting for revenge, Maria set out to hunt Durand down. "But God would not let me commit murder; Durand was stuck by lightning before I could shoot." A moment later, Maria disappears into the storm.

The Girl and the Stowaway

2 reels. Producer, Kenean Buel. Author, Fred'k E. Lindsay. AJ as Adele Colby, with Tom Moore, Marguerite Courtot, Mary Ross, Irene Boyle, Jere Austin.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, October 7, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Drama, Produced by Kenean Buel from the Script by C. Doty Hobart. Released Oct. 12. Featuring Alice Joyce.

Lord Ritchie William Bestman
Lady Elsmere, his Sister Anna Burmeister
George, his son Tom Moore
Colby, American millionaire James Ross
Mrs. Colby, his wife Mary Ross
Adele, their elder daughter Alice Joyce
Annete, her younger sister Marguerite Courtot

The older folk have settled that their son and daughter shall marry. The youthful pair are averse to the idea. With this not entirely new theme, C. Doty Hobart has constructed a pleasing story by giving a new means of bringing the young folks together. This he accomplished by having the couple meet on shipboard, she as a passenger returning to America and he as a stowaway, penniless of course, as so many film sons of noblemen are, and desirous of making his way to America for reasons unascertained. His refuge is a lifeboat, where he seems to fare pretty well, especially after he makes the acquaintance of the pretty girl, who brings him food that she steals from the first cabin table.

The pictures on shipboard are taken on a moving vessel by whose side the waters sweep in rushing realism. They were taken (whisper) to give this company a much needed rest on its return from Jacksonville, and they evidently had plenty of time, for they are well up with the best of the ocean picture type. The situations on shipboard, moreover, while dealing with the serious drama of the play, possess a delightful tinge of humor due to the position in which the castaway finds himself when he meets the girl he might have married. His theft of a loaf of brad, his agility in returning to his secret hiding place, his efforts at concealment, all contrast with the opening scenes of the play, which pictured him as the spoiled scion of a nobleman who was trying to marry his son to the daughter of a rich American. This opening scene, by the way, was a great depth, a veritable ancestral hall of beauty and dignity

Tom Moore, of course, and Alice Joyce, naturally, are the ever-dependable pair, and the romantic match is none the less romantic for their handling of it. Slipping from the well-dressed son to the roustabout on the ship is a matter of ease to Mr. Moore. As the younger sister, Marguerite Courtot looks much like Alice Joyce, and also made up in the silence of her good looks what she lacked in a more active part.

Having arrived in New York, captured by the officers of the ship and put to work, the director, or rather the author, adds one more thrill in a very dangerous but hardly vital leap from the side of the ship by the lead in his effort to save the girl from the waters. His recognition by a friend reveals his real identity and an exchange of telegrams from the lord on the other side find all parties agreeable to the impending nuptials.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, October 3, 1914

The Girl and the Stowaway.
New Romantic Comedy by Kalem Makes an Unusually Pleasing Dramatic Offering in Two Parts.
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson.

THERE is good entertainment in many kinds of pictures, but a really good romantic comedy has a delightful touch that is all its own. They are not so common that one of them so pleasing as "The Girl an the Stowaway" should be let slip by without some fitting and special notice. We can't say that the story is especially strong nor can we find any particular technical virtue that puts this picture with distinct successes. But we feel very sure that if the characters in this ocean steamship love story had been real people they would have been thoroughly happy. There is a simple, natural vivaciousness in many of its scenes that makes us accept it as a picture of honest happiness, a feeling the spectator catches and enjoys himself. This is where the value of the picture comes from--it makes the spectator feel happy.

The heroine (Alice Joyce) is an American girl who is very rich, and the hero (Tom Moore) whom she meets stowing away on a great liner--he comes out of hiding to save her pocketbook from a deck hand--is a very poor English lord. The father of this lord lives in a beautiful mansion, but he is simply down and out. His sister has tried to make a match between the girl and the young man; but both young people have rebelled emphatically. Let us mark in passing that the opening set showing the interior of the lord's grand house is a convincing picture--it is a fine set. The girl and the lord have never seen each other, for they have refused to meet. He tries to get a job on a ship and work his way to America. The captain won't look at him, so he jumps aboard and hides under the canvas covering of a life boat.

Every evening he steals out and hooks a loaf of bread from the steward's window. The third day at sea he gets a peep at the girl passing on the deck below him. He is constrained to watch and sees her drop her purse. One of the ship's servants is polishing the door knob of a cabin. He, too, sees the purse, and when the girl passes on he snaps it up and hides it in his blouse. The girl misses it and returns. The helper says he knows nothing about it; but the lord jumping from the upper deck yanks it out of his blouse. The girl tries to thank him, but he already is scampering back to his cache and she doesn't know what has happened to him nor who he is. This makes her the more interested and soon she comes on him unexpectedly bringing home his day's bread. It calls for an explanation; but after that she sees to the larder for him by slipping sandwiches and the like from the table. A very delightful moment comes now. The girl's sister surprises the two talking beside the life boat. She too is taken into the secret and there are now two to help with cabin contraband and feed the stowaway. Suspense is kept up very well all through by the ship's officers, who come very close to the hiding place several times. At length the lord is caught and ignominiously made to don rough togs and scrub and polish with the crew. In a well handled group of incidents, the girl is again brought into the picture's central stream. And the girl's snobbish mamma, who wanted her to marry the lord and was mad because she wouldn't, is now way up in the air, because of the slouchy deckhand the daughter is interested in.

When the ship reaches its dock, the action in the story becomes melodramatic; but it is exciting and furnishes a thrill when the villain, the "hand" who stole the purse, throws the heroine overboard. The lord sees it and jumps to the river and saves her. On the dock the girl's mamma is giving cold praise and her rich father is wondering how he can do something for the brave young man, when one of is lordship's acquaintances sees a friend in rough clothing and comes up to have it all explained and ends by properly introducing the lord by his proper name to papa and mamma. To this two or three scenes are added just enough to bring it to a satisfying and graceful close.

Most of its scenes were really taken on a steamer out at sea and we get an excellent idea of the ship. It is a very pleasing picture. [Omitted, two photos]

"THE GIRL AND THE STOWAWAY"(Special--Two parts--Oct. 12).-- The family estates heavily mortgaged, Lord Richie endeavors to arrange a match between his son, George, and Adele, daughter of an American millionaire. George, however, refuses to meet Adele. To his father's horror, George announces his intention of working his way to America.

The boy later becomes a stowaway aboard the same vessel which carries Adele and her family back to the United States. George sees a deckhand steal Adele's purse. He comes to her rescue. Each is ignorant of the other's identity.

Adele learns that George is a stowaway. Later, the Englishman's hiding place is discovered and he is compelled to work on deck. He and Adele fall in love with each other. Just before the vessel reaches port, Adele is thrown overboard by the seaman who had been baffled in his attempt to steal her purse. George leaps to the rescue. The deckhand is arrested. George's identity is later revealed and he wins Adele's hand.

The Lynbrook Tragedy

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Author: Mrs. Owen Bronson. AJ as Ruth Malloy, with Tom Moore, James B. Ross, Mary Ross, and Jere Austin

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, October 14, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Drama, Featuring Alice Joyce. Written by Mrs. Owen Bronson and Produced by Kenean Buel for Release Oct. 26.

Carl Malloy, derelict James B. Ross
Ruth, his daughter Alice Joyce
Mitchell, her sweetheart Tom Moore
Vivian Gregg, theatrical star May [i.e. Mary] Ross
Thornton, theatrical manager Jere Austin

If it be too much to ask for continuous interest from start to finish, if the start may be preliminary to work up to a climax whose strength is sufficient reason for a somewhat inert beginning, then this offering must be judged of the strongest. That Mrs. Bronson knows how to write this kind of scenario is most evident. She establishes her characters early in the offering and brings them back at the climax in a manner that makes them seem like old friends indeed. With their reassembling there is established the partisanship of a previous acquaintance and an intimate feeling which this knowledge prompts. The woman's instinct has contributed a wealth of live detail about the girl who takes up the profession of designing dresses at the death of her mother.

In brief, "The Lynbrook Tragedy" tells of the father who left his wife to live with an actress, and the orphaned daughter after her mother's death being called to the country residence of that same actress, now a star, to design costumes for her. At the residence at the same time is a young playwright engaged to the orphan, to whom the actress takes a decided fancy. Despair lurks in the heart of the orphan.

The derelict father is now introduced. Recognizing his daughter, he shoots the actress as she is embracing the youth he seeks to win away. Thus it ends.

This brief synopsis must give but a scanty notion of the many little details with which the writer has bolstered up the realism of the story. It is presented with the best style of photography and artistic settings.


Review from Moving Picture World, Oct. 24, 1914

"THE LYNBROOK TRAGEDY"(Special--Two parts--Oct. 26).-- Ruth Malloy, whose father has become a human derelict because of Vivian Gregg, a theatrical star, loves Mitchell, a young playwright. Ruth leans that Vivian is enslaving Mitchell. Despite her efforts the girl is helpless to save him.

Malloy drifts into town. He is filled with a determination to slay the human vampire and avenge his wrongs. Ruth comes upon her father just as he is in the act of aiming his pistol at the actress. Mitchell's eyes are opened. He sees in Malloy, the fate which must be his unless he conquers his infatuation for Vivian Gregg.

Ruth's love helps the boy. For the first time, Vivian Gregg, who has really grown to love Mitchell, realizes the depths of her infamy as she gazes upon the wreck that once was Malloy. Ruth, Mitchell, and Malloy hear a shot. Rushing into the library they find Vivian Gregg dead.

The Riddle of the Green Umbrella

2 reels. Director, Kenean Buel. Author, Hugh C. Weir. AJ as Madelyn Mack, with James B. Ross, Marguerite Courtot, Guy Coombs, Jere Austin.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, October 28, 1914


Kalem Detective Melodrama in Two Reels, Written by Hugh C. Weir and Directed by Kenean Buel. Released Nov. 9.

Madelyn Mack Alice Joyce
Alonzo Helmar James B. Ross
Dorothy Marguerite Courtot
Professor Lloyd Guy Coombs
Professor Reynolds Jere Austin

Deadly poisons figure prominently in this detective melodrama included in the Alice Joyce series. The handle of the green umbrella contains a death-dealing needle used by the Borgias, and among the supplies of a young college professor is a bottle of racinus, said to be the most dangerous poison known to modern science. Both the needle and the racinus must be considered in solving the murder mystery brought to the attention of Madelyn Mack, girl detective, without whom the police would be in a sorry quandary.

These are the facts in the strange crime. Helmar, an eccentric old professor, owns the green umbrella. Reynolds has misappropriated college funds and is given twenty-four hours in which to restore the money. Instead he disguises himself, sneaks into the barber shop where Helmar gets his matutinal shave, and slyly places racinus in the professor' shaving cup. Helmar passes away silently and Reynolds insists that Lloyd and the green umbrella are to blame.

But Madelyn Mack has other notions, which lead her to become a maid in the Reynold's household. Having installed a vocaphone and a detectaphone, she proceeds to trap her victim into a confession, and when the man threatens to administer a drug that will destroy her memory, Madelyn empties a vial of racinus on her tormentor, not, however, until his confession has been registered on the detectaphone.

If one is ready to accept strange premises and take the characters as seriously as they take themselves, this story should prove acceptable, for it is well handled by the director and the players in his charge.


Reviews from Moving Picture World, October 31, 1914

The Riddle of the Green Umbrella.
A New Madelyn Mack Story in Which the Girl Detective, Played by Alice Joyce, Unravels a Murder Mystery of a College Town.
Reviewed by Hanford C. Judson.

ALL the newest appliances of use to detectives have a place in this up-to-date tale of mystery, which is woven around a professor's green umbrella. This is true so far, at least, that the girl detective uses a vocophone, a detectophone and a recordophone, the latter a new invention of her own. We see these instruments and how they are used. The story is very fair and has been carefully put on with a personal cast by a skillful director. Its object is to show us certain things transpiring, to make us wonder how they came about, and then to give the explanation, which it makes to make different from what we guessed. In sufficient measure, it reaches this object.

The opening scenes introduce us to Professor Helmar (James Ross) of a large university, and his pretty daughter Dorothy (Marguerite Courtot). Then we meet Professor Reynolds (Jere Austin) whose specialty is chemistry and an expert on all kinds of deadly poisons. This man is in love with Dorothy; but she favors Professor Lloyd (Guy Coombs) and Reynolds is jealous. The girl's father has a curious umbrella with a handle made from an old Borgia weapon--a spring in it releases a needle which was poisoned and, in the old days, caused sudden death. There is an evening party, and Dorothy shows this curio to the professors.

We find out that Professor Reynolds is in debt to the university funds in his possession to the extent of ten thousand dollars. He is accused of peculation [sic] by both Dorothy's father and by Professor Lloyd. In revenge he determines to do away with both. He dresses up as a tramp and takes a portion of the world's most deadly poison. Professor Helmar walks into a barbershop and, leaving his green umbrella in the rack, is getting shaved. The barber discovers that he is dead. How did he die? Reynolds did it, we suspect, but how? The world thinks that the green umbrella is the cause; but quickly Reynolds acts to forestall the supposition. He gets hold of the account books showing his embezzlement and changes them to make Lloyd seem the guilty one. He brings the police to Lloyd's rooms and a bottle of the deadly poison is found there. Circumstantial evidence of a crime and an ample motive are thus established and Lloyd is arrested.

To go back a bit in the story, it has been shown that Dorothy has a dear friend, Madelyn Mack (Alice Joyce), the girl detective. She brings Dorothy to the police station to give witness and there Lloyd is brought in so Madelyn finds how much Dorothy loves him. Also she is far from satisfied with the evidence and suspects Reynolds. Getting a job as a house-maid in the apartment where he lives, she finds enough evidence to convince her that she is on the right track. She installs the vocophone and other apparatus in the fireplace of his room and carries the wires up the chimney, bringing the ends to a room adjoining.

The vocophone permits her not only to hear what is said in his room; but to speak through it. She thus makes Reynolds hear ghostly accusations and it nearly drives him mad. Then she confronts him in his room. He admits that he did the murder and tells her that he is going to take away her mind with a poison. She has stationed two police officers outside and they arrive in time to find that she, by throwing the poison back into Reynold's eyes, has killed him. His confession is safe on the cylinder of the detectophone, which has recorded every word he has uttered, and so Lloyd, the prisoner, is permitted to go free, and Dorothy and he are happy, Miss Mack tells the police how the crime happened.

The story has its somewhat illogical incidents as most of these detective stories--we might almost say everyone of them--have; but the object of this kind of production is accomplished if the spectator is held in suspense. This the picture does in acceptable degree, and it can be counted a safe offering. [Omitted, one photo]

"THE RIDDLE OF THE GREEN UMBRELLA"(Special--Two Parts--Nov. 9).-- Helmar, an eccentric old professor, owns a green umbrella, the handle of which was once a portion of a deadly instrument used by the Borgias. Lloyd and Reynolds, two young professors, are rivals for the hand of Dorothy, Helmar's daughter. Reynolds is discovered to have misappropriated the funds of the college by Helmar and Lloyd. He is ordered to return the money within twenty-four hours. Reynolds has been experimenting with racinus, the deadliest poison known. Merely inhaling it causes death. Helmar enters a barber shop the following day. Reynolds, disguised as a tramp, follows. Later, when the barber finishes shaving Helmar, he discovers the professor is dead.

Madelyn Mack takes charge of the case. She suspects Reynolds. The latter has cleverly fastened the crime upon Lloyd by means of the green umbrella. Aided by a vocaphone and a detectaphone, she secures positive evidence of Reynold's guilt. Disguised as a chambermaid, Madelyn enters the man's apartment. He captures her, however, and announces his intention of giving her a hypodermic which will deprive her of her memory. The man sneeringly tells the helpless girl that he murdered Helmar by placing racinus in his shaving mug. The professor inhaled the fumes of the drug and perished. Just as Reynolds is about to give Madelyn the memory-depriving drug, the girl, picking up a vial standing on the table, dashes it into his face. It contains racinus. Reynolds crumples up just as detectives, who have overhead his confession, enter.

The Theft of the Crown Jewels

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Gown designed by Lucile. AJ as Princess Zavia, with James B. Ross, Guy Coombs, Jere Austin, Mary Ross

Joyce painting
A nice photo of Alice in the Lucile gown adorned with the jewels. Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this scan.
Joyce painting
Here is the painting which (in black and white) appeared in the Kalem Kalendar, which exhibitors could request as publicity for the film [see last Kalem Kalendar item below]. Click for a larger image. Thanks to Cheryl and Bill Spager for making this image available, and to Randy Bigham for doctoring the shine out of the thumbnail.

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, November 11, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Drama, Featuring Alice Joyce. Produced by Kenean Buel for Release November 23.

Princess Zavia Alice Joyce
The King, her father James B. Ross
Prince Sacholdt Guy Coombs
Von Block, who lives on his wife Jere Austin
The Lady-In-Waiting Mary Ross

In producing themes of a foreign nature the director's knowledge of custom and detail is very often put to an exhaustive test. Slight details that we might overlook must inevitably appeal the most to the foreigners to whom this or that little "Americanism," quite natural in the producer's mind, is the strangest of strange mannerisms. Outside of that the present picture bears especial prominence because of the widely advertised fortune in gems which Alice Joyce wears. Perhaps for those who are so backward as not to have read the wide comment which this created, an explanation of the fact at the beginning of the film would have been a sure and not in the least assertive manner of establishing fact. Her gowns also, at such times as she was dressed for state receptions were of the most stylish. She is seen in the magnificent royal throne room at the beginning of the reel, when the rebellious prince of the neighboring State sends word that he will have nothing of the pre-arranged marriage, and in the finale when that willing young man comes to plead his suit in person. Between these two royal appearances lies the plot of the gems, a descent from palaces and things to a very every-day robbery of precious stones and their recovery.

When the prince refuses, the impecunious monarch sends his daughter post-haste to America, where she is to borrow money on the royal jewels. The gentleman of leisure steals them, after several attempts, but the prince, incognito, helps to restore them speedily. And then, finding out who the fair maiden is, he hastens back home that he may push his suit immediately after her arrival in her own kingdom.


Joyce painting
Here's a closer look at some of the jewels. From a supplement to the Chicago Tribute, courtesy of Derek Boothroyd. Click for a larger image.

Review from Moving Picture World, November 21, 1914

"THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS"(Special--Two parts--Nov. 23).-- The impoverished King of Eltwich-Haldmandt plans an alliance between his daughter, Princess Zavia, and Prince Sacholdt, of Murtavia. The Prince, who has never seen Zavia, flees the country, as the time for the ceremony approaches, leaving word that he must marry as his heart dictates. Zavia, impressed by the failure of her father's plans, comes to the rescue by offering to sell the royal jewels in a foreign country. By chance, Prince Sacholt is a passenger on the same steamer and makes her acquaintance.

Von Block, a fastidious thief on shipboard, is one day removing a cinder from his eye, holding his pocket mirror before him. He gets a reflection of Zavia in her stateroom inspecting the jewels. The flash of the mirror apprises Zavia that she is being watched and she later switches the hiding place of the jewels. Von Block's plans are temporarily thwarted. Leaving the vessel, Prince Sacholdt gives his name to Zavia as "Johann Schmidt," asking her to summon him if he can help her at any time.

On her way to a jewel broker's Zavia meets with an accident arranged by Von Block, who secures the gems. She fears she will disclose her identity be informing the authorities and recalls "Schmidt," who comes to her aid. In locating Von Block and securing the gems, "Schmidt" suspects Zavia's identity. He wires his country, authorizing a loan to Eltwich and Zavia is mysteriously ordered to return with the jewels.

Later the alliance is renewed and Zavia finds, to her happy surprise, that "Schmidt" is the Prince.

News item from the Kalem Kalendar, November 1, 1914

A Million in Jewels Have you even seen a million dollars worth of jewelry? Do you know anyone who has ever worn so great a fortune in gems?

There is that about the phrase, "a million dollars' worth of jewelry," which presents a tremendous appeal to the popular imagination. The average person has never seen so great a fortune in gems at one time. With but one exception, no person of modern times, and but few who figure in history, have been known to wear a collection of precious stones totaling a million dollars.

This one exception is Alice Joyce, KALEM's beautiful star. In "THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS," "Peerless Alice," wears jewelry which Lebolt & Company, prominent jewelers of Fifth Avenue, New York, declare to be worth a million dollars. The gems consist of a magnificent tiara containing eighty diamonds, a huge pear-shaped pearl, famous the world over, suspended from a necklace of diamonds; a superb diamond sunburst, in the center of which nestles a pigeon-blood ruby; and a hand-beaten gold bracelet containing a circle of pearls surrounding a magnificent ruby.

The gown worn by Miss Joyce in "THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS," cost three thousand dollars and was designed by "Lucille," (Lady Duff-Gordon). "Lucille's" fame as a designer of gowns for ultra-fashionable society has penetrated into every village and hamlet in the country, and in Miss Joyce's costume photoplay patrons will see what is considered the fashionable modiste's supreme achievement. "THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS" is one of the features of the Alice Joyce Series and will be released Monday, November 23. See pages 29 and 29.

On p. 28:

The Million dollar Jewel Production

Again KALEM comes to the fore with a novelty which exhibitors will find a tremendous attraction. $1,000,000 in jewels, and a $3,000 gown designed by "Lucille," (Lady Duff-Gordon), are worn by Alice Joyce in the forthcoming two-act feature of the Alice Joyce Series.

The Theft of the Crown Jewels
released Monday, November 23rd

Probably no other person of modern times has ever worn so great a fortune in gems. Few people have ever seen $1,000,000 worth of jewels. The fact that "THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS" actually shows this king's ransom in precious stones, will arouse the curiosity of every man, woman and child, wherever this great feature is presented.

Lady Duff-Gordon is known as the foremost modiste in America. Her fame as a designer of creations for ultra-fashionable society has penetrated into every hamlet and village in the country. Let the feminine patrons of your theatre know that ALICE JOYCE wears a "Lucille" masterpiece and they will flock to see the wonderful creation.

Read the story of "THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS," on the opposite page. Then make immediate arrangements to secure this great production. Every licensed film exchange can supply you.

[On p. 29 is a synopsis virtually identical to the one in Moving Picture World, a cast list, and a photo of Joyce at a court function in the Lucile gown with a man kneeling before her, the same as appeared as the last illustration in the adaptation for Photoplay Magazine. There is also the notation: The scenes on the 1, 3, and 6-Sheets will create a line-up at your box office.]

Back cover of the same issue:

The $1,000,000 Jewel Painting

[With a black and white reproduction of the above painting]

This beautiful, nearly life-size portrait of ALICE JOYCE (36 in. wide and 60 in. high), painted in oil colors, mounted on beaver board and varnished, $14,00, f.o.b. New York, boxed for shipping. This painting shows MISS JOYCE as she appears in "THE THEFT OF THE CROWN JEWELS," in which she wears a $3,000 Lucille (Lady Duff-Gordon) gown and $1,000,00 in genuine jewelry furnished by Lebolt & Co. of Fifth Avenue, New York. A splendid attraction for your lobby. Orders filled within ten days of receipt. Remit in New York draft, post-office or express money orders. Do not send personal checks. Address Department M.
KALEM COMPANY, Dept. M., 235 W. 23 St., N.Y.

The Price of Silence

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Writer: Louis B. Gardner. AJ as Barbara Ragan, with Guy Coombs, Jere Austin, Benjamin Ross

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, November 25, 1914


Two-Part Kalem Production by Kenean Buel. Written by Louis B. Gardner for Release Dec. 7.

The Factor Owner Guy Coombs
The Factory Worker Alice Joyce
Her Lover Jere Austin
Her Father Benjamin Ross

The signs of a screen treatise are most noticeable here. There is not nearly the attempt to create dramatic power that there is to imbue the scene with a psychological meaning and to underlie it with a deep sense of human understanding. We are quite sure that the author has tried to bring out the fact of youth inheriting a full-fledged factory, and his consequent incompetence and discouragement and the various mental processes that lead up to his rehabiliment in the garments of success. But we are not nearly so sure that the director has tried to show this on the screen. He has rather specialized on the action as disdainful "take back thy ring" threat or a killing that makes the title appropriate. Yet, despite the incongruities of conception and execution, the play proceeds in interesting vein, and excuses what it posses of a disagreeable nature by its divergence from what is usual.

The young man inherits his father's factory and immediately runs into competition with his nearest factory neighbor. The latter engineers a strike which keeps the plant out of operation for a long time, and leads to its compulsory bankruptcy. The killing of the strike leader is witnessed by the dejected owner--he has just been dismissed by the girl of rich parents to whom he was engaged--and he follows the murderer home and demands as the price of his silence his daughter, an ex-employee of the factory, in marriage. She takes sad leave of the man to whom she was engaged.

A quarry blast kills her father and she prepares to leave her husband in the midst of a reception which he was giving for her formal social debut, it having transpired that his increasing success warrants his going to this expense. The former lover arrives and his crude appearance contrasted with suspicion of dawning love for the man, and coupled, no doubt, with regret at leaving the luxuries and refinement to which she has become used, makes her decide to remain with the man to whom she is legally married.


Review from Moving Picture World, December 5, 1914

"THE PRICE OF SILENCE"(Special--Two Parts--Dec. 7).-- Trouble fostered by Bill Leets, in the secret employ of a business rival, results in a strike which ruins Tom Plank head of an industrial plant. Upon learning that the boy has lost his wealth, Clara, his fiancee, returns his ring.

Leets loves Barbara Ragan. Before the crash, Tom had become interested in the girl. Shortly afterward, the girl's father encounters Hegel, formerly the factory foreman. Deadly hatred exists between the two. Tom, who chances to pass, sees Ragan slay his foe.

Tom follows the murderer home. Knowledge that his crime is known fills the old man with terror. Tom then learns that Barbara is Leets' sweetheart. Believing the girl to have had a hand in bringing about his ruin, he announces that the price of his silence is that Barbara wed him and share the poverty she had brought upon him. Although Leets is frantic, Barbara, to save her father, consents.

Husband and wife live in sullen silence, although each secretly grows to love the other. Fortune smiles upon Tom and he regains his former wealth. Shortly afterward, Barbara's father is killed in an explosion. Tom's hold upon her is thus removed.

Leets believes that Barbara still loves him. The man boldly enters the Plank mansion while Tim is giving a dinner to some friends. Believing that her husband hates her, Barbara announces her intention of departing with Leets. Just as she is about to leave the house the enormity of the offense dawns upon the wife and she shrinks from Leets with horror. She rushes back to her room, where she finds Tom with head buried in his arms. Then, for the first time, the two realize the depths of each other's love.

The Mayor's Secretary

2 reels. Produced by Kenean Buel. Writer: Louis B. Gardner. AJ as Alma Dare, with Guy Coombs, Jere Austin, Benjamin Ross

Review from The New York Dramatic Mirror, December 9, 1914

Kalem still
A still, courtesy of Derek Boothroyd.

Two-Part Political Drama Made By the Kalem Company Featuring Alice Joyce. Written by J. L. Woodruff and directed by Kenean Buel. For Release Dec. 21.

The Mayor Jere Austin
His Secretary Alice Joyce
The Boss James B. Ross
Mrs. Bliss, of the Women's League Mary Ross

The awakened political and social activity of women finds its expression in this feature production. With the new regime in office the women's league uses its influence to have one of its members appointed secretary to the new mayor. The political boss regards her merely as a spy.

She and the mayor fall gradually in love so that what she does to overhear his conversations through a secret compartment may be regarded merely in the nature of love's precautions. The boss carries her away in his auto and imprisons her. She escapes in time to overhear his conversation with the mayor and to prevent the latter being tricked by the boss.

The cast is well known and acquits itself well. Settings and all are typical of an American municipality.


Review from Moving Picture World, December 19, 1914

"THE MAYOR'S SECRETARY"(Special--Two Parts--Dec. 21).-- Aided by the Woman's League, Chandler, the reform candidate for mayor, is elected to office. Fearing lest he fall under the influence of Winton, a crooked "boss," the members of the Women's League have Alma Dare, one of their number, appointed Chandler's secretary. Suspecting the girl of being a spy, Winton endeavors to secure her friendship. Alma pretends to respond to his overtures and thus secures a document lost by the boss. This exposes a plot to hoodwink the mayor and defraud the city by means of a joker in a paving contract.

Winton's suspicions are aroused, however, and he cleverly entraps Alma, making her a prisoner in the home of a henchman. The brave girl escapes after knocking her jailer unconscious. She returns to the mayor's office just as Chandler is about to sign the contract. A note passed to him by his secretary warns the mayor and he refuses to affix his signature to the paper. Unknown to the mayor, Alma has had a hole bored to the mayor's chamber. This is concealed by a bookcase. Balked by the mayor's stand; Winton attempts to force him to sign the contract at pistol's point. A voice causes him to turn. Alma, leveling a revolver through the hole in the wall, baffles the desperate boss. Winton's influence is broken forever. Chandler learns of Alma's adventures and of how she has guarded him from the boss's machinations. Taking her in his arms, he begs her to become his wife.

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Last revised January 3, 2018