Pauline Frederick home

The Woman in Room 13 (1920)

The Woman in Room 13 (1920) Goldwyn Pictures Corp. Distributor: Goldwyn Distributing Corp. Director: Frank Lloyd. Scenario: E. Richard Schayer. Camera: J.D. Jennings. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Charles Clary, John Bowers, Robert McKim. Sydney Ainsworth, Charles Arling, Marguerite Snow, Emily Chichester, Kate Lester, Golda Madden, Richard Tucker. 5 reels. This film appears to be LOST

Still photo.
(Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this picture)

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

See also a still photo from the J. Willis Sayre photograph collection at the University of Washington.

Review from Variety
Reviews from Moving Picture World
Photoplay review

Review from Variety, April 9, 1920

Laura Bruce Pauline Frederick
Paul Ramsey John Bowers
John Bruce Charles Clary
Dick Turner Robert McKim
Andy Lewis Sidney Ainsworth
Carrigan Charles Arling
Edna Crane Marguerite Snow
Harriet Marsh Emily Chichester
Lottie Hansen Kate Lester
The Girl Golda Madden
Joe Richard Tucker

This latest Goldwyn release is an adaptation from the play of the same name by Samuel Shipman and Max Marcin, which featured Janet Beecher.

The picturized version featured Pauline Frederick and adheres to the original script almost religiously, except for some slight elaborations which add to the clarity of the story.

The screen version depicts the life of the police commissioner in a Southern city, while the spoken version only alludes to it in dialog. The story is an ideal vehicle for Miss Fredericks' emotional powers and she manages to get across a clean-cut impression of subdued emotions in the earlier scenes without having recourse to the dimmed eye type of emotional portrayal.

It is a consistently dramatic tale that grips the interest from the moment of creation until the final kink is unraveled. The photography is excellent, and the lighting effects almost flawless.

Miss Frederick is surrounded by a sterling cast and she is strongly supported. Charles Clary, as John Bruce, the reformed husband, who is leading a double life, was gripping and convincing, never over playing and squeezing every ounce of nourishment out of each of his scenes and situation opportunities.

John Bowers, as the youthful husband number two, who murders his supposed wife's traducer [sic], was a good looking lead and succeeded in creating the sympathy his role called for.

The trial scene differed from the play through elaboration and gave Miss Frederick ample opportunity as the star witness who saves her husband from the chair by falsely testifying that she was in the apartment of her supposed traducer just previous to the shooting.

Golda Madden, as one of Dick Turner's (Robert McKims) dupes, also did as emotional role in capable fashion. The rest of the company was equally respond- ... [part missing] one of the strongest straight dramatic pictures of the recent releases. E. Richard Schayer and D. Nash, who made the screen adaptation, showed a world of discernment in not tampering with the original thereby preserving the merits of the spoken version, plus the elaborations of the completed whole.


Review from Moving Picture World

April 3, 1920

"The Woman in Room 13"
A Splendid Picturization of the Stage Play Made by Goldwyn.
Reviewed by M.A. Malaney.

Goldwyn has turned out an excellent photoplay, from "The Woman in Room 13, from he stage play by Max Marcin, Samuel Shipman and Percy Wilde. Pauline Frederick is the star, and the supporting cast is one of the best we have ever seen. Each player fits his or her particular type and none of the parts are overplayed. It is a mystery story, and yet the mystery occupies only small part of the action. But this is the big punch and it is handled carefully and efficiently, director Frank Lloyd deserving great credit for his work.

The story is about a woman unhappily married, who, a few years after divorcing her husband, weds another, and then, through a trick of fate, becomes the victim of her first husband's vengeance. It is melodrama with little comedy. It gives Miss Frederick the opportunity of doing a lot of good acting. The work of John Bowers is especially commendable. Others who are worthy of note are Charles Clary and Robert McKim.

Laura Bruce Pauline Frederick
John Bruce Charles Clary
Paul Ramsey, 2d husband John Bowers
Detective Charles Arling
Dick Turner Robert McKim
Andy Lewis Sydney Ainsworth
Edna Crane Marguerite Snow
Lottie Hansen Kate Lester
Harriet Davis Emily Chichester

Directed by Frank Lloyd.
About 4,700 feet.

The Story:
Laura Bruce is married to John Bruce, police commissioner. She discovers her husband is enjoying a drunken revel with another woman, and vows she will obtain a divorce. After doing so she weds Paul Ramsey. His employer, Dick Turner, a libertine, offers his a responsible position in the west, and she faces a long separation. Ramsey later learns that Turner is interested in his wife and engages a man to protect her, who happens to be her former husband. She finds this out, but does not know he is bent on vengeance. She is inveigled to go to Turner's apartment, where she meets Turner's former "flame." One of them leaves the apartment which is "Room 13."

Returning from the West, Ramsey is taken to an adjoining room by Bruce, and listens "through a dictograph" to a conversation in "Room 13" between a man and a woman. He is convinced it is his wife's voice. Maddened he rushes to the room and batters down the door. He confronts Turner and shoots him. At the trial Ramsey will go free if his wife confesses she was in the room She does and he is acquitted. A reconciliation follows.

Program and Exploitation Catchlines: A Woman Pays for Her Husband's Folly.
The Terrible Crisis in a Married Woman's Life Is When Another Man Enters.
Who Was the Woman in Room 13?
There Were Two Women in Room 13, But Which One Remained?
Who Was the Woman in Room 13 When Dick Turner Was Killed?
A Mystery Story, Told in Tense, Thrilling Climaxes of Terrific Intensity.
Pauline Frederick in a Compelling Mystery Play--"The Woman in Room 13"--Was She the Murderess? See this Drama for the Answer.

Exploitation Angles: Mask a three-sheet or a cut-out with the door frame numbered 13. Distributed keys tagged "Room 13," and offer prizes for their return. You can work a teaser on "Who was the woman in Room 13." Just keep hammering on the thirteen.

Review from Photoplay

April 1920

"The Woman in Room 13"

Unfaithful husband; upright wife; divorce. Re-marriage of wife to worthy, upright young man. Entrance of scheming employer who wants wife. Re-entrance of first husband, who schemes against wife. Murder of employer in Room 13 by upright second husband. Certain conviction until wife tells on husband No. 1. Verdict Not Guilty; wife and husband No. 2 go home happy. This melodrama-with-a-murder was a play by Samuel Shipman and Max Marcin, and we rather suspect there was more suspense in the legitimate version than in the screening. Frank Lloyd's is the credit for a swift and fairly creditable production. Pauline Frederick's is the credit for a fine and sincere performance, as is always the case when Polly does a picture. John Bowers has never done anything nearly so good as Husband No. 2; Charles Clary was simply horrid as Husband No. 1; and the cast welcomes back such old favorites as Marguerite Snow, the real "Woman in Room 13"; Robert McKim, and Sydney Ainsworth. There is also a youngster named Emily Chichester who looks as if she might do something in an acting line, some day.

Back to Filmography
Back to Pauline Frederick Home

Last revised, October 2, 2010