1915-1917 films of Lionel Barrymore

As the sheer output of his films dropped to fewer than, oh, 20 a year or more, I've decided to divide up the remaining years of Mr. B's filmography according to events and/or films of larger concern. So, I stop here at 1917 because Mr. B was absent from the screen for much of 1917 and completely in 1918 and 1919 to be on stage with his brother John in Peter Ibbetson (premiered April 17,1917), The Copperhead (premiered February 18,1918), and The Jest, again with John (premiered April 9,1919 running through February of 1920).  The 1918-1919 range is the longest time he spent not making films in his career after 1911's The Battle.


WILDFIRE: John Keefe. Released January 25, 1915. Directed by Edwin Middleton and featuring Lillian Russell in her only feature-length film (five reels). Shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The film is not extant in complete form, prints missing the 3rd reel and ending, but the film was one of the "Frozen in Time" films unearthed from a Canadian swimming pool in Dawson City where they had been tossed in the early 20th century. There's a documentary on it, and the film has been shown since that discovery. I am not certain if that version had anything that other extant prints did not.

Allmovie sayeth thus: This picture marked the screen debut of theatrical icon (and noted suffragette) Lillian Russell, though at 54 -- the age she was when she made this film -- she was a bit old to be playing somebody's daughter. Gambler John Keefe (Lionel Barrymore) kills Bob Barrington during a card game and steals the bill of sale to the dead man's racing stable. Although Barrington's death is considered suicide, the investigation by sheriff John Garrison (Glen White) takes him to the East, where he meets up with Keefe at the home of Barrington's daughter Henrietta (Russell). Something is clearly amiss, and Henrietta and the sheriff slowly uncover the evidence which begins to ensnare Keefe. Keefe realizes the jig is up on the day that the stable's prize filly, Wildfire, is entered in a big race. He gets ready to leave the country by placing a large bet on another horse and bribing Wildfire's jockey to throw the race. But Henrietta overhears the plot, and with Garrison's help, she foils Keefe. Garrison finally gets his man -- and the girl.
LB as John Keefe, gambler
MPWorld Oct-Dec 1914 blurb for the film
A MODERN MAGDALEN: Lindsey Released February 17, 1915. Five reels, directed by Will. S. Davis. Sayeth IMdB: Although laborer Joe Mercer loves factory girl Katinka Jenkins, she agrees to become the mistress of Lindsay, the mill owner, in order to escape dire poverty and cruel parents. Katinka sends Lindsay's money to her family, but eventually, he finds himself unable to pay his employees, and only under Joe's influence are the men prevented from striking. Reformer John Strong, who loves Katinka's sister Olivia, visits Katinka to request that she cease her disgraceful dance performances, but he soon submits to her charms and is passionately embracing her when Olivia enters the room. Katinka then learns of the situation at the mill and realizes that the compromise of her honor has ruined more lives than her own. After the rioting workers burn Lindsay's factory, Joe prevents Katinka from killing herself and convinces her to become an army nurse. She saves his life when he contracts yellow fever, and the two are at last united. Unknown if it is extant, but does not seem to be so far.


Catherine Countiss and LB--her name is spelled several ways in reviews, etc.
Sacramento Union review Ap 26 1915
Sacramento Union review Aug 13 1915 (rerelease)
January 1915 blurb in Motography that LB had been secured for the film


THE CURIOUS CONDUCT OF JUDGE LEGARDE: Judge Randolph Legarde Released mid April,1915, a five-part film. Directed by Will S. Davis and based on a play of the same name (Variety mistakenly attributes the direction to LB). TCM summary sayeth: "Judge Randolph Legarde refuses to accept a plea that a woman's dual personality, one good the other evil, caused her to commit a crime. Later, however, when Legarde has an accident to his head, it causes him to take on an invidious personality at night and become the leader of a gang of thieves, while remaining a sober judge in the daylight. His fiancée, Agnes Caverly, and her father, a lawyer, notice his disturbance at times, but they attribute it to overwork. Legarde becomes infatuated with Amelia Garside, who accuses him of being the judge who earlier sentenced her. When he vehemently denies this, she falls in love with him. After "The Quill," a stool pigeon, tells the police of Legarde's plan to rob his own home, Legarde's gang is captured. Agnes' father, sensing the truth about Legarde, hires a brain specialist who cures him. Legarde then marries Agnes, leaving Amelia, whose innocence has been established, brokenhearted." Motography review of April 17, 1915, by Charles R. Condon adds (a lot!):
 My hometown paper, the San Antonio Express-News, has this:

 And for all this, I'm still looking for a photo from the film!


THE ROMANCE OF ELAINE: Marcus del Mar (I have seen Marcus, Marcius, and Maricus!) Initial release (serial) June 14, 1915, 12 episodes. Directors George Seitz and Leopold & Theodore Wharton, filmed in Ithaca, NY. It does not, tragically, seem to be extant. NOTA BENE: Motion Picture News of May 22, 1915, page 58, says Lionel Barrymore had been added to the cast of "the new Exploits of Elaine"--except that was made in 1914. The reference must be to The Romance of Elaine. MPNews also tells us "A change will be made in the cast of 'Exploits'. Lionel Barrymore is being added. Edwin Arden leaves the 'Exploits to play in feature pictures for Pathe'" (p 73 Ap-Jun 1915)




notice LB is "NOW included" to this sequel to the Exploits
 



 Drama struck the studio after filming was completes--well, lightning did:
Jun6 26, MPNews p 64
June 26, 1915 review of chapter one:

From Chapter One, The Lost Torpedo


MP News Vol 11 No 24 1915, pg 8
From Kotsilibas-Davis' Barrymore biography
From Chapter 2 review, Jul 3, 1915, MPNews:
LB sitting next to Pearl White on the bench, in The Gray Friar
 Chapter 3, "The Vanishing Man," was reviewed thus by MPNews in July 10, 1915: "In it the search of Marcus [see??] del Mar, played by Lionel Barrymore, and his agents for the torpedo model in Elaine's possession continues. They get the torpedo model but, in the running fight it is hit by a revolver bullet and knocked into a cocked hat. Jameson's hat blows into the water when he and Elaine are out in her auto. In recovering the hat, Elaine uncovers a message which tells her the enemy is still on her trail, This chapter is fully up to the Elaine standard and paves the way for further complications." (p 80)

Chapter 4, "The Submarine Harbor" (July 17, 1915, MPNews p 122):


 Chapter 7 review, MPNews Aug 7, 1915:
LB on right


The serial had 12 chapters: 1. The Lost Torpedo, 2. The Gray Friar, 3. The Vanishing Man, 4. The Submarine Harbor, 5. The Conspirators, 6. The Wireless Detective, 7. The Death Cloud, 8. The Search Light Gun, 9. The Life Chain, 10. The Flash, 11. The Disappearing Helmets, 12. The Triumph Of Elaine.

THE FLAMING SWORD: Steve **quite possibly, he is actually the villain, Calhoun. Released June 28, 1915. Directed by Edwin Middleton, with Jane Grey and Edith Diestel. A Rolfe production filmed in New Jersey at Centaur Film.

MPWorld Review of July 17, 1915:


MPWorld had this to say in the August 21, 1915 issue:



DORA THORNE: Lord Earle Directed by George Nichols. Released October 27, 1915. 4 reels. With Marguerite Snow as well as LB.

MP News Nov 13, 1915 review:


A YELLOW STREAK: Barry Dale. Released December 6, 1915. Directed by William Nigh and also featuring Irene Howley as Mary, Dorothy Gwynne as Virginia, and John Goldsworthy as Richard Marvin. 5 reels.

During the filming of this little piece, Metro Picture News put out a little blurb saying Lionel Barrymore had been arrested from trespassing during filming, according to MPNews of November 27, 1915, p 52

Motography of February 19, 1916, also noted the following about Mr. B in reference to A Yellow Streak

This may be the source of a bio anecdote about LB dropping in to watch an old film of his and hearing this.

Review from MPNews of Dec 11, 1915:




My edit of an ad

In late December, 1915, Lionel Barrymore signed a "long term contract" with Metro after appearing in A Yellow Streak. (MP News of December 25, 1915)
1916

DORIAN'S DIVORCE: Richard Dorian

THE QUITTER: "Happy Jack" Lewis

THE UPHEAVAL: Jim Gordon

THE BRAND OF COWARDICE: Cyril Hamilton

1917

THE END OF THE TOUR: Byron "Buddy" Bennett

HIS FATHER'S SON: J. Dabney Barron

THE MILLIONAIRE'S DOUBLE: Bide Bennington

NATIONAL RED CROSS PAGEANT: Himself

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