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THE MOVING PICTURE WORLD
"THE ELEVATOR MAN" (Thanhouser), January 25.— This story lacks punch, but it is pretty and well acted and has a pleasing character in the old elevator man who, after serving many years, knows something about the people he is taking up and down every day. He meddles to good advantage in an office love story with a less trite ending, the offering would have been very likeable indeed.
"PUT YOURSELF IN HIS PLACE" (Frontier), February 7.— In this film story a young husband holds up a banker in order to get money for Ills starving wife and child. This raises a moral question which has been ■treated frequently in novels and stories. Later Jim saves the banker's •daughter from death and is forgiven. A fairly entertaining offering.
"ANIMATED WEEKLY, NO. 98" (Universal), January 21.— Views of ■the Catskill Aqueduct, Lincoln Beachy doing aviation stunts, ski-ing in Norway, border scenes and Hy Mayer's drawings occupy prominent places ■in this number.
"SLIM BECOMES AN EDITOR" (Frontier), February 5.— When the creditors of the Bungville Bugle begin pressing the local newspaper for funds, Slim buys it out. As the citizens have decided to hang the next ■editor, he and Mollie find themselves in trouble. This is moderately fonny ^Western comedy, fairly well acted.
"THE VACANT (3HAIR" (Princess), January 23.— Full sympathy
'tsannot be given the normal spectator to anything morbid. In this picture,
the old grandmother who makes memories of the dead tyrannize over the
living will not be wholly popular. The story deals with her cure through
her love for her grandson, but until this begins the come out, it has an
unpleasant taste and the whole picture suffers from her keeping the dead
^daughter's place always set at the table and her not allowing any other to
'■occupy it. It is well acted, but the direction might have made entrances and
• exits in a few scenes less awkward. The photography is clear and it is, as
a whole, fair.
"THE MAN WHO SLEPT" (Victor), February 9.— This story, by Lois
"Webber, with Eddie Lyons in the title role, has a strong kick in it and ought
■to be well received. It tells of a young fisherman who drinks too much on
Ibis wedding day, falls asleep in his boat and almost brings about a tragedy.
\ good production.
"LOVE AND POLITICS" (Joker), February 4,— A political comedy, 'by Hajnpton Del Ruth, with Howard Hickman and Laura Oakley in the leads. The scenes are located at Universal City, during the election of Miss Oakley as chief of police. A breezy offering with a love story attached.
"THE GREATER DEVOTION" (Nestor), February 11.— This is a well-balanced, clearly presented drama of Mexican bildalgoes and a poor peon, who proves that his hopeless love for a pretty senorita is greater than that of her husband and a disappointed rival. The peon finally murders the husband, who has been abusing the girl and she then marries the rival.
"IN WITHERED HANDS" (Powers), February 13.— A picture written and produced by Edwin August, who also has the leading role in it. The story is of a boy who leaves his old mother with her withered hands, wrinkled by the hard work she has done for him, and goes to the city, where he is successful and forgets her until he is reminded by the wrinkled liands of another character, whose place in the story is not perfectly clear. The picture, as Mr. August acts it, has a watery sentimentality. It is acted with skill not only by him, but by his support. There are many very pretty scenes in it.
"HIS ROYAL PANTS" (Nestor), February 13.— If it is just a trifle rough, there is fun in it and it isn't offensive. An Indian prince comes to town and society girls are in a flutter to meet him. We are shown how much respect is paid to his pants and then a tramp steals them and is chased so he has to slip them into a box, just from Paris, that sits in front of a modiste's. They are bought by a young woman and worn to the reception to the prince. He can't speak English and the girl thinks he is ■making love to her. The changes are rung on the situation cleverly.
"AN ACADEMY ROMANCE" (Powers), February 9.— A very neat programme announcement, containing the names of the cast, precedes this picture. It is a light romance, with a summer camp of military cadets as an attractive setting. The plebe turns the tables on his tormentors by making them think his sister is his sweetheart. They all propose and are rejected in turn. A pleasing feature offering with which to vary a heavy programme.
'•A BLOWOUT AT SANTA BANANA" (American), January 26. — A farcical picture of a good time on the Fourth of July at a Western town. There is hardly any plot, but it possesses something of the quality of a yarn and has in one or two places some suspense for a moment, although nothing much happens. Much of it seems to have been made at a real celebration and there is much going on in the nature of horse races, greased pole and greased pig contests and fancy riding, etc., all of which are as good as could be. The photography is fair. It won't arouse any enthusiasm, but it will amuse.
"MABEL'S BEAR ESCAPE" (Keystone), January 31.— This is truly a scream; no ordinary human being could help laughing over it, and especially over Mabel Normand's being chased by a very lively bear. It is the best picture of its kind we remember, and the two half-grown bear cubs that are used in it are the funniest animals we have seen. Here is a very desirable laugh maker.
"M.MvING A LIVING" (Keystone), February 2. — The clever player who takes the role of nervy and very nifty sharper in this picture is a comedian of the first water, who acts like one of Nature's own naturals. It is so full of action that it is indescribable, but so much of it is fresh .and unexpected fun that a laugh will be going all the time almost. It is foolish-funny stuff that will make even the sober minded laugh, but people out for an evening's good time will howl.
"TOO PROUD TO BEG" (Reliance), January 30. — Made fresh and human by excellent acting, this little story along well-trodden lines amply vindicates itself by being better than all its forerunners. It will exert an emotional appeal and will be liked as well. Spottiswoode Aitken plays an old man wrongly suspected of theft, and in one scene in a bar room with free lunch he has done a bit of exceptional work, but it is acted all through well.
"OUR MUTUAL GIRL NO. 2" (Reliance), January 26.— This week it is hats that are advertised and the story opens a melodrama which is carried over to the next picture. Norma Phillips puts burlesque in her drawing of the country girl and truthfully it is crude. -Ml the appeal of those first scenes is gone. The melodrama, left unfinished, looks very interesting. The photography of some dock views in New York obscured an important point by making it necessary for us to guess that the hero is aware that the self-called count is a crook. Some studio-made cheering at the Yale-Princeton football game at New Haven, of which some fine views are included, is decidedly weak.
"THE GOOD IN THE WORST OF US" (Eclair), February 11.— .\ new face appears in this two-reel drama, that of Belle Adair in the role of secretary to a ruined bank president. She is a good actress and has a pleasing personality. There is much else to recommend this story, although the last part of it is slightly marred by a lack of clearness. The scene in which the girl shows poker hands through a radiator so that her sweetheart can avenge the wrong done her boss in Wall Street, is well staged.
"O MIMI SAN" (Dotnino), February 5. — 'A strongly developed Japanese subject, with Jap actors in the leads. The costuming and garden scenes are excellent. The plot is given up entirely to Japanese affairs of state, and has to do with an effort to overthrow the Crown Prince. The scheming brother commits hara kiri after the defeat of his plans. The later scenes, following the death of the Shogun, picture the parting of the Crown Prince from the gardener's daughter. A picturesque Japanese number.
"THE BRIDE OF MYSTERY" (Gold Seal), February 10.— Francis Ford and Grace Cunard appear in this melodramatic story of a beautiful •young dancer and cabaret habitue whose conduct is a profound mystery fto all who know her, until it develops that she has been living for many years under the hypnotic influence of a professional criminal. The thread of this story is interesting to follow and leads to a very exciting finish. A well-planned three-reel production and it gets over in good shape.
"IN THE FALL OF '64*' (Gold Seal), February 3.— Grace Cunard and Francis Ford play the leading parts in this two-reel drama of the Civil War. Some battle scenes occur and there are exciting moments in the story which tells how a Southern girl outwitted a troop of Union soldiers. These war pictures are always appealing.
"A NEW ENGLAND IDYL" (Broncho), February 4.— This two-reel film story, written by W. H. Clifford, is so well constructed that it shows us the development of three complicated love affairs without confusion ■or lack of interest. The scenes vary between the city and Peaceful Valley. The will left by John's mother was quite original in its terms and causes ■considerable difficulty before they are complied with to the happiness of •all concerned. An entertaining offering.
"A ROMANCE ^F THE SEA" (Broncho), February 11.— A two-reel rnumber, which parallels Stevenson's "Treasure Island" in certain respects. It proves a very entertaining adventure story, with a band of pirates to stir up trouble for the captain and his wife. The scenes on the barken■tine were particularly lively, and following the mutiny there is plenty of excitement until the treasure has been found and safely gotten aboard the vessel. A good yarn of the high seas.
"INTO THE LION'S PIT" (Powers), February 6.— Edwin August produced and plays the lead in this two-reel drama laid in days of ancient Rome and containing many pretty costumes of that age and rather pleasing ■settings. Dropping the heroine, a Christian girl, into a den of lions is rather melodramatic and not altogether as convincing as it might be, but on the whole the story holds the interest and some acting appears. The pictures are very good.
"KING, THE DETECTIVE, IN FORMULA 879" (Imp), February 5.— An original two-reel number, with King Baggot and Jane Gail in the leads. The roof garden scene was very pleasing and furnished a novel setting for the death of the would-be home wrecker. The mystery is developed in a clear-cut. simple manner and explained in an equally lucid way; the acting is straightforward and sincere. The double exposure effects were obtained in a convincing way and one that did not seem forced or unreal. This is the best of this series we have seen.
"THE VAGABOND SOLDIER" (Bison), February 7.— A three-reel number, written by Phillip Walsh, with Wm. Clifford and Phyllis Gordon in the leads. The fighting scenes between the British soldiers and the Afghans are brilliantly staged, but we would not swear to the local color, which is undoubtedly not correct in some details. The plot, which concerns a will written on the battlefield, is novel and exciting. The first reel closes at an opportune moment. The scenes in the second reel are back in civilization and quite melodramatic, but the interest is sustained. Clifford's story was interesting but seemed extraneous. The photography is excellent and the production as a whole meritorious.
"THE WOMAN PAYS" (Thanhouser), January 27.— A three-part offering, with some tremenduous situations that will be effective in their appeal to audiences; for, although the method of arriving at them is not wholly convincing, the producer's art appeals to our emotions and in doing so distracts our attention from the means used. We see this innocent society woman helpless with deep pity, but her weakness is harder to sympathize with, the more because another half hour's struggle would have righted her. This weakness is a bit unpleasant in a picture that does not deal with true life. Maude Fealy is featured in the leading role, with James Cruze as the villain, and both are about as good in their parts as we could ask. There are numerous incidents in it filled with convincing realism and the whole is a credit to its producer. But it is not a story that can be wholly fortunate on the screen. It is harder to make an essentially weak story convincing on the screen than on the stage.
"THE HERMIT" (American), February 2. — A two-part picture, dealing with broken love and working out to a reunion after many years. The hermit, who is the story's hero, tells his story to chance motorists, among whom is his niece, daughter of the heroine, whom he had loved, but whom his villainous brother stole from him. She recognizes the story. The main situation is fairly piteous, but it doesn't convince strongly. The ending is effective.