(Note: our light posting lately is due to a family illness.)
ON THIS DAY in 1909, French writer Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera was first published as a serialization in the newspaper Le Gaulois. Leroux’s story was adapted for the 1925 silent film, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, starring Lon Chaney.
>Where’s it playing?
ON THIS DAY in 1812, near the coast of Nova Scotia, the American frigate USS Constitution defeated Britain’s HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812. The ship was the central character in the 1926 silent film, OLD IRONSIDES, starring Charles Farrell and Wallace Beery.
Born: June 16, 1890, England
Real name: Arthur Stanley Jefferson
His father: was a theater manager in Glasgow
At age 20: performed on stage with a young Charlie Chaplin
First film appearance with Oliver Hardy: THE LUCKY DOG (silent)
Declined an appearance in: IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963)
Quote: “If anyone at my funeral has a long face, I’ll never speak to him again.”
Recommended films: DR. PYCKLE AND MR. PRYDE; With Oliver Hardy: WAY OUT WEST, SONS OF THE DESERT, BUSY BODIES…
Born: April 8, 1892, Toronto
Real name: Gladys Marie Smith
As a child: acted in plays with her mother and two siblings
At age 17: was given a screen test at Biograph Pictures by D.W. Griffith
Salary, 1909: $10/week
Salary, 1916: $500/week
Was married to: Douglas Fairbanks
Nicknamed: “Little Sister” by the U.S. Navy
Co-founded: United Artists
Pickford’s Oscar-winning performance in COQUETTE
Opened in movie theaters 93 years ago today in Berlin, Germany:
THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt; directed by Robert Weine)
Review: “Masterpiece of the silent cinema was probably the first “cult” movie […] its impact and influence have been immeasurable.” —Danny Peary
Quote: “You fools, this man is plotting our doom! We die at dawn! He is Caligari!” —Francis (Friedrich Feher)
ON THIS DAY in 1904, the Puccini opera Madama Butterfly had its premiere at the La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy. The opera was adapted for the 1922 film, THE TOLL OF THE SEA, starring Anna May Wong.
PREMIERED 98 years ago today:
THE BIRTH OF A NATION (Lillian Gish; directed by D.W. Griffith)
“The birth of the feature film. Griffith’s controversial landmark film will astonish you with its visuals and repulse you with its content.” —Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic
Recognition: National Film Registry (1992)
Quote: “Dare we dream of a golden day when the bestial War shall rule no more. But instead – the gentle Prince in the Hall of Brotherly Love in the City of Peace.” —intertitle