Anita Stewart, Anyone?

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Dave Pitts

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Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSat Dec 07, 2013 9:15 am

I haven't seen a single foot of film on her -- has anyone here? Yet she was a big star of the late teens, moving I think from Vitagraph to First National -- has a fairly long filmography. Blum's Silent Screen book lists her 4th or 5th in the top 15 screen actresses of 1921. Her popularity must have melted away fast -- last feature in '28, then an appearance in some short in '32 (Hollywood Handicap, which seems to have been one of those stargazing shorts; John Wayne is in it, too.)
So -- where are the films? Are they ever shown? Most of us have seen a Mary Miles Minter or two, a Marguerite Clark or two -- has anyone seen one of Stewart's films? Which one? I have no sense of what she was on screen, and her hair style changes enough in stills that I don't readily pick her out in still collections. But she had enough box office in the 1917-1923 era to have meant something to her fans.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSat Dec 07, 2013 9:22 am

I've seen a couple of her works at the Museum of Modern Art and while she is absolutely gorgeous, she can't act for bean. Of course, that was in 1921, so maybe she learned later.

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Bruce Long

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSat Dec 07, 2013 9:25 am

This was a decade past her prime, but still...
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSat Dec 07, 2013 12:12 pm

Bruce Long wrote:This was a decade past her prime, but still...


But still...prime. Amazing "coincidence" of another killer-ape named "Kong."
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Harold Aherne

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSat Dec 07, 2013 12:49 pm

Anita Stewart's survival rate is generally not very good. I haven't gone feature-by-feature in the new LOC database, but at least the following are still extant:
The Juggernaut (1915) [Yale Film Archive, reels 2 and 5 of 5]
Human Desire (1919) [LOC, Academy Film Archive]
In Old Kentucky (1919) [preserved by MGM]
Sowing the Wind (1921) [GEH]
The Lodge in the Wilderness (1926) [Amsterdam Filmmuseum]
Morganson's Finish (1926) [Amsterdam Filmmuseum, National Archives of Canada]
Whispering Wires (1926) [GEH]
Sisters of Eve (1928) [LOC]

Her Vitagraph shorts have fared a little better. From an AMS post by Greta de Groat in 2004, there is:
Troubling Tresses (1913) MOMA and Amsterdam
The Right Girl (1915) BFI
A Regiment of Two (1913) LOC
Midst Woodland Shadows (1914) LOC
Lincoln the Lover (1914) GEH
His Phantom Sweetheart (1915) BFI
His Last Fight (1913) BFI
Her Choice (1912) MOMA
Diana's Dress Reform (1914) MOMA
Battle Hymn of the Republic (1911) GEH, BFI
The Bachelor's Baby (1913) Amsterdam
Anita Stewart in Hollywood (no date) UCLA
413 (1914) GEH
The Web (1913)--released by Grapevine

Here are some images from "His Last Fight":
http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9532e

-HA
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silentfilm

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSat Dec 07, 2013 7:27 pm

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Edward Hearn and Anita Stewart in A Question of Honor (1922)

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A stamp from the serial The Goddess (1915)
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSun Dec 08, 2013 11:08 am

Harold Aherne wrote:Anita Stewart's survival rate is generally not very good. I haven't gone feature-by-feature in the new LOC database, but at least the following are still extant:

In Old Kentucky (1919) [preserved by MGM]
]


-HA

Harold, the new LoC database seems to be your Christmas present this year. You're having a field day. IN OLD KENTUCKY: this is the 1919 Metro Pictures, Mayer produced version, not the 1927 MGM remake of the same story?
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Harold Aherne

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSun Dec 08, 2013 1:00 pm

sepiatone wrote:Harold, the new LoC database seems to be your Christmas present this year. You're having a field day. IN OLD KENTUCKY: this is the 1919 Metro Pictures, Mayer produced version, not the 1927 MGM remake of the same story?


Yes! Some people spend their time in Washington, DC touring monuments and government buildings, but I think I'd be at LOC watching Banner and Rayart movies.

Here are the notes for the 1919 version:

Director: Marshall Neilan
Star: Anita Stewart (Madge Brierly)
Archive: MGM preservatio
Copyright claimant: Associated First National Film Corp.
Registration number: Lp15856
Source: MGM laboratory preservation
Gauge: 35mm domestic release version
Holdings: studio/library
Completeness: complete
Studio holding: G
Note: info from Ned Price

and here's the info for the 1927:

Director: John M. Stahl
Star: James Murray (Jimmy Brierly)
Archive: MGM preservatio
Copyright claimant: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Registration number: Lp25230
Source: MGM laboratory preservation
Gauge: 35mm domestic release version
Holdings: studio/library
Completeness: complete
Studio holding: G

Not that I'm trying to derail the conversation from Anita Stewart, but this brings up an important point. Entering "MGM preservation" in the field "All Notes Together" yields many pre-merger titles that I had never heard reported as extant, including In Old Kentucky above, Body and Soul (1920) with Alice Lake and It's a Great Life (1920) with Cullen Landis. The Night Rose (1921) is also there, even though Jon Mirsalis' Chaney index shows it as lost and even points to a vault inspection of the print that yielded the 1929 Voice of the City (which was an alternate title for the '21). In other words, I hope some of these aren't being mistaken for the later films that shared the same title. But if Ned Price says the 1919 In Old Kentucky exists, I'll take his word.

-HA
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greta de groat

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSun Dec 08, 2013 2:14 pm

I've got a page on her, and the links still seem to be working.

http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat/stewart.htm

The only feature of her i've seen is Whispering Wires, i'd certainly love to see another.
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Harlowgold

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostSun Dec 08, 2013 10:38 pm

Dave Pitts wrote:I haven't seen a single foot of film on her -- has anyone here? Yet she was a big star of the late teens, moving I think from Vitagraph to First National -- has a fairly long filmography. Blum's Silent Screen book lists her 4th or 5th in the top 15 screen actresses of 1921. Her popularity must have melted away fast -- last feature in '28, then an appearance in some short in '32 (Hollywood Handicap, which seems to have been one of those stargazing shorts; John Wayne is in it, too.)
So -- where are the films? Are they ever shown? Most of us have seen a Mary Miles Minter or two, a Marguerite Clark or two -- has anyone seen one of Stewart's films? Which one? I have no sense of what she was on screen, and her hair style changes enough in stills that I don't readily pick her out in still collections. But she had enough box office in the 1917-1923 era to have meant something to her fans.


Isn't she also listed as #1 among female stars in some poll circa 1917? Like you, I've never seen a second of her on film unless it was in one of those obnoxious "comic" short recuttings of silents from the talkie era.
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silentfilm

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Dec 09, 2013 12:22 pm

Both Blackhawk Films and Thunderbird Films used to sell her feature Human Desire (1919) on 16mm and the 8mm formats, but I've never seen one of these prints pop up on eBay.
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Bruce Long

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Dec 09, 2013 12:28 pm

Harlowgold wrote:...Isn't she also listed as #1 among female stars in some poll circa 1917?...

Yes, in the 1917 Quigley Poll (conducted by Exhibitor's Herald).
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Dec 16, 2013 8:51 pm

I saw what survives of Lois Weber’s Midnight Romance (1919) at the LoC last year. Stewart is rather lovely and charming playing the “cinderella” type: from maid to belle of the ball and with some seaside dancing. She looked beautiful, I thought. Also don’t be tricked by all the LOc “surviving” films. I go there ever year, and every year all those 1914 Stewart movies are “not available” for watching.
Last edited by Mystery.Myra on Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mystery.Myra

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Dec 16, 2013 8:56 pm

oh and an afterthought. Stewart was very, very famous in 1914-1916. Audiences, especially girls, adored her and followed her avidly. She got into a bit of a scandal when tried to break away to form her own production company in the late 1910s, went to court, lost, and supposedly got very ill in the meantime (TB, I think). Anyway, with Goldwyn’s support she did have a production company for a bit in the 1910s, but it went under after a dozen films.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Jan 09, 2014 9:50 pm

Bruce Long wrote:
Harlowgold wrote:...Isn't she also listed as #1 among female stars in some poll circa 1917?...

Yes, in the 1917 Quigley Poll (conducted by Exhibitor's Herald).


I am interested in accessing those early Quigley polls. Do you know which yearly issues they were published in?
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Jan 09, 2014 10:55 pm

I do like finding popularity polls, particularly when their results surprise you. Anita scored fairly high in this one, published by The Mirror of Australia early in 1916:

DRAMA (MEN)
1. H. B. Walthall - 569 votes.
2. Maurice Costello - 541
3. Harold Lockwood - 480
4. Francis X. Bushman - 265
5. James Cruze - 201
6. Robert Warwick - 183
7. Crane Wilbur - 112

DRAMA (WOMEN)
1. Mary Pickford - 1181
2. Marguerite Clark - 503
3. Clara Kimball Young - 250
4. Florence La Badie - 242
5. Pearl White - 170
6. Anita Stewart - 135
7. Norma Talmadge - 78

COMEDY (MEN)
1. Charles Chaplin - 2189
2. Roscoe C. Arbuckle - 301
3. Ford Sterling - 156
4. Chester Barnett - 61

COMEDY (WOMEN)
1. Mabel Normand - 2120
2. Fay Tincher - 391
3. Mary Pickford - 178
4. Mae Marsh - 73
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostWed Jan 29, 2014 12:13 pm

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/01/buy_the_ruins_of_a_silent_film_stars_franklin_avenue_mansion.php

Buy The Ruins Of A Silent Film Star's Franklin Avenue Mansion
Tuesday, January 28, 2014, by Bianca Barragan

Image
[Before image via Moore's Postcard Museum]

Image

Anita Stewart was a 1920s silent film star, notable enough to merit a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and though she couldn't quite make the transition to talkies, she retired from movies as one of the wealthiest women in Hollywood. When she lived in this turn-of-the-century house, it was a beautifully maintained mansion. There's no information about its history since Stewart's death in 1961 (or before that), but whatever transpired, it was bad. The terrace that was once on the front of the house disappeared and took the front of the house with it. An entire wing is just open in the back, with the bones of the house exposed to the elements. The listing has written this six-bedroom, six-bathroom broken dream off as a teardown, and that's probably what's going to happen because there's rarely such a thing as a $2.899-million fixer.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostWed Jan 29, 2014 12:35 pm

silentfilm wrote:http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/01/buy_the_ruins_of_a_silent_film_stars_franklin_avenue_mansion.php

The listing has written this six-bedroom, six-bathroom broken dream off as a teardown, and that's probably what's going to happen because there's rarely such a thing as a $2.899-million fixer.


YOW, poor house, doomed. Or they could just wait until the next earthquake and save teardown costs.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostWed Jan 29, 2014 6:11 pm

I have never seen her in anything either but would love too...That poor house! What a wonderful bed and breakfast that would have made...Talk about a fixer upper! ...
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Jan 30, 2014 3:53 am

Dee Deforest wrote:I have never seen her in anything either but would love too...
Dee

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Jan 30, 2014 4:40 pm

On the basis of its inclusion in The Movie Lover's Guide to Hollywood (which I pored over for years without thinking I'd ever see anything in it in person), I took a look at the Anita Stewart mansion. I had to check several times whether it was the correct house (The one next door is similar and in much better shape). It looked like it was already in the process of being torn down. If they couldn't save Falcon Lair, I doubt they'll save this place. :(
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Apr 17, 2017 6:50 pm

Harold Aherne wrote:Anita Stewart's survival rate is generally not very good. I haven't gone feature-by-feature in the new LOC database, but at least the following are still extant:
The Juggernaut (1915) [Yale Film Archive, reels 2 and 5 of 5]
Human Desire (1919) [LOC, Academy Film Archive]
In Old Kentucky (1919) [preserved by MGM]
Sowing the Wind (1921) [GEH]
The Lodge in the Wilderness (1926) [Amsterdam Filmmuseum]
Morganson's Finish (1926) [Amsterdam Filmmuseum, National Archives of Canada]
Whispering Wires (1926) [GEH]
Sisters of Eve (1928) [LOC]

Her Vitagraph shorts have fared a little better. From an AMS post by Greta de Groat in 2004, there is:
Troubling Tresses (1913) MOMA and Amsterdam
The Right Girl (1915) BFI
A Regiment of Two (1913) LOC
Midst Woodland Shadows (1914) LOC
Lincoln the Lover (1914) GEH
His Phantom Sweetheart (1915) BFI
His Last Fight (1913) BFI
Her Choice (1912) MOMA
Diana's Dress Reform (1914) MOMA
Battle Hymn of the Republic (1911) GEH, BFI
The Bachelor's Baby (1913) Amsterdam
Anita Stewart in Hollywood (no date) UCLA
413 (1914) GEH
The Web (1913)--released by Grapevine

Here are some images from "His Last Fight":
http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9532e

-HA


Hi all,

I am looking to understand this post. Does this imply that the movie "413" still exists? What does GEH mean?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

The Movie 413 was recorded near South River, NJ in 1914 and contains a spectacular train wreck scene that was recorded on the Raritan River Railroad.

Again, any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Apr 17, 2017 7:06 pm

Tom_E_Reynolds wrote:
Hi all,

I am looking to understand this post. Does this imply that the movie "413" still exists? What does GEH mean?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

The Movie 413 was recorded near South River, NJ in 1914 and contains a spectacular train wreck scene that was recorded on the Raritan River Railroad.

Again, any help would be appreciated.


I am guessing GEH is George Eastman House although they changed their name to George Eastman Museum in October 2015.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostMon Apr 17, 2017 8:04 pm

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Brooksie

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostTue Apr 18, 2017 12:00 pm

Regarding the discussion of her house - Google Maps confirms that it was indeed demolished some time in the past two years. Only the staircase, pool and footings remain. It sold in 2014 for $2.3 million, well off the $2.8 that was asked, but still a heck of a lot of money to pay for a teardown.
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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostWed Apr 19, 2017 2:45 pm

MaryGH wrote:
Tom_E_Reynolds wrote:
Hi all,

I am looking to understand this post. Does this imply that the movie "413" still exists? What does GEH mean?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

The Movie 413 was recorded near South River, NJ in 1914 and contains a spectacular train wreck scene that was recorded on the Raritan River Railroad.

Again, any help would be appreciated.


I am guessing GEH is George Eastman House although they changed their name to George Eastman Museum in October 2015.


Thank You. I have reached out to the George Eastman Museum and will report back what they say.

I also found this reference to Anita Stewart films, which confirms the George Eastman archive:

https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/ ... a-stewart/
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Tom_E_Reynolds

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostWed Apr 19, 2017 2:55 pm

Brooksie wrote:Regarding the discussion of her house - Google Maps confirms that it was indeed demolished some time in the past two years. Only the staircase, pool and footings remain. It sold in 2014 for $2.3 million, well off the $2.8 that was asked, but still a heck of a lot of money to pay for a teardown.


I just found a nice article written about Anita Stewart in Motion Picture Classic Magazine from June of 1916.

https://books.google.com/books?id=cQ9KAQAAMAAJ&pg=PT282&lpg=PT282&dq=anita+stewart+413

It even mentions her mansion being built in Brightwaters, Bay Shore, NY.
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silentfilm

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Apr 20, 2017 11:30 am

I wonder if the wreck from 413 is the same one in Juggernaut (1915) with Earle Williams and Anita Stewart. The final reel containing the wreck from Juggernaut does exist, and the train wreck is supposed to be spectacular.
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greta de groat

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Apr 20, 2017 2:06 pm

silentfilm wrote:I wonder if the wreck from 413 is the same one in Juggernaut (1915) with Earle Williams and Anita Stewart. The final reel containing the wreck from Juggernaut does exist, and the train wreck is supposed to be spectacular.


You can find this on youTube.

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Re: Anita Stewart, Anyone?

PostThu Apr 20, 2017 8:57 pm

Time for an update to the list of extant Anita Stewart features:

The Juggernaut (1915) [Yale Film Archives, R2 & 5 of 5]
A Midnight Romance (1919) [LOC, R2-5 of 6]
Mary Regan (1919) [Archives du film du CNC]
Human Desire (1919) [LOC, AMPAS]
In Old Kentucky (1919) [MGM preservation]
Harriet and the Piper (1920) [Archives du film du CNC]
Sowing the Wind (1921) [GEH]
Souls for Sale (1923) cameo, but I don't recall whether she's in the surviving version
Mary of the Movies (1923) cameo [incomplete; repatriated to UCLA]
The Love Piker (1923) [Lobster Films]
Go Straight (1925) cameo [LOC]
Morganson’s Finish (1926) [EYE, National Archives of Canada]
The Lodge in the Wilderness (1926) [EYE]
Whispering Wires (1926) [GEH]
The Isle of Sunken Gold (1927) [serial; 3-1/2 episodes survive of 10]
Sisters of Eve (1928) [LOC]

She was also the star of Vitagraph's 1915 serial The Goddess, for which I don't know the status.

Looking at her AFI filmography, one would get the impression that she was incredibly busy in 1919 (11 releases!), but actually Vitagraph re-edited and expanded five of her three-reelers from the 1913-15 period to produce new versions of From Headquarters, The Painted World, Shadows of the Past, Two Women and The Wreck.

It's unlikely that she participated in the filming of any new footage, however. After Vitagraph sued her for breach of contract in 1917, she was ordered to continue working for them for 26 weeks, during which time The Mind-the-Paint Girl was filmed. Mayer then bought out her contract and Mind-the-Paint was released by First National in late 1919 (all according to the AFI's notes on the aforementioned film). It must have smarted for Vitagraph to lose one of their biggest stars to an independent producer, but she did come back once, for the 1925 Baree, Son of Kazan.

-HA
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