Info on circa 1914 Vitagraph two-reeler

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coolcatdaddy

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Info on circa 1914 Vitagraph two-reeler

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 7:19 pm

I'm doing some checking on sources in a book I picked up recently, a bio of an obscure performer.

He mentions the first film that the performer appeared in as an extra, "Pioneer Trail Master" and says it's a two-reeler, produced around 1914.

All I can dig up from Vitagraph is a seven reel feature from 1923, "Pioneer Trails". Apparently a 9.5 mm print exists of this one.

http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/2016/kennington-bioscope-special-vitagraph-9-5-part-2/

The author goes on to mention another film the subject appeared in from 1914 that I have been able to verify, "My Official Wife".

So, has anyone heard of "Pioneer Trail Master" from 1914 or another Vitagraph Western-themed two reeler from that time period?

The author doesn't include any footnotes and only has a two-page bibliography. I'm looking at this and I'm suspicious that much of the material might be just made up or badly researched.
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Hamilton's Grandson

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Re: Info on circa 1914 Vitagraph two-reeler

PostSun Jul 02, 2017 10:08 am

What is the name of the "obscure performer"? A Name search may be better than title search.
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Joseph Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
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coolcatdaddy

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Re: Info on circa 1914 Vitagraph two-reeler

PostSun Jul 02, 2017 7:21 pm

Hamilton's Grandson wrote:What is the name of the "obscure performer"? A Name search may be better than title search.


HIs name is Ray Bourbon. At that time, he might have been using his real name, Hal Waddell.

From the author's description of him being an extra in the picture, he probably didn't get any billing.

He appeared in several very minor roles, primarily in Paramount silents in the 20s. For example, he appears in one dressed as a woman selling flowers to one of the stars of the film. His most significant role was in "Blood and Sand" - in the opening of that picture, he is a bullfighter that gets gored by a bull and dies in Valentino's arms. He didn't get billing in that picture.

The problem I'm having is that the author has a long detailed chapter about Ray breaking into films as an extra at Vitagraph during WWI. I have Ray's autobiographical manuscript he wrote in the late 60s, as well as interviews and other material from people that knew him. He never mentioned working at Vitagraph or that early in films.

The author also has him appearing as an extra in “My Official Wife” at Vitagraph in 1914 where he supposedly became friends with Valentino. (The Wikipedia article states that it's rumored that Valentino is an extra in the film, but its never been proven.) The author goes on to state that he became close friends with Valentino at Vitagraph and that Valentino kind of became a show business mentor to him.

In Ray's own autobiographical manuscript, he implies that he got to know Valentino in the 20s when he was working at Paramount. The way Ray tells it in the manuscript, they were friends and he, Valentino and William Boyd would play practical jokes on the set, but there's no close friendship or mentoring relationship there.

http://www.coolcatdaddy.com/bourbon.html

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