Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

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Dave Pitts

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Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostTue Jan 16, 2018 9:24 am

I have finally seen an Anita Stewart film (with the Alpha release of Human Desire in a nice print.) I've never seen one of the Bayne/Bushman films -- and there were 24 of them, with some box office winners at the start of their run. Has anyone seen one? Do any exist?
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Brooksie

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostTue Jan 16, 2018 11:09 am

The EYE Filmmuseum have one of their shorts online. I don't know the survival rate of their features, but I don't imagine it would be great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzHE0gVP1rI

Last edited by silentfilm on Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
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missdupont

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostTue Jan 16, 2018 12:28 pm

Some of their films do survive, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum has shown some of the Essanay films they co-starred in.
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greta de groat

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostTue Jan 16, 2018 12:30 pm

Under Royal Patronage is around, though i don't see it on youTube.

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostTue Jan 16, 2018 12:37 pm

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Beverly Bayne and Francis X. Bushman in Red, White, and Blue Blood (1917). This film is lost.
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Lon Davis

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostTue Jan 16, 2018 9:26 pm

Hello, I'm Lon Davis. My wife Debra and I are the authorized biographers of Francis X. Bushman (we worked closely with his widow, Iva). Our 2009 book, King of the Movies: Francis X. Bushman, is available on Amazon.

During our early research in 1982, Debra and I managed to arrange for a private screening of three Bushman and Bayne Metro features at MGM in Culver City. The titles are Pennington's Choice (1915), The Wall Between (1916), and The Poor Rich Man (1918), all in pristine 35mm prints. The films are entertaining, but the best of the batch is undoubtedly Pennington's Choice. It's a comedy-drama in which Beverly plays twin sisters, and Francis X. is trying to date both of them. (Or something like that; I haven't seen it since that one showing.) There were no scores, just pure silence. These films are now in the George Eastman House archives. There are a number of their Essanay shorts at the British Film Institute (The Burglarized Burglar, The Old Florist, Dawn and Twilight, The Little Black Box, The Cat's Paw, The Hour and the Man, and segments from The Madman, The New Church Organ, The End of the Feud, and The Voice of Conscience--all released between 1911 and 1914. Kevin Brownlow viewed these films personally and sent his notes to us to be reproduced in the appendix of our book. According to Treasures from the Archives, the BFI also has the 1916 Metro feature In the Diplomatic Service, which Bushman directed on location in Washington, D.C. Titles available in 16mm prints are Under Royal Patronage (1914, Essanay) which was offered by Blackhawk Films for many years, and In the Moon's Ray (also 1914, Essanay). The only readily available Bushman silents (he made a number of sound films between 1930 and 1966) are The Flag (made in 1925 and released by MGM in 1927) and, of course, Ben-Hur, both of which can be seen on TCM.
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Dave Pitts

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 8:53 am

Thanks for that detailed report. Wow! So the survival rate of the B/B films -- including partial prints -- is over 50%. I have never seen these titles listed in film festival schedules, but then again, ever since Cinesation ended, there aren't many films from the teens getting screened. Hopefully, some of these titles can escape to the collectors' market.
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 12:14 pm

Pennington's Choice (1915) played at Cinecon 38 way back in 2002. I was able to retrieve my (short) review from alt.movies.silent, but I didn't comment on much but the plot.

PENNINGTON'S CHOICE (1915, Quality/Metro) Francis X. Bushman was once a buff college athlete, but now he is a lazy rich guy. Bushman travels to French Canada to ask for Beverly Bayne's hand in marriage. Her father won't give his permission for the marriage until he proves that he is a manly man. Luckily, professional boxer James Jeffries lives nearby to help Bushman hone is boxing and wrestling skills. Of course, he also has to save the mortgage on the family's homestead. This was yet another beautiful print. (**)
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 1:31 pm

silentfilm wrote:Pennington's Choice (1915) played at Cinecon 38 way back in 2002. I was able to retrieve my (short) review from alt.movies.silent, but I didn't comment on much but the plot.

PENNINGTON'S CHOICE (1915, Quality/Metro) Francis X. Bushman was once a buff college athlete, but now he is a lazy rich guy. Bushman travels to French Canada to ask for Beverly Bayne's hand in marriage. Her father won't give his permission for the marriage until he proves that he is a manly man. Luckily, professional boxer James Jeffries lives nearby to help Bushman hone is boxing and wrestling skills. Of course, he also has to save the mortgage on the family's homestead. This was yet another beautiful print. (**)


I've seen the FXB programs at Niles (especially like The Madman) but i've never seen Pennington's Choice--i didn't know James Jeffries was in it. He and Bushman appeared as themselves in the 1941 film Mr. Celebrity, along with Clara Kimball Young as residents of an old folks home for retired celebrities.

I can definitely recommend Lon's book on Bushman, he was quite the character and had a very long career.

I'll dig around and see if i can find my reviews of the Niles programs.

greta
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 1:56 pm

I can't find my reviews for the first Bushman Niles program in 2007, but i found my comments about the encores the next year:


Under Royal Patronage (Essanay 1914). Repeated from last year, this pleasant Ruritanian romantic comedy stars Francis X .Bushman and Beverly Bayne, with Bryant Washburn with a bad mustache thrown in for good measure. The plot is a little confusing but it's appealingly acted.

The Madman (1911). Back by popular demand. At first you think Francis X. Bushman is going to totally ham it up, but he does so with such ferocious energy and conviction that he really carries you along.


The New Church Organ (1912). Bushman and Bayne again, i was getting sleepy by this time but remember enjoying this last year. She's a poor girl ridiculed by the other girls.

Can we still search alt.movies.silent?

thanks,
greta
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 2:02 pm

greta de groat wrote:Can we still search alt.movies.silent?
greta


https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum ... ies.silent

Rick
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 3:09 pm

Lon Davis, again. I'm delighted to see the interest being generated by Bushman and Bayne, even if their films are not yet available; I hope to help change that situation some day.

A few films I didn't mention in my report yesterday include two more at the Eastman House (neither of which I have seen): The Second in Command (1915), Bushman's first film for Metro, in 35mm; it is known for its advanced camera work. Graustark (1915, Essanay) is also there, only in a 28mm safety print; this was one of Bushman and Bayne's most successful features. When we contacted the Library of Congress way back in the early eighties, we were informed that they had portions of Teaching Hicksville to Sing (1913, Essanay, Bayne only), When Soul Meets Soul (1913, Essanay, Bushman only), A Modern Marriage (1923, F. X. B. Pictures), The Marriage Clause (1926, Universal, Bushman only), Midnight Life (1928, Gotham, Bushman only), and his long-unseen first talkie, The Call of the Circus (1930, Pickwick Pictures).

One of Beverly Bayne's solo features, Her Marriage Vow, made for Warner Bros. in 1924 (while Bushman was on location in Rome for Ben-Hur), is held by a film archive in Belgium, I believe; again, Kevin Brownlow viewed it and told me it was an excellent nitrate print of an excellent film. I would love to see this one. Beverly was a close, personal friend of mine during the last ten years of her life. She was a beautiful person, one who was dedicated to the art of the silent film. Her greatest triumph on film was as Juliet opposite Bushman's Romeo in 1916. She lamented the fact that this film had not survived. I remember her telling me that she was present at an attempted showing of that eight-reeler and that "it fell apart in the projector." Until her later years, Beverly still had the cloak she wore as Juliet. Bushman kept his Romeo apparel as well, including his rhinestone-studded belt. He also had the famous winged helmet he wore as Messala. His widow showed us these items during one of our several visits with her in Pacific Palisades. It was a memorable experience!
Last edited by Lon Davis on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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greta de groat

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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 6:14 pm

Thanks, Lon, i'd forgotten they were now Google Groups. I found my comments from the previous year at Niles when they highlighting Essanay films:

Francis X. Bushmen films ... For me these were the highlight of the show and there was
quite a buzz at intermission and afterward along the lines of "now i know
why he was such a big star).

The Madman (1911) has Bushman as a loony who excapes from the asylum and
tries to kill his father. At first i was just prepared to be amused at him
hamming it up, but there was something physically imposing about him in this
part that made him truly frightening. I was quite impressed.

The Old Florist (1912). Bushman in a character part as an old man, again
all eyes went to him and he was very good.

The Little Black Box (1912) Mystery in which something is stolen from an
office and the workers are suspected. Again he dominated the proceedings
physically, and actually looked very handsome with a pince-nez. Bryant
Washburn was starting to show his comic flair as well.

The New Chruch Organ. This is the first surviving Bushman/Bayne film and not
bad. He has a conventional role and Bayne really carries more of it.
Though she's not a beauty by modern standards, she was by standards of the
1910s, and by any standards she was quite a good actress.

When Soul Meets Soul (1913). Somehowe when they trot out the ancient
costumes everone starts waving their arms around. Bushman starts out as an
old archeologist and is brought a mummy, who was a princess he betrayed in a
previous existance back in Egypt. He looks good in his short armor, anyway,
and Dolores Cassinelli hammed it up even more than he did. Silly fun.

Dawn and Twilight (1914), Bushman, with drowned rat hair, is a blind
musician. Ruth Stonehouse pays to have his sight restored, but he sees her
and apparently thinks she's ugly, so he dumps her and becomes a big society
success while she pines away. She looked fine to me so the whole thing was
just puzzling.

Under Royal Patronage (1914) probably a "special" of the era, it was a
far-fetched but entertaining Graustarkian story of royals forced to marry
who convince their best friends to stand in for them to check out the other
party. Predictably they fall in love. Bushman and Bayne were both very
appealing in this.

Anyway, Bushman scored a big hit with a lot of us that day. Apparently he
began as a character actor, and it's too bad he got pegged as a romantic
lead because good as he was at that, i think his character work was even
better.


greta
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm

On more, a Bayne solo:

My favorite of the bunch was A Soul Reclaimed with an
excellent peformance by Beverly Bayne as an alcoholic woman who poses for a
picture of the madonna and becomes a nun (though she's apparently married so
i was wondering if i missed something in the plot). It's her earliest
surviving film and i was very impressed with her work.

greta
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 8:54 pm

Thanks for including your descriptions of the Bushman and Bayne Films, Greta. I am not familiar with A Soul Reclaimed, but it sounds fascinating. Was that shown along with the other films during that same program? Beverly was rather dismissive of her acting abilities when she was very young; she felt she truly came into her own on the stage. I can only imagine how thrilled she would be to know someone in 2018 was praising a one-reeler she made in 1912!

By the way, Greta, I have wonderful memories of working with you on the Talmadge sisters' profile I included in my book Silent Lives.

Thanks again,

Lon
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 9:41 pm

Lon Davis wrote:Thanks for including your descriptions of the Bushman and Bayne Films, Greta. I am not familiar with A Soul Reclaimed, but it sounds fascinating. Was that shown along with the other films during that same program? Beverly was rather dismissive of her acting abilities when she was very young; she felt she truly came into her own on the stage. I can only imagine how thrilled she would be to know someone in 2018 was praising a one-reeler she made in 1912!

By the way, Greta, I have wonderful memories of working with you on the Talmadge sisters' profile I included in my book Silent Lives.

Thanks again,

Lon


Thanks! I really enjoy your books. Yes, all of those in my last two messages were at the Broncho Billy Festival of 2007 at Niles. Here is the whole alt.movies.silent thread from that year, i don't remember if there was further conversations on these: Part 1.https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/alt.movies.silent/Francis$20x$20bushman$20madman/alt.movies.silent/llrNKIZSV70/Z7Upm5E1TmMJ Part 2https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/alt.movies.silent/Francis$20x$20bushman$20madman/alt.movies.silent/8281an_axEY/UEJ6wyWsBrMJ

cheers,
greta
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostWed Jan 17, 2018 10:53 pm

I'm afraid that whenever I see Francis X. Bushman now, I always, always think of one particular Nitrateville thread from several years ago - http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13296&p=95391#p95391 ... :shock:
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Re: Beverly Bayne - Francis X. Bushman

PostSat Jan 20, 2018 12:16 am

Brooksie wrote:I'm afraid that whenever I see Francis X. Bushman now, I always, always think of one particular Nitrateville thread from several years ago - http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13296&p=95391#p95391 ... :shock:


I just saw him again the other day in "Sabrina"(1954).

Reportedly, Elvis Presley, "The King" , used to woo women with talk of "Little Elvis". So it should come as no surprise that the "King of the Movies" might have used a similar tactic. But, "Frank's baby elephant"?! Yikes.
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