Help identifying a silent film

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Battra92

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Help identifying a silent film

PostWed May 23, 2018 6:15 am

So in one of my other hobbies, I was browsing around YouTube about old, outdated tech and came across this video:

https://youtu.be/yrxaBot3fsI?t=313

At 5:13 in, he shows a silent film on the TV. Any idea what it is?
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Tommie Hicks

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostWed May 23, 2018 7:08 am

I din't know what the film is entitled or who the players are, but it looks to be a bio-pic of Steven Foster.
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sepiatone

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostWed May 23, 2018 5:52 pm

the young woman could be Doris Kenyon somewhere early in her career.
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Battra92

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostFri May 25, 2018 6:42 am

sepiatone wrote:the young woman could be Doris Kenyon somewhere early in her career.


Hmm, maybe. I wonder what channel this was on showing a silent film. Granted it's an old video but still.
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silentmovies742

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostSun May 27, 2018 12:37 pm

There was a 1924 short film (2 reels) that was a biography of Stephen Foster, with his name as the title. That's the only thing I can find. Sadly the board won't let me upload the review as a jpg. It says it was part of the "Famous Music Master Series" and either produced or directed by James A. Fitzpatrick - Film Daily (Sep 21 1924, p4) doesn't say which. No cast names are given. It does refer to it as a "novelty" which I assume means comedy, which would fit in with what we see on the video.

There is a small entry on the BFI website, dating the film as 1926, but no further info, other than that Fitzpatrick produced similar films on Liszt and Mendelssohn in the same year.

Moving Picture World state on August 16, 1924 p527 that Alyce Mills was to play the female lead in the film. She had just become engaged to James Fitzpatrick.

Both the Film Daily and Motion Picture World mags are available through the MHDL, but they don't say much more than I already have. Oddly, no male lead is given. All of the above might be a wild goose chase, but it's the only biography of Foster I can find from the title.
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Brooksie

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostSun May 27, 2018 2:32 pm

In case it helps, we did a bit of detective work on the Famous Music Masters Series a few years back - see http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13627.
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silentmovies742

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostSun May 27, 2018 3:25 pm

Thanks. Such a shame the youtube vids appear to have gone.
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostSun May 27, 2018 5:06 pm

I've just found some references to the Fitzpatrick Stephen Foster film in the GenealogyBank newspaper archive.

1926 was the centennary of Foster's birth and the film was shown at least twice that year.

There are no cast listings in the two articles.

One article says the title is "The Life of Stephen Foster," and that it is part of Fitzpatrick's Music Master series.

Although it was made earlier, the film is being shown as a "special" on the anniversary of his birth, July 4th.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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Brooksie

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostSun May 27, 2018 11:15 pm

And here is a still from the same production, published in the Australian industry magazine Everyones on 9 February 1927:

Image

Comparing the actors in the photo to the YouTube video (which is still working fine for me), it looks like we can confirm that it is indeed James A. Fitzpatrick's Stephen Foster short.
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silentmovies742

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostMon May 28, 2018 7:00 am

Sorry. I was referring to the ones in your earlier research that you linked to.

At least the film is now definitely identified.
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Brooksie

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostTue May 29, 2018 11:33 am

silentmovies742 wrote:Sorry. I was referring to the ones in your earlier research that you linked to.

At least the film is now definitely identified.


Ah, no worries. I'd still like to know how many of these shorts survive. The few I have seen are quite charming.
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Battra92

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Re: Help identifying a silent film

PostTue May 29, 2018 2:58 pm

Brooksie wrote:And here is a still from the same production, published in the Australian industry magazine Everyones on 9 February 1927:

Image

Comparing the actors in the photo to the YouTube video (which is still working fine for me), it looks like we can confirm that it is indeed James A. Fitzpatrick's Stephen Foster short.


Wow, awesome! Be neat to see it outside of a small snippet on YouTube.

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