Harry J. Revier

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spadeneal

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Harry J. Revier

PostSun Jun 13, 2010 1:19 pm

Does anyone have any reliable info on director Harry J. Revier (1889-1957)? AMG unhelpfully states: "A native of Philadelphia, Revier started his career in Italy as a cameraman. After working in France and England until 1918, he returned to the States to begin directing." Revier has steady directorial credits in the U.S. from 1914-18, and I doubt he had an apprenticeship in Italy; if he was from Philly it seems more likely he would have served his apprenticeship at Lubin.

His first (sic) film, The Imp Abroad (1914), starred James Cruze, made for Victor Film Company. This and one later quota quickie made for Twickenham in England seem to represent the only work Revier did within a major studio environment; everything else appears to be of the independently financed, states rights distributed variety, although his two Tarzan pictures appear to have been fairly big-budgeted. However, as a writer, Revier definitely had some issues, ergo MPW's description of Life's Greatest Question (1921):


"John Carver looked through the window of a little church in the North woods and saw the woman who had once been his own being made the wife of Julio Cumberland, the most prosperous citizen in the village. He is pursued by Private Dick Osborne, of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, the lover of Nan's new stepdaughter, who recognizes the uninvited guest and knows Nan's story. Julio regards the conferences of his bride and Dick with jealous suspicion, and while spied upon by the criminal, attacks the officer, leaving him unconscious. Later the bride is found dead, and suspicion points to the officer as her murderer. John is captured and admits his guilt only when Dorothy prevails upon him to save the happiness of herself and the officer by confessing the crime." (Moving Picture World, 19 Aug 1922, p610.)


He is best known for his last three talkies, all notorious films. If anyone can fill in survival status for any of the titles below I would appreciate it, along with any info. I am aware that he was married to Dorothy Revier in the early 1920s, whereby she took her professional name; she was the star of The Broadway Madonna (1923).

spadeneal

The Imp Abroad (1914)
The Weakness of Strength (1916)
Lust of the Ages (1917)
The Grain of Dust (1918)
A Romance of the Air (1918)
What Shall We Do With Him? (1919)
The Challenge of Chance (1919) LOST
The Son of Tarzan (serial; 1920) EXTANT
The Revenge of Tarzan (serial; 1920) LOST
Life's Greatest Question (1921)
The Broadway Madonna (1923)
Dangerous Pleasure (1925)
The Silk Bouquet (1926)
What Price Love? (1927) EXTANT
The Thrill Seekers (1927)
The Slayer (1927)
The Mysterious Airman (serial; 1928)
The Lone Wolf's Daughter (writer; 1929)
Convict's Code (1930) LOST
Bill's Legacy (1931)
When Lightning Strikes (1934)
The Lost City (serial; 1935) EXTANT
Lash of the Penitentes (1937) EXTANT, tho incomplete (42 of 65 mins.)
Child Bride (1938) EXTANT
Planet Outlaws (writer; 1953) EXTANT
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Rick Lanham

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PostSun Jun 13, 2010 10:47 pm

From the New York Passenger Lists available (with a subscription) on Ancestry.com:

A person named Harry J. Revier, age 41, married, sailed from Southhampton to NYC on board the ship S.S. Europa on 16 July 1931. He is listed as being born Mar 16 1890 in Philadelphia Penna. His US address is given as VICTORIA HTL (sic) New Yor (sic) City N.Y.

No occupations are listed on the form. Dorothy is not listed with him.

/////
WWII Draft Registration Card 1942
Harry Jack Revier
Residence: Wellington Hotel, 147 West 55 St
Telephone: Circle (? or Circe) 7-3900
Age 47, born March 16, 1895 Philadelphia Penn.
Person who will always know where he is: Vera Revier, Beverly Drive, Los Angeles, Calif.
Place of employment: Miami, Florida
/////

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spadeneal

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PostMon Jun 14, 2010 2:49 am

Thanks for that Rick -- it at least confirms that Revier did go over to Britain to make the one film, and the draft card shows "Jack" as the middle name -- in movie credits it is sometimes shown as "Jacques."

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PostMon Jun 14, 2010 11:48 am

Looks like he passed in Orange County, FL in 1957. It's interesting speculation as well what his actual birthdate might have been. In the Film Encyclopedia, his birthdate is listed as 1889; from the New York Passenger List it is 1890; and from his draft card it is 1895. The common denominator is the birthdate of March 16. There is no Harry Revier listed in the social security death index; however, there is a Harry Reitzel born on March 16, 1905 in Pennsylvania who passed in February 1957 at an undisclosed location. His social was 207-07-8037. It might lead to more information to search down the path of this Reitzel name. Hope this helps!
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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostSun Sep 02, 2012 9:14 pm

Miss Dupont provided a lead to Revier before these posts were made and I didn't even realize it. Revier co-founded Western Costume in June 1909. This is strong evidence that even the 1889 birthdate given for him is too late. Revier also, apparently, rented the DeMille Studio Barn to DeMille himself in 1913.

I have found six titles produced by the Revier Motion Picture Co., distributed by Motion Pictures Distributors and Sales, the common predecessor of Universal and Mutual. They appeared only in one month; from mid-December 1910 to mid-January 1911. I have no idea if they are one reelers or split reels.
    * Love's Sorrow (12-21-1910)
    * Thoughtfulness Remembered by the Ute (12-28-1910)
    * For Better or Worse (1-4-1911)
    * The Goosecreek Claim (1-11-1911)
    * You Try It (1-18-1911)
    * For the Child's Sake (1-18-1911)

I sincerly doubt anything remains of these titles, but if anyone on the list has a way to look them up -- they are all shorts -- I would appreciate news of possible survivors. Director is not listed, but I would suppose no one else named "Revier" would have been responsible for them, and Harry Revier probably at least produced them.

Revier coming into the business via the costume/property etc. end of the movie business makes total sense in regard to his later directing career, and it explains a lot. I would suggest his actual birthdate was closer to DeMille's, i.e. 1881. Why he would have fibbed so dramatically on his 1942 draft card, where he listed his age as 47? He would have been closer to 65, after which he would have had major problems getting insured for work -- perhaps that was the reason? I suspect he was working in industrials and other kinds of ephermal projects during this time.

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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostMon Sep 03, 2012 12:24 am

I may as well post my improved Harry Revier filmography now. Anyone knowing the fate of any of the films not listed as lost, extant or incomplete please contact me or post here.

Several things are different, including some new titles and that Revier is unambiguously shown as director of Planet Outlaws (confirmed by BFI entry.)

Victor Film Co. (UNIVERSAL)
The Imp Abroad (1914)

Shubert Film Corp. (WORLD)
The Siren's Song (1915; co-directed With George W. Lederer)

Popular Plays and Players Inc. (METRO)
The Eternal Question (1916; co-directed with Burton L. King)
The Weakness of Strength (1916)

Ogden Pictures Corp. (STATES RIGHTS)
Lust of the Ages (1917)
The Grain of Dust (1918)
The Blot (1918) may be an alternate title to The Grain of Dust

Wharton (CREST PICTURES)
A Romance of the Air (1918; co-directed with Franklin B. Coates)

McClure Publishing Co. (WORLD)
What Shall We Do With Him? aka Unconditional Surrender(1918 or 1919)
may re-use footage from Lust of the Ages

Continental Pictures (INDEPENDENT SALES CORP.)
The Challenge of Chance (1919) LOST

NATIONAL FILM CORP. OF AMERICA
The Son of Tarzan (serial; 1920) EXTANT

Numa Pictures (GOLDWYN)
The Revenge of Tarzan (serial; 1920) LOST

Quality Film Productions (CBC FILM SALES CORP.)
Life's Greatest Question (1921)

Quality Film Productions (FBO)
The Broadway Madonna (1922)

National Film Corp. of America (HOWELLS SALES)
Jungle Trail of the Son of Tarzan (1923) EXTANT
Feature condensation of The Son of Tarzan

Independent Pictures (STATES RIGHTS)
Dangerous Pleasure (1925)

Fairmont Productions (HI-MARK PRODS, INC.)
The Silk Bouquet (1926)

H. V. Productions (HI-MARK PRODS, INC.)
The Thrill Seekers (1927)

Morris R. Schlank Productions (ANCHOR)
What Price Love? (1927) EXTANT
The Slaver (1927) imdb lists this as "The Slayer"

WEISS BROS. ARTCLASS PICTURES
The Mysterious Airman (serial; 1928)

Columbia Pictures (FBO)
The Lone Wolf's Daughter (writer; 1929) LOST

Trem Carr Pictures (SYNDICATE)
The Convict's Code (1930) LOST

Twickenham (IDEAL)
Bill's Legacy (1931)

Unknown (STATES RIGHTS)
Devil of the Matterhorn (1932) EXTANT
English-language, dubbed sound and partly reshot version of Der Kampf ums Matterhorn (1928)

REGAL DISTRIBUTING CORP.
When Lightning Strikes (1934; co-directed with Burton L. King)

Super Serial Productions (PRINCIPAL)
The Lost City (serial; 1935) EXTANT
The Lost City (1st feature edit; 1935) LOST
Said lost, but AFI claims "print viewed;" maybe AFI means one of the other condensations below
The Lost City (2nd feature edit; 1935) EXTANT
City of Lost Men (3rd feature edit; 1939) EXTANT

Super Serial Productions (UNKNOWN TV DISTRIBUTOR)
City of Lost Men (4th feature edit; 1940s)

Harry Revier Productions/The Stewart Productions, Inc. (STATES RIGHTS)
The Penitente Murder Mystery (1936) LOST
El asesinato de los Penitentes (1936)
Lash of the Penitentes (1937) INCOMPLETE
The Penitente Murder Mystery was the first version, shown in San Francisco in 1936 at 65 mins. The censors would not allow it a general release as it was. The Spanish-language version was shot side by side with The Penitente Murder Mystery and premiered in Mexico City in 1936. Lash of the Penitentes was an attempt to soften the film some, but it was savaged by local review boards; longest version known is only 42 mins.

ASTOR PICTURES
Child Bride (1938) INCOMPLETE
Though first shown in 1938, not released until 1942; heavy censorship issues. Kroger Babb reissued it in 1945. Original runtime of 65 mins. is in no print known to me, but I'm not sure of the origin of surviving versions.

GOODWILL PRODUCTIONS
Planet Outlaws (1953) EXTANT

When Lightning Strikes, The Lost City and Planet Outlaws all presented by Sherman S. Krellburg.

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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostTue Sep 04, 2012 10:42 am

spadeneal wrote: I have found six titles produced by the Revier Motion Picture Co., distributed by Motion Pictures Distributors and Sales, the common predecessor of Universal and Mutual. They appeared only in one month; from mid-December 1910 to mid-January 1911. I have no idea if they are one reelers or split reels.
    * Love's Sorrow (12-21-1910)
    * Thoughtfulness Remembered by the Ute (12-28-1910)
    * For Better or Worse (1-4-1911)
    * The Goosecreek Claim (1-11-1911)
    * You Try It (1-18-1911)
    * For the Child's Sake (1-18-1911)

I sincerly doubt anything remains of these titles, but if anyone on the list has a way to look them up -- they are all shorts -- I would appreciate news of possible survivors. Director is not listed, but I would suppose no one else named "Revier" would have been responsible for them, and Harry Revier probably at least produced them.

spadeneal


I checked the FIAF database, but unfortunately there are no surviving films listed for Harry Revier prior to 1920, either as director or producer.
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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostTue Sep 04, 2012 12:08 pm

ROMANCE OF THE AIR is extant. Also, THE ROMANCE OF TARZAN was not a serial.
Nothing is ever truly lost.
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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostWed Sep 05, 2012 12:50 pm

Thanks for the responses! And I will take note of The Revenge of Tarzan being a feature, not a serial.

While there's good news about Romance of the Air, it's a pity so much of Revier's silent output is missing. Jess Willard was the star of The Challenge of Chance. Lust of the Ages seems to have been particularly interesting:

Edmund Craig, a captain of industry, neglects his wife and child, as he is obsessed with his business affairs. After he is fatally stricken with heart failure while consummating a large deal, his wife rears their daughter Lois to question the thirst for wealth. At college, the girl is awarded the literary prize for an essay called "The Lust of the Ages," and it is published in book form. Upon learning that her fiancé, Byron Masters, is developing the same traits as her father, she breaks their engagement and gives him the book to read. Her fiancé reads the story of the Valley of Contentment, which existed at the beginning of time until it was invaded by the army of Mammon, which wrought misery and desolation. Next, the book jumps to a later period in which a European war lord's lust for riches drives him to attempt to conquer the world. The last chapter reveals the present time, in which the war lord's successor engages upon a war to monopolize the world's wealth and possessions. Upon completing the book, the man is so impressed with the truths it contains that he relinquishes his worship of money and is reinstated in the girl's affections.


and What Shall We Do With Him? appears to have been related:

After a short account of the events in the Book of Genesis and of the life of Christ, the film suggests that the Kaiser is the Antichrist and depicts a court of world justice that summons him to account for his crimes. (Contemporary trade articles imply that the film includes documentary footage of the war activities of the various Allied countries. No other information concerning the plot has been discovered.)


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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostThu Sep 06, 2012 11:43 am

spadeneal wrote:Does anyone have any reliable info on director Harry J. Revier (1889-1957)?


Whether Revier co-founded Western Costume in 1909 is a matter of speculation. Western Costume Company was all set to celebrate their 100th anniversary in 1999 [correction: 2009], but was unable to uncover any evidence that the company existed before 1914--about the time L. L. Burns gave up his interest in the Burns & Revier Studio

Revier did partner with Western Costume founder L. L. Burns in the Burns & Revier Studios. First location at Sunset & Hollywood Boulevards--this lot was later taken over by Kinemacolor and then became the Reliance-Majestic and later the Triangle-Fine Arts studio.

The second Burns & Revier studio was at the corner of Selma Avenue and Vine Street and was rented by the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company. Revier's portion of the lease was acquired fairly early by Cecil B. DeMille, and Burns was bought out just a bit later.

Revier is said to have been an exhibitor in Utah before he became a filmmaker.

He was at some point married to the actress who became known as Dorothy Revier (apparently divorced n 1926).
Last edited by Bob Birchard on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostFri Sep 07, 2012 3:52 am

Thank you Bob Birchard, for all that great data. I was a little skeptical myself about the 1909 date for Western Costume as, although Selig was working in Santa Monica in 1909 and possibly others, it just seemed too early for the industry in Los Angeles to support such a business. A few years later makes a lot more sense. Here is a photo of the LL Burns building in Los Angeles, which went up in 1914: http://www.you-are-here.com/broadway/burns.html

The Burns and Revier firm may have dissolved a bit before Western Costume opened, and perhaps Revier himself was not involved in the foundation of this firm. If so, I would wonder why his name was attached to it.

Darren Németh has discovered a birthdate of March 16, 1882 on Revier's WWI draft card, which means my guess as to his actual birthdate was only one year off. The card also gives his first name as "Henry," though this has not led to any other discoveries among public records relating to Harry Revier.

He was married to Dorothy Revier, and they made one picture together, The Broadway Madonna (1922 or 1923). They were indeed divorced in 1926 and she became far more famous and popular than Harry Revier ever did.

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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostSat Mar 21, 2015 1:20 pm

Regarding Harry Revier-

The Hollywood Heritage Museum has a copy of the partnership papers between Harry Revier and L.L. (Louis Loss) Burns. It is from March of 1912. I do not know of a copy of the original lease between Jacob Stern who owned the property which included the barn building at Selma and Vine streets which, according to newspaper accounts of the time, was built in 1901. Jacob Stern purchased it from Robert Northam in 1903. In the 1910 Sanborn insurance map, the building is indentified as the Stern Barn and Auto Garage. As an "out" building there would most likely not be a building permit for the barn in the then (1903-1910) city of Hollywood. After the merger with the City of Los Angeles, most likely permits were necessary as there is a building permit issued in May of 1912 to construct a room at the Northwest corner of the building, which is identified at that time as being used "for the production of moving pictures."

These papers assist in dating the Burns-Revier Studios at Sunset & Hollywood, and at Selma and Vine as being established in the first half of 1912, six months after the October 1911 establishment of the Nestor Studio (formerly the Blondeau Tavern) at the corner of Selma and Vine.

In February of 1914, Cecil B. DeMille bought out the interest of Burns in their firm, which continued to run the film lab on the lot for a short time as the Revier DeMille Laboratory, until DeMille also bought out Harry Revier.

L.L. Burns combined his Native American artifacts collection, accumulated during his work as a worker, then owner of a curio store in downtown Los Angeles, with his purchase of the Fisher Costume Company. He then renamed the business Western Costume and continued to operate it until the Crash of 1929, when it was purchased and the costumes split between Paramount and Warner Brothers Studio, where Burns then was employed as supervisor of the wardrobe department.
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Bob Birchard

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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostSat Mar 21, 2015 1:34 pm

The 1912 partnership agreement probably dates to the establishment of the first Burns &Revier studio, which was on Sunset Boulevard in east Hollywood. B&R leased that property to Kinemacolor in 1913, and moved their rental studio operation to the Stern barn. The first B&R studio later became Reliance-Majestic, Fine Arts, Tiffany, Talisman, et. al.
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Re: Harry J. Revier

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 10:23 pm

spadeneal wrote:I may as well post my improved Harry Revier filmography now. Anyone knowing the fate of any of the films not listed as lost, extant or incomplete please contact me or post here.

-- SNIP --

Fairmont Productions (HI-MARK PRODS, INC.)
The Silk Bouquet (1926)

H. V. Productions (HI-MARK PRODS, INC.)
The Thrill Seekers (1927)


Morris R. Schlank Productions (ANCHOR)
What Price Love? (1927) EXTANT
The Slaver (1927) imdb lists this as "The Slayer"

WEISS BROS. ARTCLASS PICTURES
The Mysterious Airman (serial; 1928)

Columbia Pictures (FBO)
The Lone Wolf's Daughter (writer; 1929) LOST

Trem Carr Pictures (SYNDICATE)
The Convict's Code (1930) LOST

-- SNIP --

spadeneal


For what it's worth, Harry Revier's THE THRILL SEEKERS (1927) not only exists, at least in a slightly abridged form, but is now available on Blu-ray from Grapevine! Fun little film, although a few portions would be more coherent with the reel's worth of missing footage that was cut from the nontheatrical 16mm print that survives. Another Grapevine Blu-ray released at the same time coincidentally stars Dorothy Revier in the rare William Fairbanks western THE COWBOY AND THE FLAPPER (1924).

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