October 19, 1919: Olive Thomas in “The Glorious Lady”
On October 19, 1919, silent drama film «The Glorious Lady» directed by George Irving was released. The only known surviving copy of the films can be found in the Nederlands Filmmuseum, who restored it as much as they could and uploaded to YouTube and Wikipedia.
Ivis Benson is the daughter of a tenant farmer of the Duke of Doame. One of the annual events on the estate is a- horse race in which peasant and aristocrats take part. Ivis rides her father’s entry. The Duke, rides his own horse.
Previous to the race the Duke has been sowing his wild oats in London, and his nerves are not in the best of condition. He is thrown and his foot catches in the stirrup. He is in great danger of losing his life when Ivis, who has been leading, looks back and sees the accident. She turns back and rescues the Duke. In doing- so she is badly hurt. When they have both recovered the Duke visits her frequently.
They fall in love and are married, against the strenuous objections of the Duke’s mother, who had decided on an intimate friend for her future daughter-in-law. Ivis becomes ill and after a consultation with famous specialists the family physician tells her that it will be impossible for her ever to have a child, believing that the Duke will divorce her on receipt of this information and will then marry his sister, so he can pay his gambling debts.
The Duke, however, refuses, saying that their love is all important. It is impressed on Ivis that it is her duty to force the Duke to divorce her as the main duty of a duchess is to provide an heir. With this idea in mind she disgraces her husband by feigning drunkenness in public. This does not avail so she disappears.
After great difficulty the Duke succeeds in finding her, in spite of the efforts of the family physician who tries as hard as he can to prevent the Duke from finding his wife. He even concocts a plan with the help of a private investigator to lure the duke in a house of ill repute, where a former lover of his was going to try to seduce him, only for Ivis to enter the room and catch him in the act, so she could file for divorce. However, the Duke discovers the plan and finds out that Ivis is losing her mind who comes to the room shouting.
He takes Ivis home and takes care of her until it is discovered that she can have a child, and the usual clutch follows.
The restored film can be found here:
- Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Glorious_Lady_(1919).webm
- YouTube: The Glorious Lady – YouTube
Thirty years before moving pictures were ever thought of there was a grade of popular fiction in this country known as the dime novel. It was looked upon as the trashiest kind of trash. This picture has a story of that kind. It is a shame that such an enormous lot of money and brains, and intelligence, and effort, should have been expended in the picturization of a story of this kind. For with the exception of the story the picture is beautiful, and possesses every requisite of a big special.
The director and cameraman have done everything in their power to make up for this short coming and as a result have evolved a beautiful production. The photography is beautiful, replete with artistic effects. The direction is everything that could be desired ; the lightings show great care and skillful technical knowledge; the star is pretty and appealing. Yet with all this the story is so trashy, most of the titles so trite, that there is a feeling of disappointment when it is all over.
Play up everything in this one except the story and lay off that entirely if possible. The picture has every requisite of a special with the exception of the story. The title has nothing to do with the picture. Your big drawing card is Olive Thomas. She is good all the way through and in conjunction with the elaborated production will probably get it over with your fans, Use the star’s name very extensively. Also plenty of her pictures. Some of the dose ups o£ her are of great beauty, Build your advertising around such catch lines as: «Olive Thomas called upon to make momentous decision in ‘The Glorious Lady.’ Was she right?» If your crowd likes Olive Thomas bally hoo it good, otherwise go easy.