Friday, August 12, 2011

Woman in White - 1917

Woman in White: Five reels of 4,627 feet, July 1, 1917
Five reel feature film based on Wilkie Collins novel with special lighting effects, a technical tour de force as well as dramatically effective.
Print source: Library of Congress, 1 hour 8 minutes. Directed by Ernest C. Warde. Scenario by Lloyd F. Lonergan, based on the novel by Wilkie Collins. Photographed by William M. Zollinger.
Cast: Florence LaBadie (double role as Laura Fairlie and Ann Catherick), Richard R. Neill (Sir Pervival Glyde), Gertrude Dallas (Marian Holcombe), Arthur Bauer (Count Fosco), Wayne Arey (Walter Hartridge), J.H. Gilmour, Claude Cooper. A Pathé Gold Rooster Play released through the Pathé Exchange.
Original music composed and performed by Ben Model (
Re-released by Chandler Pictures as The Unfortunate Marriage ca. 1920.
In its last two years of production Thanhouser concentrated on multi-reel features of high quality. Lloyd Lonergan’s scenarios were the foundation for the attention to quality, whether with original stories or with adaptations like The Woman in White.
Stylistic and technical elements are very near the sophisticated level of the first golden age of cinema, the 1920s. Especially noteworthy are the special lighting effects, a technical tour de force as well as dramatically effective.
Release through Pathé gave Thanhouser pictures especially strong international exposure during the studio’s last years, but somewhat hampered by the war in Europe.
The Woman in White was adapted from a very well known contemporary novel and was a particularly fine vehicle for the beautiful Florence LaBadie, one of the last of the old stock company still with Thanhouser in 1917. She was called “the most important personality at the Thanhouser studio” by Thanhouser historian David Q. Bowers. Two months after the release of The Woman in White she was in an automobile accident and she died in October from her injuries, just a week later than the release of the studio’s final new production.

For futher information on films by Thanhouser, visit the site above. Let’s keep memories of this great studio alive.

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