Photo courtesy of Allison Shealy

STAR OF THE SEA

Released 1/10/15 by Universal/Rex; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: Phil Walsh; 2 reels

CAST: Pauline Bush (Mary), William C. Dowlan (Father Busoni), Marc Fenton (Mario Busoni), Laura Oakley (Janice), Lon Chaney (Tomasco)

SYNOPSIS: Mario Busoni is a young sculptor, and the ward of his uncle, Father Busoni, pastor of the Church of the Holy Name at Fiesole. The boy is selected to execute a life-sized statue of the Madonna for his uncle's church, and is sent to Naples to do the work. There he meets Janice, a young model who entreats him to stay with her, but just as he is about to yield to her wishes, his uncle arrives to thwart her plans. A second time she tries to ensnare the young boy, but the uncle intervenes. Meanwhile, Mario convinces his uncle that he must have a live model to complete the statue; he hires Mary, a young widow of a fisherman who has a baby boy, and he uses them both to model his statue of the Virgin and Child. Tomasco, a hulking lout of a fisherman, is in love with Mary, and when she refuses his proposal of marriage, he suspects Mario of being his rival. He and Janice, both enraged with jealousy, plot to destroy Mario's masterpiece. They arrive at the church with a sledge hammer, where they see the finished work. Tomasco refuses to destroy the beautiful statue. Janice laughs at his sentiment and picks up the hammer, but as she is about to destroy the statue, the eyes of the Madonna open, and both man and woman fall to their knees at the base of the statue where they pray for forgiveness. The story ends near Mary's seaside home, with Mario and Mary in loving embrace, and Father Busoni holding aloft her baby, who claps his hands at the incoming waves.

"A strong, artistic offering with a decided pull in it. The opening scenes in the sculptor's studio catch the interest at once and throughout the picture the director, Joseph De Grasse, has shown a strong instinct for artistic effects. Laura Oakley is particularly good as the model...This gives Miss Bush one of the most effective roles she has had for some time, and the happy child added immensely to the scenes. This offering is sure to have wide appeal." - -- Moving Picture World

NOTES: Some sources list the screenwriter as Paul Welch.


© 1996,2013 Jon C. Mirsalis


Return to Filmography