Released 12/20/15 by Broadway Universal Features; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: Ida May Park, from the play by George Ade; Cinematography: Edward Ullman; 5 reels
CAST: Digby Bell (Lemuel Morewood), Harry Ham (William Rufus Morewood), Colin Chase (Thomas Jefferson Morewood), Hayward Mack (Major Bellamy Didsworth), Harry Davenport (Tobias Ford), Lon Chaney (Tuck Bartholomew), Louise (Carbasse) Welch (Bessie Brayton), Yona Landowska (Emily Donelson), Mae Gaston (Frances Berkeley), Thomas Chatterton, Doc Crane, Jean Hathaway
SYNOPSIS: Lemuel Morewood is a wealthy businessman who longs to see his two sons take an interest in his business. He wants Tom to marry Frances Berkeley and Billy to marry Emily Donelson, but the boys have plans of their own. Tom is only interested in sports, while Billy is society mad and spends all his time with Mrs. Bruce Guilford, leader of the smart set. Bessie Brayton is a Western orphan who comes to New York and gets a job entertaining at society parties. She own half-interest in the Bluebird mine, which she thinks is worthless. The Morewoods employ Bessie one evening to entertain at a party where she meets Major Didsworth, who offers to sell her mine interest for her. Bessie taunts Lemuel that he is old- fashioned, so he gets into his evening clothes, wins a significant sum from Didsworth gambling, and goes off with Bessie to blow his winnings. Lemuel keeps up his wild pace; he goes to the races where his wild behavior infuriates Mrs. Guilford, who criticizes Lemuel's behavior. Billy defends his father, ending his friendship with the woman. Bessie receives a telegram from Didsworth offering $1,000 for her mine stock. Lemuel suspects that she is being cheated, and he returns to Nevada with her. The boys think their father has run off to marry Bessie and they follow, along with Emily, Frances, and Tobias Ford, the family lawyer. Out in Nevada, Lemuel and Bessie find that her half of the mine is worth a small fortune, and they learn that the other half is owned by Tuck Bartholomew, Bessie's old sweetheart who disappeared in Alaska. On route to Nevada, Tom becomes engaged to Emily and Billy to Frances--just the opposite of what their father planned. They arrive in time to stop what they think is their father's wedding, only to learn that Bessie is marrying Bartholomew, who has returned from Alaska. Lemuel and the boys agree to return home to run the business together.
"George Ade's comedy...is pleasant, genuine and funny. The dialogue being absent it is not such a sidesplitting affair as it was several years ago on the stage, but it is a lively comedy." -- -Motion Picture News
"Ida May Park, the scenario writer, and Joseph De Grasse, director, are to be congratulated on getting this comedy over without either padding or loss of action. It runs smoothly and clearly from scene to scene and preserves the undercurrent of genial humor throughout. The supporting cast is very pleasing." ---Moving Picture World
NOTES: Discounting RICHELIEU, which was cut to 4 reels for its final release, this 5-reeler was Chaney's first feature film. For reasons unknown, Chaney's character is listed in every synopsis of the film as Carl Higbee, even though cast credits in the same synopses identify him correctly as Tuck Bartholomew. The film was based on a popular broadway play written by George Ade and first produced in 1908. Digby Bell reprised his Broadway role as Lemuel Morewood in the film. This was also the first American film of Australian actress Louise Carbasse, whose name was changed to Louise Welch, and eventually to Louise Lovely. She would make eight pictures with Chaney at Universal over the next several months.
In his book Big U, I. G. Edmonds relates the story that Bell took a liking to Chaney and assisted him in some of his character makeups. Although it is difficult to either confirm or disprove this story, there is probably some truth to it as Bell had acquired a considerable amount of makeup experience from his stage appearances. Most likely he and Chaney spent time between filming trading makeup tips.
© 1996,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis
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