Help Identify These
Without the resources of a major film archive, it can be tough to identify a recently-recovered untitled film. Especially so when the film’s performers aren’t well known.
With so many films from the silent era presumed lost, when any vintage nitrate film is recovered it can be the cause for some excitement. But that excitement soon dissipates if the film and its cast cannot be identified.
In 2001, Silent Era readers Richard and Laurrie found two reels of silent 35mm nitrate film. Each reel is a separate film and both appear to be circa 1920s. The films were transfered to VHS videotape to help identify them. The following photos are frame enlargements from those films.
Richard writes, “First, I do want to clarify that there are two separate movies here. The cans are not original, so that’s no help. The blond actress [inset] is in one film and everyone else is in the other. The blond is shown dancing in the woods and has transparent overlays of her. She’s wearing some kind of grass skirt. There are no intertitles. The film is now on a spool, but if I remember right it just says AGFA on the film edge.
“The second one does have three intertitles: ‘Such is love.’, ‘She loves me!’, and ‘She loves me not.’ On the edge of the film are numbers (example 1E25764, 1E25765) about every foot.”
The female players have been identified at times by various readers as Doris Kenyon, Evelyn Brent, Louise Fazenda and dancer Ruth St. Denis, but none of the would-be sleuths have provided definitive proof and some are outright incorrect.
If you can identify these films or any of the actors in them, please contact the Silent Era editor.