Saturday, March 3, 2012

Celebrating 100 years of Chatsworth Movies -- The beginning (1912 - 1922)

In 1912, DW Griffith (whose innovative experiments with close-ups, cross-cutting camera movements and other temporal and spatial effects contributed significantly to the early development of film) became the first film maker to work in Chatsworth, California.

Griffith's 17 minute short (a caveman drama) titled Man's Geneis was lensed in Chatsworth during 1912, setting the stage for hundreds of film makers who would follow.  During the next century more than 2000 movies, serials, and television shows were shot on Chatsworth locations (including the Iverson Ranch, Brandeis Ranch, Bell Ranch, Spahn Ranch, Chatsworth Lake, Chatsworth Train locations, Burro Flats, and Roy Rogers' Double R Bar Ranch)

In this blog entry we'll examine titles filmed during the first decade of movie making in Chatsworth.

Man's Genesis (1912) starring W. Chrystie Miller, Robert Harron and Mae Marsh (photo above) (Chatsworth Park) Biograph - directed by DW Griffith

Judith of Bethulia (1914) (screenshot above) starring Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Mae Marsh (Chatsworth Park) Biograph - directed by DW Griffith

Brute Force (1914) aka: The Primitive Man (1914) (screenshot above) starring Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, and William J. Butler (Chatsworth Park) Biograph - directed by DW Griffith
Home, Sweet Home (1914) starring Henry B. Walthall, Josephine Crowell, Lillian Gish (Chatsworth)  Majestic Motion Picture Co.
My Official Wife (1914) starring Clara Kimball Young, Harry T. Morey and Earle Williams (Iverson Ranch)  Vitagraph Co.

The Squaw Man (1914) (photo above) starring Dustin Farnum, Monroe Salisbury and Art Acord (Iverson Ranch)(Chatsworth Trains) Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co. - The first full length movie shot in Chatsworth was directed by Cecil B. DeMille
The Slave Girl (1915) starring Elmo Lincoln, Teddy Sampson, W.E. Lawrence (Iverson Ranch) Reliance Film Co.
Sherlock Holmes (1916) starring William Gillette, Marjorie Kay and Ernest Maupain (Iverson Ranch) Essanay

The Narrow Trail (1917) starring William S. Hart (photo above), Sylvia Breamer and Milton Ross (Iverson Ranch) Artcraft Pictures Corp
The Million Dollar Dollies (1918) starring Jenny Dolly, Rosie Dolly and Bradley Barker (Iverson Ranch) Emerald Pictures Co.

Riddle Gawne (1918) (photo above) starring William S. Hart, Katherine MacDonald and Lon Chaney (Chatsworth) William S. Hart Prod.
The Tiger Man (1918) starring William S. Hart, Jane Novak and Milton Ross (Iverson Ranch) William S. Hart Prod.

The Knickerbocker Buckaroo (1919) (photo above) starring Douglas Fairbanks, Marjorie Daw and William A. Wellman (Chatsworth) Famous Players
Elmo, the Mighty (1919) starring Elmo Lincoln, Grace Cunard and Fred Starr (Iverson Ranch) Great Western Producing Co. [serial]

Male and Female (1919) (photo above) starring Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts and Raymond Hatton (Iverson Ranch) Paramount Pictures
Vendetta (1919)  starring Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke and Pola Negri (Chatsworth)

Desert Love (1920) (photo above) starring Tom Mix, Francelia Billington and Eva Novak (Iverson Ranch) Fox Film Corp.
A Double-Dyed Deceiver (1920) starring Jack Pickford, Marie Dunn and James Neill (Iverson Ranch) Goldwyn Pictures Corp.
The Hope (1920) starring Jack Mulhall, Marguerite De La Motte and Ruth Stonehouse (Chatsworth) Metro Pictures Corp.

Man-Woman-Marriage (1921) (lobby card photo above) starring Dorothy Phillips, Ralph Lewis and Margaret Mann (Iverson Ranch) Allen Holubar Pictures

Three Word Brand (1921) (photo above) starring William S. Hart, Jane Novak and S.J. Bingham (Iverson Ranch)(Chatsworth Lake) William S. Hart Prod.
O'Malley of the Mounted (1921) starring William S. Hart, Eva Novak and Leo Willis (Chatsworth) William S. Hart Prod.

Do and Dare (1922) (photo above) starring Tom Mix, Dulcie Cooper and Claire Adams (Iverson Ranch) Fox Film Corp.

Another look at Tom Mix leading a cavalry troop in Do and Dare (1922)

The Paleface (1922) (photo above) starring Buster Keaton (Iverson Ranch) Buster Keaton Prod.

Tess of the Storm Country (1922) starring Mary Pickford, Lloyd Hughes and Gloria Hope (Chatsworth Lake)  Mary Pickford Co.

Stay tuned… in my next entry we'll examine additional silent and classic films lensed between 1923 and 1929.

Disclaimer:  This list of movie titles and credits has been compiled from many sources.  It has not been independently verified.  Titles with location credits in parentheses are either movies I own or come from a source I feel has a higher level of creditability. 

See to find my books about Chatsworth movie locations: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland (2010) (ISBN: 978-0-615-21522-8) and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas (2008) (ISBN: 978-0-615-21499-3) by Jerry England, and published by Echo Press

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