kitparkerfilms

Posts Tagged ‘serials

 

 

It’s been a year-long journey, but our “Super 10-Chapterplay of the Air” is finally released!

I have owned the chain of title for years, but couldn’t find any film elements to work with. Then long-time friend and film collector, Jeff Joseph, loaned us his one-of-a-kind 35mm tinted nitrate print. Working with an almost 90 year-old-print took time, but it turned out beautiful.

We are delighted that silent film accompanist Dr. Andrew Simpson agreed to score, and what a great job he did.

Our favorite commentator, noted film historian, Richard M Roberts, liked the serial so much he produced and recorded a full-length commentary…excellent, as always.    More time was spent syncing (easier said than done), checking the final master, creating packaging, replication, shipping to Amazon, and impatiently waiting for them to disperse inventory to their various warehouses. It’s here at last!

“Superior to the usual run of serials…full of thrills…” – Schenectady (NY) Gazette

You just might think the Schenectady Gazette’s comment is an understatement.  Feel free to let me know. Of course, you’ll have to buy it first! Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y4GLV4C

 

The following is our formal press release —

The Sprocket Vault announces its DVD release of the 1928 silent serial THE MYSTERIOUS AIRMAN, a ten-part “Super Chapterplay of the Air” starring silent era-serial superstar Walter Miller and Eugenia Gilbert produced by the long-lasting Poverty Row Producers, The Weiss Brothers.

 

 

Featuring vintage biplanes and exciting action, THE MYSTERIOUS AIRMAN was the last silent serial produced by The Weiss Brothers and one of the last silent serials ever produced. Thought to be a “lost” film, Producer Kit Parker, who purchased the holdings of Weiss Global International in 2004, was approached by film archivist, Jeff Joseph of SabuCat Productions, who offered to loan a near-complete original 35mm tinted nitrate print which was missing only the first reel of Chapter Nine. The print was lovingly restored and transferred (recreating the missing reel from stills and plot synopses), and a new piano score was commissioned from ace silent film accompanist Dr. Andrew Earle Simpson, main accompanist of the Library of Congress Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia.

 

The Sprocket Vault’s DVD release of THE MYSTERIOUS AIRMAN also features a complete and comprehensive commentary track by noted film historian Richard M Roberts. He weaves a story about the production and the people involved, from stars Miller and Gilbert, co-stars like Robert Walker and Dorothy Talcott to Director Harry Revier and the production staff of Weiss Brothers-Artclass Pictures, a family of low-budget film producers whose filmmaking operations kept them in business from the 1910s up to the 1990s, outlasting some of Hollywood’s major studios.

 

The Sprocket Vault’s release of THE MYSTERIOUS AIRMAN heralds an important rediscovery in film history, as few silent serials exist today in anything resembling complete form, much less in lovely tinted original print quality. It’s a fun, light-hearted cliffhanger that shows the joys of Saturday Matinee moviegoing and what could be done on less-than-spectacular budgets as well as illustrating the early days of flying,   seat of your pants filmmaking from the seat of your pants days of Aviation.

 

Also included as bonus features:

 

  1. “Flying Cadets” (1928) 2-reel short with great vintage plane shots filmed at Brooks Field, TX
  2. New York Censor Board File (some scenes were required to be cut for the serial to be shown in the State of New York!)
  3. Gallery of original posters and lobby cards

 

DVD BASICS

 

Retail: $24.99

Amazon Price: $19.99

Language: English title cards

Running Time:

Color: Original color tints

Year: 1928

Rating: Not Rated

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 – 4X5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m researching the 1928 Weiss Brothers-Artclass Pictures serial, “The Mysterious Airman.” It’s the only silent Artclass serial that survives in its complete form – complete except for Chapter 9, Reel 1.

All I had on the missing reel are records from New York Motion Picture Commission (then part of the State of New York Education Dept.), which was little more than a censor board.

A number of states had movie censor boards. As late as 1970 I recall seeing “Airport” (1970) in Baltimore, complete with a spliced on 1950s-looking black and white (spread out to Cinemascope) censor seal.

Between 1921 and 1965, distributors were required to submit all feature films, serials (each chapter had to be applied for separately), shorts, cartoons and newsreels to the Commission for screening. Objectionable scenes had to be cut from the prints before a license to exhibit in New York would be granted.

As you’ll see, the censors demanded “views of a machine gun” cut before a license would be granted, Reason? “…they will tend to ‘incite crime!’”

mysterious airman censor file08132016

 

 

 

 CCI08142016_0001

CCI08142016_0002

First Graphic Exchanges, Inc., a division of Rayart (later Monogram Pictures), Weiss-Artclass’ States Rights distributor for New York. Weiss-Artclass didn’t have enough output or funds to afford operating their own exchanges, so licensed them to independent distributors who sold film in various territories.

CCI08142016_0003

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There are low budget movies, and there are no-budget movies.

1926

 

        The sound-era came to Weiss Bros. – Artclass Pictures a year before Vitaphone and “The Jazz Singer.”

        Dr. Lee DeForest developed a sound-on-film process in the early 1920s, and many short films used this process, including vaudeville acts and “Song Car-Tunes” produced by Max Fleischer, featuring the bouncing ball. At one time Louis Weiss was the general manager of the DeForest Phonofilm Corporation, but found it difficult to interest the major studios in licensing the early sound process, despite the comparatively good technical quality of many of these films.

        In 1926 Louis persuaded the Phonofilm board to allow Weiss Bros. –Artclass Pictures into distributing a series of the Fleischer cartoons.  The major studios controlled the best theatres, and they weren’t interested in booking the shorts, but Artclass was able to place them into some of the better independent cinemas.  However, the system was doomed, not only by studio indifference, but a series of misfortunes and patent lawsuits that Dr. DeForest was unable to overcome.

1927 – 1928

Artclass produced and released only silent films during these two years.  (See my earlier posts.)

1929

        By the later part of the 1920s, the Brothers Adolph, Louis and Max had amassed a considerable amount of valuable real estate, and traded heavily on the stock market.  After the market crash, their highly-leveraged holdings tumbled and much of their fortunes vanished. Among their losses included the property that later became the site of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.  

        The first Weiss Bros. talkie was “Unmasked” a leaden and stage-bound mystery based on a Craig Kennedy crime novel, and starring Robert Warwick.  It survives only in fragments.

        “Unmasked” was the last collaborative production effort by the three Weiss brothers.  Thereafter, Louis Weiss became the driving force behind Artclass and its future offshoots, although his brothers, Adolph and Max retained a modest financial interest until 1935.

        The only other releases for 1929 were two silent films to which Artclass had only limited rights:  An Art Mix western, produced by Victor Adamson, “Below the Border”; and “Two Sisters” a crime adventure starring Viola Dana, in a dual role, and Rex Lease.  

1930

        Next year, as expected, there was a lean release schedule.  Only one film, “Damaged Love,” (alternate title: “Pleasant Sins”), managed to complete production.  Starring future cowboy star Charles Starrett (as Charles R. Starrett), the melodrama was based on a 1919 play, “Our Pleasant Sins.”  Much needed cash was brought in to Artclass when Louis arranged a buyout deal for the film with Sono-Art World Wide Pictures, which released it early the next year.

        Weiss picked up two exploitation melodramas from Windsor Picture Plays: “Her Unborn Child,” an anti-abortion melodrama based on the play of the same name, of note because it was Elisha Cook, Jr.’s. debut film role (Louis made several unsuccessful attempts at getting the picture remade as late as 1955); and, “Today,” acquired from Majestic Pictures on a limited distribution basis, starring Conrad Nagle…a topical subject about a wealthy couple losing their fortune, with the exploitation angle being the wife’s wandering into prostitution rather than giving up her lavish lifestyle. 

1931

 

        Artclass reactivated when Louis concluded a deal with Alfred T. Mannon’s Supreme Features, Inc., Ltd. (not to be confused with A. W. Hackel’s Supreme Pictures*) to produce and/or finance a slate of pictures.  In 1933 H.E.R. Laboratories foreclosed on the pictures, and conveyed them to  Aladdin Pictures Corp. (Samuel Tulpin), which caused a series of legal problems because Max Weiss had licensed the pictures to States Rights distributor, J. H. Hoffberg Co. without the permission of H.E.R. or Aladdin.  The suit continued for a year until Artclass settled with Tulpin and took undisputed legal possession of the library.

        The movies were produced by Louis Weiss and frequent Weiss collaborator, George Merrick, although the producer credit given is Supreme Features, Inc., Ltd., Alfred T. Mannon, President. (Mannon went on to form Resolute Pictures.)

 

        The slate of Supreme Features pictures were comprised of a romantic-drama, “Pleasure,” starring Conway Tearle and Carmel Myers; a crime-drama, “Night Life in Reno,” with Virginia Valli; a mystery, “Convicted,” starring Aileen Pringle; and “Cavalier of the West,” the first of four westerns starring Harry Carey.  The balance of the Supreme titles were released later in 1932.  

        Another five features were acquired from independent producers for distribution on a limited territory basis: “Maid to Order,” was the first release from the “new” Artclass, it came from Jesse Weil Productions and starred the legendary female impersonator, Julian Etlinge; “Pueblo Terror,” a Buffalo Bill, Jr. western from West Coast Pictures ; “White Renegade,” a western from Carlsbad Productions starring Tom Santschi; a crime melodrama, “The Sea Ghost,” starring Alan Hale and Laura LaPlante from Peerless Productions (Alfred T. Mannon); a horror-thriller oddity, “The Phantom,” with a miscast Guinn “Big Boy” Williams; and a drama, “Soul of the Slums,” starring William Collier, Jr., the latter two from producer Ralph M. Like.

1932

 

        “Uncle Moses” was certainly a unique 1932 release, and the only production from Louis Weiss’, Yiddish Talking Pictures, Inc.  Produced by Louis, and spoken entirely in Yiddish, it came about at the suggestion of his friend, German director, Max Nosseck, who had produced “Der Schlemiel” the year before.  Based on the 1919 novel by Sholem Ash, and subsequent stage play of the same name, it starred Maurice Schwartz, founder of the Yiddish Art Theatre in New York.  (Character actor, Shimen Ruskin, started his career as an assistant director on this film.) As expected, it performed well at the boxoffice in cities with large Jewish populations, especially in New York City, but it also became a non-theatrical evergreen when it was exhibited to Jewish groups in 16mm.

        Supreme Features offered “Cross-Examination,” a mystery-drama starring H.B. Warner and Sally Blane; “They Never Come Back,” a boxing drama with Regis Toomey and Dorothy Sebastian; three Harry Carey westerns, “Cavalier of the West,” “Border Devils,” and “The Night Rider,” which was the final curtain for Weiss Bros. – Artclass Pictures. “The Drifter” a melodrama starring William Farnum and Noah Beery, was acquired from producer Willis Kent for limited distribution.  

1933

        Three new entities took the now-moribund Artclass’ Pictures place: Weiss Productions, Inc. (1933-38), Superior Talking Pictures, Inc. (1933-35), and Stage and Screen Productions, Inc. (1933-46).   Robert Mintz was the president of all three, although some trades listed Edmund Souhami in the top spot.  In fact, he was only a short-time board member.  

        Louis Weiss and Robert Mintz envisioned producing movies based on plays that had been performed on Broadway.  Despite only 28 performances on Broadway, their first effort was “Before Morning,” a mystery melodrama starring Leo Carrillo, produced by Weiss Productions (Louis Weiss as supervising producer), and released by Stage and Screen. 

        Superior acquired three westerns from producer Victor Adamson, “Circle Canyon” with Buddy Roosevelt; two Buffalo Bill, Jr.’s, “Fighting Cowboy” and “Lightning Range,” particularly shoddy productions for which one would think even the most unsophisticated audiences would demand their money back; “Sucker Money” was an expose of the “psychic racket” from producer Willis Kent (as Real-Life Dramas), directed by Dorothy (Mrs. Wallace) Reid, and starring Mischa Auer.  “Trails of Adventure,” a no-budget Buffalo Bill, Jr. western, from American Pictures Corp., was released in limited territories.  Stage and Screen acquired rights for limited territories to Allied Pictures’ (M.H. Hoffman) “The Eleventh Commandment,” a drama starring Marian Marsh.

1934

 

        International Stageplay Pictures, Inc., was set up as a derivative of Superior Talking Pictures, Inc., with the goal of realizing Weiss/Mintz’ Broadway-to-film aspirations.  It’s one and only release was “Drums O’ Voodoo” (“Louisiana” was an alternate title), with an all-black cast, produced by Louis Weiss, starring Laura Bowman and J. Augustus Smith, who wrote the play and screenplay.  Produced on Broadway by the Negro Theatre Guild, it closed after less than ten performances.   The movie is little more than a filming of the play, with a miniscule budget reportedly using short ends of film stock.  In 1940 Louis reissued it under the title “She Devil.”  State’s Righter, Sack Amusement Enterprises, a specialist in distributing ‘race pictures,’ got considerable playdates for several years thereafter.  

        Exploitation Pictures, another Superior Talking Pictures spinoff, released but one picture, “Enlighten Thy Daughter” (reissue title,” Blind Fools”), a remake of a 1917 wayward-youth drama, produced by Robert Mintz and starring Herbert Rawlinson.   

        Producer Victor Adamson was responsible for three more Buffalo Bill, Jr.’s, “Rawhide Romance,” “Riding Speed” and “Lightning Bill,” and two Buddy Roosevelt’s, “Range Riders” and “Boss Cowboy,” a remake of “Cyclone Buddy” (Artclass/1924), all released by Superior. 

        Adamson told producer-historian, and editor of the favorite magazine of my youth, Screen Thrills Illustrated (1962-64), Sam Sherman, told me that Adamson accused Weiss Productions of purposefully bankrupting Superior in a scheme to swindle him out of royalties and his negatives.  I have no information on such a dispute.

        In November of 1934, Superior inked a deal with Ralph M. Like, owner of a small studio doing business as Argosy Pictures, to make two westerns for $3,900 each, and two “northwest” pictures (1930’s producer-speak for a Canadian Mounties picture) for $4,400 each, with 24,000 feet of picture and track raw stock included for each production…not a lot left over for retakes!

        Weiss Productions, formed in 1933, released its first production, a Wally Wales western, “Way of the West,” produced by Robert Tansey.

         Producer Willis Kent’s Real Life Dramas, provided a drama, directed by Mrs. Wallace Reid, “The Woman Condemned,” with Claudia Dell, and a Reb Russell western, “Fighting Through,” both released by Superior.

        Stage and Screen’s releases included “Inside Information,” with 38 and 60 minute versions (even the 38 min. version is too long!); the first of three Tarzan the Police Dog Police Melodramas from Consolidated Pictures Corp. (Bert Sternbach, Albert Herman), starring, in addition to Tarzan, of course, Rex Lease, in a rare non-western role; and the first seven of a series of eight two-reel Wally Wales and Buffalo Bill, Jr. westerns, and perhaps some other titles from William Pizor’s Imperial Productions, to which, I believe S&S had only limited distribution rights.

1935

 

        Four Rex Lease westerns came from Weiss Productions and Argosy Productions, produced by Louis Weiss and George Merrick: “Cyclone of the Saddle” (Rough Riders series), “Fighting Caballero,” “Pals of the Range,” “Rough Riding Ranger”; a northwest, “The Silent Code,” starring Kane Richmond and featuring Rex, King of Dogs as played by “Wolfgang,” produced by Louis Weiss; two more Tarzan the Police Dog’s from Consolidated Pictures, “Captured in Chinatown” with Marion Schilling, and “The Million Dollar Haul,” with Kane Richmond.

        “The Drunkard” was an old temperance melodrama allegedly first staged in 1843 by P.T. Barnum, then in 1933 it was revived on the stage at Los Angeles’ Theatre Mart.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, Louis Weiss, under the Exploitation Pictures banner (it was ultimately produced by Bert Sternbach and released as a “Weiss Production” through Stage and Screen), optioned the rights to make a motion picture.  Weiss hired former silent-era stars James Murray, ironically a chronic alcoholic after triumphing in King Vidor’s “The Crowd” (MGM, 1928), as the lead, joined by Clara Kimball Young, Bryant Washburn, and other veterans in support.  Louis planned to road show the film around the country with stars of the film making personal appearances. However, James Murray tragically died a hopeless drunk at age 35, one year after production wrapped.  

        Ten years later, Joseph E. Levine, operating from his State’s Rights film exchange in Boston, purchased all rights for $5,000 ($61,000 in today’s dollars…far more than its production budget), and cut it down for inclusion as a segment in his first feature film, “Gaslight Follies” (Embassy/1945). 

        All of the Weiss Productions were released by Superior Talking Pictures, except for “Million Dollar Haul,” which was distributed through Stage and Screen.

 

        The four proposed Argosy productions mentioned earlier ended up as  three Rex Lease westerns distributed by Stage and Screen, “Cyclone of the Saddle” “Ghost Rider” (Lone Rider series) and “Cowboy and the Bandit,” the latter somehow billed as from International Pictures.

        Stage and Screen also released two Northwest  Morton of the Mounted adventures from Weiss Productions (sometimes credited to “Empire Pictures,” which may have been only a regional distributor), “Courage of the North” and “Timber Terrors,” with John Preston, Dynamite, The Wonder Horse and Captain, The King of Dogs!

        Limited territory releases included “Get That Man” (Scott-Bennet Productions/Mayfair Pictures), with Wallace Ford, and “Arizona Trails,” an Art Mix (Victor Adamson) western.

        By this time the Brothers had the controlling interest in the Hillcrest Golf Club in Jamaica, New York, and Utopia Park Villas of Flushing New York, and Hillcrest Manor, also in Flushing.  Adolph and Max sold their film interests to Louis.

        Max Weiss left the picture business altogether and stayed on the East Coast, only occasionally visiting Adolph and Louis in Los Angeles. 

        Adolph, the introspective and much loved Weiss brother who mentored his younger brothers in the business, and set the foundation for the various Weiss brothers motion picture exhibition, production and distribution businesses, allegedly became a wealthy man.  He chose to dabble in various production manager capacities for Louis, where cast and crew affectionately called him “Uncle Adolph,” overlooking his obsession of stopping production caravans to collect empty bottles and return them for the deposits.  In his mid-50s, he pursued, and got, his dream job…working in the wardrobe department at MGM. 

        Louis continued his dream job — to produce movies, especially serials, and it wasn’t long before he earned the nickname of “Mr. Serials.”

The Serials: 1935 – 1938

 

         Louis’ first talkie chapter play was to be called “The Mysterious Pilot,” and star famed aviator, Wiley Post, who, among other feats, had been the first man to fly solo around the world.  In late July, 1935, Post told Louis he’d be ready to start work in two weeks, after returning from a flight to Siberia with Will Rogers, but the two perished in a remote part of Alaska.

        Three Weiss Productions (Louis Weiss/Robert Mintz) serials were filmed and released in quick succession in 1936, “Custer’s Last Stand,” with Rex Lease was the first.  To promote it, an elaborate insert was placed in the December 14, 1935 issue of Boxoffice Magazine (see above.)  The first three episodes received uniform acclaim in the trades, and Weiss and Mintz plastered them all over the insert.  The balance of 12 chapters were duds.    

        Louis’ son Martin told me that one of the great thrills of his youth was being on the set of “Custer’s Last Stand” and watching the wind blow the curtain off the outdoor dressing room of actress Ruth Mix (daughter of Tom Mix), completely exposing her for a brief instant for all to see…an instant he can still describe in vivid detail over 75 years later. 

 

        A Craig Kennedy mystery, “The Amazing Adventures of the Clutching Hand” (the alternate, and feature version title was “The Clutching Hand”), followed in 1936, with Jack Mulhall in the title role.  Fifteenth down the cast was Charles Locher, who became known as Jon Hall, and an instant star in John Ford’s “The Hurricane” (Samuel Goldwyn-UA/1937).  Not to miss an exploitation angle, Louis later inserted a full-frame title, “Starring Jon Hall,” into the negative.  It was such a blatant example of false advertising, even from a Poverty Row studio, that the title was subsequently removed, although it occasionally pops up on public domain DVD’s.

 

        “The Black Coin,” a mystery with Ralph Graves, was the third and final serial.  Both “Custer” and “Clutching” were also released in cut-down feature versions.

        Among the files I donated to the Margaret Herrick Library of the AMPAS, are pay stubs for the actors performing in some of the early talkies and serials, and they were miserly.  Ruth Mix, second-billed in one serial, and fourth in the other two, was paid only $3.75 a day for her work…and despite being subjected to embarrassment due to the “tent malfunction,” felt compensated enough to write a “thank you” note to Louis, asking him to consider her for any roles  in his future productions!  (Yakima Canutt was by far the highest paid performer in the three serials, getting $125 a day for risking his life doing stunt work.)

        Other proposed serials, “The Phantom Railroad,” “Pony Express,” and “Jungle Perils,” touted as an amazing African Adventure by the Intrepid Herbert Bruce, were never produced.

 

        Weiss Productions, operating as Adventure Serials, Inc., produced three chapter plays under Louis’ supervision for Columbia Pictures: “Jungle Menace” (1937), starring outdoor adventurer Frank “Bring ‘em Back Alive” Buck; “The Secret of Treasure Island” (1938) a pirate adventure starring Don Terry; and the reactivated Wiley Post adventure, “The Mysterious Pilot” (1938), starring another famous pilot, Frank Hawks, who himself died in an aviation crash one year later.  

        L. Ron Hubbard, later the founder of Scientology, regularly peddled stories to Louis, and according to Martin Weiss, said he was going to start a religion.  Louis retained Hubbard to write the screenplay for “Island,” and reportedly to work on the script for “Pilot.”   

        Upon delivery of the last serial to Columbia, the former Weiss Bros. production and distribution offshoots, for all intents and purposes ceased; although Stage and Screen continued as a corporate entity until 1946. 

 

        The majority of the original nitrate negatives of the sound era were burned in a vault fire.  I practically cried when I saw so many of the old film element cards boldly rubber stamped “AXED.” Fortunately, by that time most of the sound features and serials had been transferred to 35mm safety fine grains to facilitate the manufacture of 16mm negatives.  Although the silent features and serials were “axed,” the comedy shorts were preserved.  They are stored in temperature and humidity controlled vaults at the UCLA film and Television Archive, and the Academy Film Archive (AMPAS). 

        In 1940 Louis Weiss purchased last of the old guard, Robert Mintz’, interest in Stage and Screen Productions, and Louis’ son Adrian joined the board of directors.  It was a new era for Louis, Adrian, and, later his brother, Martin, and grandson Steven.  More “Weiss” stories to follow, and as well as a complete sound-era filmography.

* The Supreme Pictures releases were not released theatrically by any of the Weiss entities, but Louis did purchase sixteen Bob Steele and eight Johnny Mack Brown Supreme westerns  outright from A.W. Hackel in the late 1940s for use on television.

Sources: Bob Dickson, Margaret Herrick Library AMPAS   American Film Institute, Boxoffice Magazine, December 14, 1935, Film Daily Yearbook, I Went That-a-Way: The Memoirs of a Western Film Director Harry Fraser by  Wheeler  W. Dixon and Audrey Brown Fraser (Scarecrow, 1990), IMDb, International Motion Picture Almanac 1936-37, Kit Parker Collection, Margaret Herrick Library AMPAS, New York State Archives, Poverty Row Studios, 1929 – 1940, by Michael R. Pitts (McFarland, 1997), Sam Sherman, Martin Weiss, Steven Weiss, U.S. Copyright Office

(c) 2012 Kit Parker Holdings, LLC

Kit Parker Films/Weiss Bros. Collection on DVD: 

www.sprocketvault.com

Keep up to date with our new Sprocket Vault releases by liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sprocketvault/

Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHjjG-o5Ny5BDykgVBzdrQ .

Other Weiss Bros. releases available from VCI Entertainment:

“Boss Cowboy” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/buddy_roosevelt/125

“Cavalier of the West” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/cavalier_of_the_west/123

“Circle Canyon” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/circle_canyon/125

“Cowboy and the Bandit” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/COWBOY_AND_THE_BANDIT/128

“Fighting Caballero” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/FIGHTING_CABALLERO/128

“Last of the Clintons” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/LAST_OF_THE_CLINTONS/130

“Pals of the Range” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/PALS_OF_THE_RANGE/145

“Range Riders” http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/RANGE_RIDERS/144

The Weiss Brothers – Artclass Pictures
 
SILENT ERA FILMOGRAPHY
 
Weiss Bros. Distribution Entities – Silent Era
Artclass:  Weiss Bros. – Artclass Pictures
Clarion:  Clarion Photoplays
Numa:  Numa Pictures Corp.
 
 
FEATURE FILMS AND SERIALS
1929
BELOW THE BORDER  
Western; Bruce M. Mitchell; Art Mix Prod.; Artclass (limited territories)
Art Mix (Victor Adamson), Ione Reed, Lafe McKee, Horace Carpenter, Alfred Hewston
 
TWO SISTERS 
Released in both silent and music track versions
Crime Drama; Scott Pembroke; Tremm Carr Prod.; Artclass (limited territories)
Viola Dana, Rex Lease, Claire Du Brey, Tom Lingham, Irving Bacon
 
1928
THE MYSTERIOUS AIRMAN, THE [Serial – 10 eps.]
Adventure; Henry Revier; Artclass; Artclass
10 eps; Walter Miller, Eugenia Gilbert, Robert Walker, Eugene Burr, Dorothy Tallcot
 
POLICE REPORTER [Serial – 10 eps.]
Crime Drama; Jack Nelson; Artclass; Artclass
10 eps; Walter Miller, Eugenia Gilbert, William Lowery, Robert Belcher, Keene Duncan
1927
ROSE OF THE BOWERY
Crime Drama; Bertram Bracken; David Hartford Prod.; Artclass (limited territories)
Johnny Walker, Edna Murphy, Mildred Harris
 
PERILS OF THE JUNGLE [Serial – 10 eps.]
Adventure; Jack Nelson, Ray Taylor; Artclass; Artclass
10 eps; Eugenia Gilbert, Frank Merrill, Bobby Nelson, Milburn Morante Al Smith 
 
1926
ACTION GALORE                  
Western; Robert Eddy; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Toy Gallagher, Charles Williams, Joe Rickson, John O’Brien
 
THE BLIND TRAIL                          
Western; Leo Maloney; Maloford Prod.; Clarion
Leo Maloney, Josephine Hill, Nelson McDowell, Bud Osborne, James Corey
 
COMING AN’ GOING               
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Belva McKay, Harry Todd, Hal Thompson
 
DEUCE HIGH                      
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Alma Rayford, Robert Walker, J.P. Lockney, Harry Lord  
 
DOUBLE DARING                  
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro), J.P. Lockney, Jean Arthur, Hank Bell, Slim Whitaker  
 
EASY GOING                        
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Alma Rayford, Frederick Lau, Robert Walker, Edward Heim
 
THE FIGHTING CHEAT                  
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro), Jean Arthur, Ted Rackerby, Fanny Midgely, Slim Whitaker 
 
HOODOO RANCH                  
Western; William Bertram; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt,  Nelson McDowell, Dixie Lamont, Frank Austin
 
RIDIN’ RIVALS                
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Jean Arthur, Lew Meehan
 
THE ROARING RIDER       
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro), Jean Arthur, Bert Lindley, Slim Whitaker, Hazel Rogers 
 
SPEEDY SPURS                   
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Alma Rayford, Charles Whitaker, Jr., James Welsch, Frank Ellis
 
TANGLED HERDS                  
Western; William Bertram; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt; rest of cast unknown
TRUMPIN’ TROUBLE              
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Alma Rayford, Bob Fleming, Slim Whitaker, Mark Hamilton
 
TWIN TRIGGERS, THE             
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Nita Cavalier, Frederick Lee, Laura Lockhart, Lafe McKee 
 
VANISHING HOOFS               
Western; John P. McCarthy; Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro), Alma Rayford, William Ryno, Hazel Keener, Frank Ellis
 
WITHOUT ORDERS                
Western; Leo Maloney; Maloford Prod.; Artclass-Clarion
Leo Maloney, Josephine Hill, Whitehorse, Fred Burns, Frank Ellis  
 
1925
CUSTER’S LAST FIGHT 
Expansion of “Custer’s Last Stand” and “Custer’s Last Fight”; Bison; 1911-12
Western; Thomas H. Ince; Thomas H. Ince; Artclass (limited territories)
Francis Ford, Grace Cunard, William Eagle Shirt, J. Barney Sherry; Art Acord
 
DESERT DEMON                   
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Betty Morrissey, Frank Ellis, Harry Todd, John B. O’Brien 
 
DOUBLE ACTION DANIELS    
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Lorna Palmar, Edna Hall, J.P. Lockney, Edward Piel  
 
FAST FIGHTIN’                   
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt,  Nell Brantley, Joe Rickson, Emily Barrye, Sherry Tansey
 
FULL SPEED                       
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Neil Brandtley, Harry Todd, Lafe McKee, Mildred Vincent
 
GALLOPING JINX                   
Western; Robert Eddy; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Gloria Heller, J. Gordon Russell, Ralph Whiting, Billie Bennett  
 
GALLOPING ON               
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales, Jessie Cruzon, Louise Lester, Slim Whitaker, Richard Belfield  
 
GOLD AND GRIT                  
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Ann McKay, William Turner, L. J. O’Connor, Wilbur Mack 
 
THE HURRICANE HORSEMAN    
Western; Robert Eddy/ Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro), Jean Arthur, Vester Pegg, Slim Whitaker, Kewpie King
 
LUCK AND SAND                 
Western; Leo Maloney; Maloford Prod.; Artclass-Clarion
Leo Maloney, Josephine Hill, Homer Watson, Florence Lee, Tom London
 
ON THE GO                         
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Helen Foster, Lafe McKee, Nelson McDowell, Rayne Hampton
 
QUICKER’N LIGHTNIN’            
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Dorothy Dorr, B. F. Blinn, Harry Todd, J. Gordon Russell  
 
RECKLESS COURAGE
Western; Tom Gibson; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Helen Foster, J.C. Fowler, Jay Morley, William McIllwain
 
SADDLE CYCLONE               
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Nel Brantley, Will Herford, Norbert Myles, Harry Todd 
 
A STREAK OF LUCK
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Dorothy Wood, Nelson McDowell, Bertram Marburgh, Slim Whitaker
 
TEARIN’ LOOSE              
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro), Jean Arthur, Slim Whitaker, Alfred Hewston, Polly Van  
 
THUNDERING THROUGH        
Western; Fred Bain; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Jean Arthur, Charles Colby, Lew Meehan, Frederick Lee 
 
WIN, LOSE OR DRAW           
Western; Leo Maloney; Maloford Prod.; Artclass
Leo Maloney, Josephine Hill, Whitehorse, Roy Watson, Tom London  
 
1924
BATTLING BUDDY                 
Western; Richard Thorpe; Approved Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Violet LaPlante, William Lowery, Kewpie King, Shorty Hendrix  
 
BIFF BANG BUDDY             
Western; Frank L. Inghram (Lloyd Ingraham); Approved Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Jean Arthur, Buck Connors, Bob Fleming, Al Richmond
 
BRINGIN’ HOME THE BACON 
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Jean Arthur, Bet Lindley, Lafe McKee, George F. Marion 
 
THE COSMIC DRAMA 
Documentary; Raymond Ditmars; Urban-Kineto; Artclass
 
CYCLONE BUDDY                 
Western; Alvin J. Neitz; Approved Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Norma Conterno, Alfred Hewston, Bud Osborne, John P. Lockney  
 
THE FALL OF JERUSALEM
U.S. release of “Jeremias”; Germany, 1922 
Biblical Epic; Eugen Illés; Spera-Film; Artclass (limited territories)
Carl de Vidal Hundt, Theodor Becker, Jaro Fürth, Werner Hollman, Georg John  
 
FANGS OF THE WOLF          
Re-edit of the serial “The Great Gamble”; Pathe, 1918
Adventure; Harry O. Hoyt (Harry Fraser); Western Photoplays; Artclass
Charles Hutchison, Leah Baird, Austin Webb, Mary Hull, Edmund D’Alby 
 
FAST AND FEARLESS          
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey),  Jean Arthur, William H. Turner, George Magrill,  Julian Rivero
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
 
THE FATAL PLUNGE               
Re-edit of the serial “The Great Gamble”;  Pathe, 1918
Adventure; Harry O. Hoyt (Harry Fraser); Western Photoplays; Artclass
Charles Hutchison, Leah Baird, Austin Webb, Mary Hull, Edmund D’Alby 
 
HARD HITTIN’ HAMILTON
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Hazel Keener, J. Gordon Russell, William Ryon, Lafe McKee
 
THE LAW DEMANDS               
Re-edit of the serial “Wolves of Kultur”;  Pathe, 1918
Western; Harry O. Hoyt (Harry Fraser); Western Photoplays; Clarion
Charles Hutchison, Leah Baird, Austin Webb, Mary Hull, Edmund D’Alby 
 
RADIO FLYER                
Re-edit of the serial “Wolves of Kultur”; Pathe,1918
Adventure; Harry O. Hoyt (Harry Fraser); Western Photoplays; Artclass
Charles Hutchison, Leah Baird, Austin Webb, Mary Hull, Edmund D’Alby 
 
RARIN’ TO GO
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey), Olin Francis, L.J. O’Connor, James T. Kelley, Dorothy Wood  
 
RIP ROARIN’ ROBERTS         
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Brenda Lane, Joe Rickson, Al Richmond, John Webb Dillon 
 
ROUGH RIDIN’                       
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Elsa Benham, Richard Thorpe, Joe Rickson,  Frances Beaumont 
 
TEN AFTER TEN
Drama; Harry O. Hoyt (Harry Fraser); Artclass; Artclass
Charles Hutchinson, Anne Luther; rest of cast unavailable
 
THUNDERING ROMANCE       
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buffalo Bill Jr. (Jay Wilsey),  Jean Arthur,  Harry Todd,  Lew Meehan, Rene Picot  
 
WALLOPING WALLACE         
Western; Richard Thorpe; Action Pictures; Artclass
Buddy Roosevelt, Violet La Plante, Lew Meehan, Noah Hendrix, Lillian Gale 
 
1923
BETWEEN WORLDS 
U.S. release of “Der müd Tod” aka “Destiny”; Germany, 1921 
Fantasy; Fritz Lang; Decla-Bioscop; Artclass; reissued in 1928 as “Between Two Worlds”
Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Hans Sternberg, Karl Rückert
 
1922
AFTER SIX DAYS  
Condensation of “La Bibbia”; Italy; 1920
Biblical Epic; Pier Antonio Gariazzo; Appia Nuova; Artclass
Uberto Semprebene, Bruto Castellani, Mario Cionci, Augusto Mastripierti, Gabrielli 
 
THE WOMAN WHO BELIEVED   
Drama; John Harvey; Artclass; Artclass
Walter Miller, Ann Luther, Dorothy Bernard, Armand Cortez, Frank Evans
 
1921
THE ADVENTURES OF TARZAN [Serial – 15 eps.]                                   
Adventure; Robert Hill; Numa; Artclass
15 eps; Elmo Lincoln, Louise Lorraine, Percy Pembroke, Frank Whitson, George Monberg 
 
THE FOUR SEASONS 
Documentary; Raymond Ditmars; Urban-Kineto; Artclass
[Opened at the Rialto in Times Square in support to Paramount’s “The Great Impersonation”]
 
IT MIGHT HAPPEN TO YOU
Drama; Alfred Santell; Artclass; Artclass
Billy Mason, Dorris Dare, William Harcourt, Walter Beckwith, Violet Mack 
 
THE REVENGE OF TARZAN     
Adventure; Henry Revier; Numa; Goldwyn Pictures
Gene Pollar, Larla Schramm,  Estelle Taylor, Armand Cortes, Franklin Coates
 
1919
THE OPEN DOOR
Mystery; Dallas M. Fitzgerald; Artclass; Robertson-Cole
John P. Wade, Sam J. Ryan, Bob Broderick, Frank Evans, Anna Lehr
 
1916
IT MAY BE YOUR DAUGHTER
Drama; director unknown; Moral Uplift Society; Clarion
Edith Thornton, Hugh Thompson, Dorothy Gwynne, Charles Hallock, Virginia Campbell
 
Short Subjects:
Key: # reels; year; genre; producer; distributor —
“WOR” featured in “Weiss-O-Rama” 
1928-29
“BEN TURPIN COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1928-29; Artclass; Artclass
THE COCKEYED FAMILY (1928)(WOR)
aka “The Whole Cockeyed Family” 
COCKEYED HERO (1928)
THE EYES HAVE IT (1928)
dir/Leslie Goodwins
HOLDING HIS OWN (1929)(WOR)
HOLLYWOOD DRESSMAKER (1929)
dir/Leslie Goodwins
HORSE PLAY (1928)
IDLE EYES (1928)
dir/Leslie Goodwins; Georgia O’Dell, Helen Gilmore, Billy Barty
TAKING THE COUNT (1928)
TWO LONELY KNIGHTS (1928)
SEEIN’ THINGS (1928)
dir/Leslie Goodwins cst/Turpin, Georgia O’Dell, Helen Gilmore
SHE SAID NO (1928)
WHY BABIES LEAVE HOME (1928)(WOR)
 
 
“POODLES HANNEFORD COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1928-29; Artclass; Artclass
AIN’T IT THE TRUTH
AIN’T LOVE GRAND?
BETTER BEHAVE
CIRCUS DAZE
DEAF, DUMB & BLONDE
FARE ENOUGH
HELP WANTED
HIT THE HAY  
TENSHUN
WHY DETECTIVES GO WRONG
1928
“EMBARRASSING MOMENTS”
1-reel; 1928; Artclass; Artclass
CLOSE SHAVE
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
GAY NIGHTIES
IT’S A GIFT
1927-28
“LUCKY STRIKES COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1927-28; Artclass; Artclass; various casts
ALL FOR A GIRL (1927)
cst/Buddy Messinger, Marie Messinger, William T. Hayes, Joe Bonner
FLIRTING WITH THE MOVIES (1927)
HOMING BIRDS (1928)
PIE ALLEY (1928)
NEAR DEAR (1928)
JUST BOYS (1928)
SOME BABY (1928)
“JIMMY AUBREY COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1927-28; Artclass; Artclass
ALIBI ALLEY
DIZZIE DAZE  
EXCESS RELATIVES
HAVE A HEART
KEEP SMILING
MUSICAL MIXUP
SOONER OR LATER
aka “Spooner or Later”
TOO MANY WIVES
“BARNYARD ANIMAL COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1927-28; William Brown Productions; Artclass
BARNYARD FOLLY (1927)
DOWN ON THE FARM (1928)
BED CURED (1927)
FIXIN’ FATHER (1928)
BETWIXT AND BETWEEN (1928)
UPS AND DOWNS (1928)
BREAKIN’ IN (1928)
WESTWARD WHOA (1928)
dir/Max Gold
1927
“CRACKERJACK COMEDIES”
1-reel; silent; various casts
ALL ASHORE
BEAR FACTS
CAN-O-BULL CHIEF
CLEAN SWEEP, A
COFFEE AND — — —
CRAZY TO BE MARRY 
aka “Crazy to Marry”
FISH TALES
FRAMING YOUTH
GOOFY GAS
GYPING GYPSIES
HIS LUCKY DAY
dir/J. Tansey 
THE HUNTER
THE LYIN’ HUNTER
MABEL’S MATE
MAIL MAN, THE
OUT OF ORDER
OH, TAXI
PLASTERED
PLAY BALL
RAISING CAIN
SAFE AND SANE
SOUR MILK
SPOOKY SPOOKS      
SOAP AND WATE
TOO TIRED
THE WEDDING KNIGHT 
TOO BAD MEN
“GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES” 
3-reels; 1927; Cardinal Productions; Artclass
ALADDIN’S LAMP 
THE MOTHER GOOSE GIRL
LITTLE SNOW WHITE 
THE OLD WOMAN OF THE WOOD 
“MISC. 2-REEL NOVELTIES”
2-reels; 1927
JUNGLE LAND
Negative is being examined for credits
A SHORT TAIL
dir/Hal Sintzenich prod/Charles Mintz dist/Paramount
1926-28
“SNUB POLLARD COMEDIES”
2-reels;1926-28; Artclass; Artclass
ALL WET (1928)
dir/James Davis
BIG SHOT (1926)(WOR)
BUM’S RUSH (1928)(WOR)
dir/James Davis, Leslie Goodwins
DOUBLE TROUBLE (1927)
THE DOUGHBOY, THE (1926)(WOR)
dir/James Davis
FIRE!! (1926)(WOR)
dir/James Davis
HERE COMES A SAILOR (1926)
MEN ABOUT TOWN (1927)(WOR)
cst/Pollard, Marvin Loback
MITT THE PRINCE (1928)
KOO KOO KNIGHTS (1928)
NO KIDDING (1927)
ONCE OVER (1928) (WOR) 
dir/Leslie Goodwins cst/Pollard, Marvin Loback
SNUB BE CAREFUL (1928)
SNUB THE HERO (1928)
SNUB THE PLAYBOY (1928)
SNUB THE SAP (1928)
SNUB’S SURPRISE (1928)
SOCK AND RUN (1928)(WOR)
SPRINGTIME SAPS (1929)
THICK AND THIN (1929)(WOR)
UNDER REPAIRS (1928)
THE YOKEL (1928)
dir/James Davis cst/Pollard, Marie Mosquini
“WINNIE WINKLE COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1926-28; W.T. Lackey Productions; Artclass; Ethelyn Gibson as “Winnie Winkle”
ALWAYS LATE (1926)
FLIRTING WINNIE (1927)
HAPPY DAYS (1926)
aka “Winnie the Breadwinner” aka “Happy Daze” dir/Arvid E. Gillstrom
OH! WINNIE BEHAVE (1926)
aka “Winnie Behave”
WEARY WINNIE (1927)
WINNIE AND THE RINKY DINKS (1928)
WINNIE BE GOOD (1927)
WINNIE STEPS OUT (1927)
WINNIE WAKES UP (1927)
WINNIE’S BIRTHDAY (1927)
WINNIE’S VACATION (1926)
WINNIE’S WINNING WAYS (1927)
WINNING WINNIE (1928)
WORKING WINNIE (1927)
dir/Edward Ludwig
WORRY WINNIE (1926)
1926-27
“IZZIE AND LIZZIE COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1926-27; W.T. Lackey Productions; Artclass
AIN’T WE GOT FUN? (1927)
FIGHTING FOOLS (1926)
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR (1926) 
HAM AND HERRING (1927)
MONKEY BUSINESS (1927)
MOVIE MANIA (1928)
NICE NEIGHBORS (1927)
NIZE PEOPLE (1926)
OFF AND ON (1926)
PAPA’S PEST (1926)
STRICTLY KOSHER (1926)
WHY PAY RENT? (1926)
“HAIRBREADTH HARRY COMEDIES”
2-reels; 1926-27; Artclass; Artclass; Earl McCarthy as “Hairbreadth Harry”
CURSES (1927)
Director:  Al Herman
DANGER AHEAD (1926)*
dir/Percy Pembroke; McCarthy, Charlotte Merriam, Jack Cooper, Max Asher
DIRTY WORK
FEARLESS HARRY (1927)(WOR)
Director: Al Herman
FLYING PAPERS (1926)
Director: Al Herman
FOILED (1926)
MOONSHINE AND NOSES (1927)
NUTTY BUT NICE (1927)
RUDOLPH’S REVENGE (1928)(WOR)
SAWDUST BABY (1926)
Director: Al Herman
SIGN THEM PAPERS! (1926)(WOR)
dir/Edward Ludwig, as Edward I. Luddy
THE VILLAIN (1927)
“RADIO PERSONALITIES”
2-reels;1926-27; Artclass; Artclass
RADIO PERSONALITIES VOL. A
RADIO PERSONALITIES VOL. B 
RADIO PERSONALITIES VOL. C 
1926
 
“SCANDAL OF AMERICA”
1-reel; 1926; Artclass; Artclass
IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU
NIGHT PROWLER, THE
PAYROLL HOLD-UP
THE STICK-UP MAN
UNEXPECTED VISITOR
WHO IS SAFE?*(WOR)
“SCREEN STAR SPORTS” 
1-reel; 1926; Artclass; Artclass
SCREEN STAR SPORTS VOL. A
SCREEN STAR SPORTS VOL. B
SCREEN STAR SPORTS VOL. C
SCREEN STAR SPORTS VOL. D
SCREEN STAR SPORTS VOL. E
SCREEN STAR SPORTS VOL. F
1925
“GUESS WHO?”
1-reel; 1926; Artclass; Artclass
GUESS WHO? #1
GUESS WHO? #2
GUESS WHO? #3
GUESS WHO? #4
GUESS WHO? #5
GUESS WHO? #6
1923
“TENSE MOMENTS FROM FAMOUS PLAYS”
1-reel; 1923; prod. in 1922; Master Films (UK); Artclass
BLEAK HOUSE
dir/H.B. Parkinson cst/Sybil Thorndike, Betty Doyle, Stacey Gaunt
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME(WOR)
Original title: “Esmeralda” dir/Edwin J. Collins cst/Sybil Thorndike, Booth Conway, Arthur Kingsley
JANE SHORE
dir/Edwin J. Collins cst/Sybil Thorndike
LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS
dir/Edwin J. Collins cst/Sybil Thorndike
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
dir/Challis Sanderson cst/Sybil Thorndike, Ivan Berlin,  R. McLeod
MACBETH
dir/H.B. Parkinson cst/Russell Thorndike, Sybil Thorndike
The following set was titled  in the U.K. as “Tense Moments with Great Authors”
DAVID GARRICK
cst/Milton Rosmer
EAST LYNNE
cst/Iris Hoey
THE LAST HOURS OF FAGIN
aka “Hours of Fagin”; original title: “Fagin” dir/H. B. Parkinson cst/Ivan Berlin
LES MISERABLES 
dir/H.B. Parkinson cst/Phyllis Neilson Terry, Charles Garry, Lyn Harding, Hilda Moore 
MOTHS 
cst/Cameron Carr
NANCY 
dir/H. B. Parkinson cst/Ivan Berlin
SAPHO
Hilda Moore
THE SCARLET LETTER 
dir/Challis Sanderson cst/Sybil Thorndike, Tony Fraser, Dick Webb, Rice Cassidy
SCROOGE
H.V. Esmond
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
VANITY FAIR
1922
SAWING A LADY IN HALF
aka “Sawing a Lady in Half – Exposed” aka “Sawing a Lady in Half, How it is Done”
prod/dir/cst/John C. Coutts; Clarion
“THE HOLY BIBLE IN MOTION PICTURES”
Excerpts from “La Bibbia” Italy; 1920
1-reel; 1922; only released non-theatrically
Subsequently released in 1924 as: “The Holy Bible (Old Testament Series)”
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC 
ABRAHAM AND SARAI
CAIN AND ABEL 
CREATION, THE 
END OF THE DELUGE 
EXODUS AND RED SEA MIRACLE 
IMPRISONMENT OF JOSEPH 
ISAAC AND REBECCA 
ISRAELITES IN EGYPT 
ISRAELITES IN WILDERNESS 
JACOB AND ESAU 
JACOB AND JOSEPH 
JACOB AND RACHEL 
JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS
JOSEPH AS GOVERNOR 
LAW REPEATED AND DEATH OF MOSES 
MOSES
MOUNT SINAI AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS*
NAOMI AND RUTH 
NOAH
THE PASSOVER
THE PEACEMAKING
PLAGUES OF EGYPT 
REHABILITATION OF JOSEPH 
RUTH AND BOAZ 
SELLING OF JOSEPH
SODOM AND GOMORRAH
SOLOMON IN ALL HIS GLORY
TOWER OF BABEL, THE
WISDOM OF SOLOMON
* © 1924; only title in the series to be copyrighted
“EPIC OF THE AGES”
Condensed version of “The Holy Bible in Motion Pictures”
2-reels; track added around 1930; 
CHAPTER 1
The Creation/Cain and Abel/Noah
CHAPTER 2
End of the Deluge/Tower of Babel/Abraham and Sarai
CHAPTER 3
Sodom and Gomorrah/Abraham and Isaac/Isaac and Rebecca
CHAPTER 4
Jacob and Esau/Jacob and Rachel/Jacob and Joseph
CHAPTER 5
Selling of Joseph/Imprisonment of Joseph/Rehabilitation of Joseph
CHAPTER 6
Joseph as Governor/Joseph and His Brothers/Peacemaking
CHAPTER 7
Israelites in Egypt/Moses and the Burning Bush/Plagues of Egypt
CHAPTER 8
Passover/Exodus and Red Sea Miracle/Israelites in Wilderness
CHAPTER 9
Mt. Sinai and the10 Commandments/Law Repeated and Death of Moses/Naomi & Ruth
CHAPTER 10
Ruth and Boaz/Wisdom of Solomon/Solomon in all his Glory
1916
“LILLIPUTIAN COMEDIES”
No information othan than Louis Weiss confirmed they were in fact produced(WOR) —
*****State’s Rights Exchanges:

The Weiss Bros. distributed their pictures on a State’s Rights basis (see previous posts), but apparently at one time had at least one film exchange of their own.  On occasion they acquired rights only for the limited territories served by their exchange, or exchanges. 

*****

Please send any corrections or comments to kit@kitparker.com, or post under “Comments.”  I’d particularly appreciate any help with the following questions:

 “Lilliputian Comedies” ca.1916 comedy shorts — Does anyone have any information on these films?

“It May Be Your Daughter” 1916 feature — Director’s name?

“Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments,” Episode 25 of “The Holy Bible in Motion Pictures” (1922)- This was the only episode Artclass copyrighted; why was it copyrighted in 1924, two years after its previous release, and why did they risk another battle with Paramount by adding “…The Ten Commandments” to the end of title?  [See previous blog]

“Ten After Ten” 1924 feature – Additional cast members?

“Tangled Herds” 1926 feature – Additional cast members?

“Ridin’ Rivals” 1926 feature – Additional cast members?

“A Short Tail” 1927 2-reel short – Why did Artclass own this Paramount short?

“J.” Tansey: – Was this Robert, or another, Tansey?

Various Short Subjects – Additional director and cast credits?

****

Sources:  Bob Dickson, Margaret Herrick Library, American Film Institute, IMDb, Kit Parker Collection, Margaret Herrick Library (AMPAS), Richard Roberts, U.S. Copyright Office, New York State Archives, Internet Archive; various issues of: Exhibitor’s Herald, International Motion Picture Almanac, Moving Picture World, Film Daily Yearbook 

——-

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Weiss Bros. Westerns available on DVD from VCI Entertainment:

Bob Steele 4-pack
Bob Steele Western Double Feature   Vol. 3
Bob Steele Western Double  Feature Vol. 5
Bob Steele Western Double  Feature Vol. 6
Bob Steele Western Double  Feature Vol. 9
Bob Steele Western Double  Feature Vol. 10
Buddy Roosevelt   Western Double Feature
Harry Carry Western Double  Feature Vol. 1
Harry Carry Western Double  Feature Vol. 2
Harry Carry Western Double  Feature Vol. 3
Johnny Mack Brown Western 4-Pack
Johnny Mack Brown Western  Double Feature Vol. 4
Johnny Mack Brown Western  Double Feature Vol. 6
Johnny Mack Brown Western  Double Feature Vol. 16
Rex Lease Western Double  Feature Vol. 1
Western Heroes Western Double Feature Vol. 1
Western Heroes Western Double Feature Vol. 2
Western Heroes Western Double Feature Vol. 7
Bob Steele Western Double Feature Vol. 1
Bob Steele Western Double Feature Vol. 8
Bob Steele Western Double Feature Vol. 12

© 2012 Kit Parker Films

 

I bought the Weiss Global Enterprises film library in 2004, and one of the properties was “Craig Kennedy.”  Who was this character? 

 

While going through some old files I discovered that he was extremely popular in the 1910’s and 20’s as fiction’s first detective to utilize “modern” criminal science, such as analyzing tire tracks, blood types and finger prints.  There were scores of Craig Kennedy short stories and novels, written by Arthur B. Reeve.  Later six movie serials, a feature film, 26 television episodes, and even a comic strip were based on his detective hero.   

 

The Weiss Brothers (Adolph, Max, Louis), owners of Weiss Bros.-Artclass Pictures, were pioneers in low-budget filmmaking.  In 1927 they made two successive deals with Reeve, which gave them renewable options to produce motion pictures and serials based on his published Craig Kennedy stories, along with a commission for Reeve to write a 10 chapter serial tentatively titled “You Can’t Win.”  (Incidentally, the Weiss Bros. were forward-looking enough to include exhibition by “television” into their contracts!)  Two 10-chapter silent serials, “The Mysterious Airman” (1927), and “Police Reporter” (1928), along with their first feature talkie, “Unmasked” (1929), were produced and released by Weiss Bros.-Artclass Pictures on a State’s Rights basis.

 

In 1935 The Weiss Brothers, under the name of Stage and Screen Productions, made another deal with Reeve to produce two serials using the Craig Kennedy stories, “The Clutching Hand” and “The Golden Grave,” and at the same time acquired merchandizing rights, which included fingerprint kits.  “The Clutching Hand” was produced, in conjunction with Charles Mintz, and released in 1936 as “The Amazing Adventures of the Clutching Hand.” (“The Golden Grave” was never made.)   Yakima Canutt received $125 for performing stunts, but most of the actors were paid only between $3.75 and $10 a day.  One of them, Ruth Mix (daughter of Tom Mix), had a good part in the film, but was one of the actors who received only the dismal $3.75.  (Apparently she was happy with it, however, as she wrote Louis Weiss thanking him for hiring her, and asking if he had any more work.) The Weiss’ must have had a great deal of confidence in the forthcoming release of “The Clutching Hand,” because they concluded another deal with Reeve just four days prior to its release.  Reeve died four months later.

Arthur B. Reeve

On June 12, 1944, Stage and Screen bought all rights, in perpetuity, to the Craig Kennedy character, and stories, from the Reeve family, but no other films were ever produced.  Max and Adolph Weiss retired, leaving Louis Weiss, operating under The Louis Weiss Co., with the film library and all other assets, including the rights to Craig Kennedy.  In October of 1944, Louis tried to get a publisher, Novel Selections, Inc. to reprint the stories, but was turned down.  Then he went to the first publisher of the Kennedy stories, Harper and Brothers, who had great success with the stories 20 years earlier, but was told the stories were too antiquated.

                                                                                                Adrian and Louis Weiss ca. 1949

Louis suffered a heart attack in 1948, and his son, Adrian, who had a background in films, joined the firm to relieve some of the pressure off his father and to exploit their library of old films on television.  Television was just starting to take off, and suddenly there was a big demand for old films, particularly produced in the U.S.A.  The major studios were afraid to license their pictures to the new medium because their theatrical exhibitors threatened boycotts.   Louis and Adrian had no such qualms, because they were no longer in the theatrical business.  They knew years before most other producers that television was going to be big, so early on they acquired many feature films, mostly cheap westerns, to augment what they had actually produced.  Because of that demand, Louis and Adrian had the foresight to preserve the negatives of their sound era features and serials, as well and dozens of silent 2-reel comedies Weiss Bros.-Artclass had produced in the late 1920s.  Most of this material survives to this day.

 

In 1949, flush with money from licensing their library to TV stations desperate to fill time slots, Adrian and Louis decided to update the Craig Kennedy character and produce 13 half-hour television episodes to be called, “Craig Kennedy, Criminologist.”  It was a roll of the dice because they self-funded the project, filming in expensive 35mm, for television syndication (sales to individual stations on a market-by-market basis) without any guarantee they’d be able to sell the show. 

 Experts at producing films on the cheap, Adrian and Louis kept the Weiss Bros. tradition of using character actors, and former stars, well beyond their prime.  For the part of Craig Kennedy they hired the Canadian actor, Donald Woods, who had a long list of  credits, but never reached star-status.  (He later went on to perform in scores of television programs).  They also talked some of the talent into deferring income until the shows went into the black.

 

The first 13 shows were picked up in many television markets, where amazingly it hit some home-runs, notably in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and particularly in New Orleans (WDSU-TV), where it got a surprising 50 share (half the people watching television), slightly besting “I Love Lucy” and “Dragnet”.  A second season was produced, which also did well. 

   

 

In 1999, Adrian approached me to buy his entire library, known as Weiss Global Enterprises, which controlled hundreds of films, including the Lippert Pictures library, several independent productions, and the Craig Kennedy stories, but wanted three times it’s actual worth.  Adrian died in 2001, and I purchased the entire Weiss library at a fair price in 2004, from his son and daughter.

Please see my forthcoming blog, “Craig Kennedy, Criminologist,” for descriptions of each episode in the TV series.

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