Thanhouser’s Stars

The Marble Heart
B: Charles Selby (play). D: James Cruze, Marguerite Snow, Florence LaBadie, William Russell, Burton Law. P: Thanhouser Film Company. USA 1913
Print: Museum of Modern Art

“This story, already a well-known English play of 1854 adapted from an earlier French play, casts the three most popular Thanhouser adult stars in a story of unrequited love, with a dream sequence that parallels the main story. Pale makeup is especially noticeable in some scenes, the answer to orthochromatic film’s blotchy-dark rendering of skin tones. Within a couple of years the technique of film makeup, filtering and lighting would be greatly improved.”

Madam Blanche, Beauty Doctor
R: Arthur Ellery. B: Lloyd F. Lonergan. D: Harry Benham, Riley Chamberlin, Mrs. S. Stevens, Mignon Anderson, Ray Johnston, Edward N. Hoyt, Morgan Jones, Ethel Jewett. P: Thanhouser Film Company. USA 1915
Print: BFI

“A good example of the clever light comedy Thanhouser produced for its Falstaff label, while other studios cranked out broad slapstick comedies. Harry Benham and Mignon Anderson were versatile and popular Thanhouser stars, here showing considerable skill in light comedy, a genre that invites plenty of satirical social observation such as the burgeoning beauty-salon industry here. Cinema technique shows much more intricate editing and freer use of closeups than just a year or two earlier.”

Harry Benham