Allan Dwan, 1915

David Harum
R: Allan Dwan. B: Allan Dwan, Edward Noyes Wescott (story and play). K: Harold Rosson / Henry Lyman Broening. D: William H. Crane, Harold Lockwood, May Allison, Kate Meeks, Hal Clarendon, Guy Nichols. P: Famous Players Film Company. USA 1915
Print: George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.

“In October 1914, (…) William H. Crane signed with Famous Players. (…) Crane was selected to repeat one of his great stage triumphs on the screen, ‘David Harum’, to be directed by Dwan. In 1900, Crane had appeared in the first Broadway production of ‘David Harum’, based on a popular novel by Edward Noyes Wescott, and had subsequently starred in two Broadway revivals. Dwan said that although he had worked out a script when he met Crane, the actor was adamant that he wouldn’t do the film unless it was done exactly like the play. (…)
David Harum turned out to be an important film both for its success and for Dwan’s technical bravura in bringing the play to the screen. (…)
‘The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats’ cites David Harum as one of the two 1915 films (the other being The Second-in-Command) using the tracking shot in the United States for the first time. Traveling shots filmed from trains and ships actually go back to the very early days of silent cinema. But David Harum was an important milestone in developing the expressive possibilities of the tracking shot. And though (according to Dwan) it was shot from a car, it pioneered the kind of fluidity that would be achieved by camera dollies mounted on tracks.”
Frederic Lombardi: Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios. McFarland 2013, p. 37/38

Further Reading:
Allan Dwan (A dossier). Original language version. Ed. by David Phelps & Gina Telaroli.
LUMIÈRE June 2013

>>> Dwan’s 1913 film The Spirit of the Flag on this site