Irene Hunt – Face of the Girl Reporter

The Hop Smugglers
R: Unknow. D: Irene Hunt, Ralph Lewis, Josephine Crowell, William Lowery, John T. Dillon, Eagle Eye. P: Reliance Motion Picture Company. USA 1914
Print: EYE collection
Dutch titles

“Helen, a writer, tries to secure a position on a newspaper to earn necessary luxuries for her invalid mother. Refused a job unless she brings in a real news story, Helen dejectedly trudges off on a hunt for opium smugglers who are operating successfully on the Mexican border. Sikes, the Revenue Officer, has been unable to get evidence of anyone. Helen befriends a denizen of Chinatown and through him learns that the smuggling is being done through the means of an irrigation canal running across the border just outside the city.(…)”

“Even before the movies could talk, it became clear that female reporters were perfect for film. Motion pictures offered the meatiest roles for female actors and created the perfect battleground of the sexes: the underrated girl reporter could prove she was as capable as the male, and the boy reporter could gloat that no girl could possibly keep pace with him. The sob sister became a
popular newspaper heroine. (…) Just like their male counterparts, female reporters in serials were daredevil, courageous heroeswho risked everything to get a story and save the day. (…) For silent film audiences, Irene Hunt was the face of the female journalist in film after film. She appeared in 120 films between 1911 and 1915, nine of them featuring her as a journalist. Theywatched her as cub reporter Bella of ‘The Daily Blade’ tracing counterfeits to their lair (The Floating Call, 1914) and as a cub reporter planting a dictograph in a restaurant, enabling her to expose graft by a local councilman in The Exposure (1915); as reporter Helen Harris rounding up opium smugglers in The Hop Smugglers (1915) (…)  One reviewer wrote about Hunt’s portrayal of a journalist: ‘This is another of the very excellent newspaper dramas, in which Miss Irene Hunt gives her clever performance of the girl reporter.’” 
Joe Saltzman with Liz Mitchel: The Image of the Journalist in Silent Film, 1890 to 1929: Part One 1890 to 1919.  A project of The Norman Lear Center 2010, p. 78-81

Another girl reporter:
>>> Marion Leonard in The Conflict’s End, 1912