Purely Visual Means

The Little Match Seller
R: James Williamson. B: Based on the fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen. P: James Williamson Kinematograph Company. UK 1902
Print: BFI

“(…) Williamson here resorts to numerous special effects, mostly in the form of superimpositions. However, these are entirely true to the spirit of the original story, whose dramatic and emotional centerpiece is the series of ‘visions’ seen by the little match seller when striking matches to keep warm. (…) In other words, some fifty years before the introduction of the cinema, Andersen created a character who projected her fantasies onto a blank wall, exactly as Williamson was to do in this film. More importantly, Williamson used this conception to create something almost entirely new for the cinema: a serious attempt at depicting a person’s inner emotional life on film through purely visual means (there is no onscreen text of any kind), using trick effects not to provoke laughter but for serious dramatic reasons.”
Michael Brooke
BFI  Screenonline

The Little Match Girl
R: Percy Nash. B: Based on the story of Hans Christian Andersen. D: John East. P: Neptune Film Company. UK 1914
Print: BFI
Dutch titles

The Little Match Girl (Danish: ‘Den Lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne’, meaning ‘The little girl with the matchsticks’) is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story, about a dying child’s dreams and hope, was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media, including animated and live-action films, television musicals, and video games.”

>>> Read Andersens fairy tale here

>>> Brighton School: James Williamson

The Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem (Fragment)
R: Lawrence Marston. B: Lloyd F. Lonergan. D: Florence LaBadie, James Cruze, William Russell, Harry Benham, Justus D. Barnes, Charles Horan, Riley Chamberlin. P: Thanhouser Company. USA 1912
Original length three reels (3,000 feet); surviving version edited to one real (1,000 feet)
Print: British Film Institute / National Film and Television Archive

“Preparation of this epic was one of the last duties of Edwin Thanhouser before leaving the studio that bore his name. He had sold it to Mutual in April of 1912 and continued to work as studio manager until he ‘retired’ in November, 1912, only to return in 1915. Thanhouser’s biggest production up to that point in time, the film required a one-month shooting schedule, employed a cast of 200 (including forty principals), and cost a hefty $8,000. Special effects alone took a full week’s work.“
Matt Page
Bible Films Blog

“That the picture fulfills the purpose for which it is produced is certain. It is not a dramatic product in any sense of the word; it is a simple, vivid story of the coming of Christ. Harmony and taste have exercised in its production, and many of the photographic effects are especially fine. Three reels have been used in telling the story. It is said that 200 people were required, a month was consumed in its preparation, and $8,000 expended before the picture was ready to be shown. Whether the costumes and the characters are historically correct we do not know. Certainly they have been kept close to the biblical narrative and tradition. The story opens with a prologue, seven hundred or so years before Christ’s birth, when Isaiah beheld in prophetic vision the great things that were to happen in later days, and comforted his down-trodden people with the information. From here the action shifts to the time when Mary and Joseph are being betrothed. The continuity is well retained in developing the various events in the theme.”
The New York Dramatic Mirror, December 25, 1912

>>> more about Thanhouser

An Unusual Broncho Billy

A Wife of the Hills
R: Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson. D: Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson, Arthur Mackley, Brinsley Shaw, Vedah Bertram. P: The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles
Engl. subtitles

“The outlaw gang leader Bart McGrew lives with his wife in a shack in the hills. Unknown to McGrew, his wife is in love with an outlaw partner, Dan Trout, and they plot to run away. Trout chances to see a sheriff’s notice that promises to free any gang member who turns himself in; he uses this opportunity to lead the sheriff to the shack, where McGrew is arrested.
Realizing the two lovers’ treachery, McGrew vows vengeance. The next morning, he escapes from jail and heads for the shack, pursued by the sheriff’s posse. Reaching the shack and looking in the open window at the lovers, he is about to fire his gun, when the sheriff’s bullet meant for him misses and hits Trout, who falls dead across a table. Smiling at his wife sobbing over her lover, McGrew turns and lets himself be captured and led away.
This is a rather unusual film in Essanay’s ‘Broncho Billy’ series, not in that Anderson plays a differently named character (which he often does), but that the story refuses to lead to the outlaw’s expected transformation and redemption.
The posse’s pursuit of McGrew may be extended longer than need be, and directions get a little confusing as the outlaw and the sheriff and his men separately edge through the brush and trees toward the shack. But that delay makes the shooting of Trout all the more grimly ironic — and a sharp contrast to the ending of Essanay’s A Pal’s Oath (1911), (…) in which Broncho Billy decides not to exact vengeance when, through an open window, he finds his nemesis embracing his wife (Billy’s former lover) and child.”
Richard Abel
Antti Alanen: Film Diary

Broncho Billy on this website:
>>> Broncho Billy, the First Cowboy
>>> Broncho Billy meets Charlie
>>> Broncho Billy: Exploring a Genre
>>> An Outlaw with a Sense of Responsibility


Life and Death of Charles Peace

The Life of Charles Peace
R: William Haggar. D: Walter Haggar, Violet Haggar, Lily Haggar, James Haggar, Henry Haggar, Fred Haggar, Sarah Haggar. P: William Haggar and Sons. UK 1905 (Release)

“The life, crimes and execution of Charles Peace. Showing his first burglary; the murder of Dyson; Peace disturbed by the police at home and the roof-top flight which ensues; a burglary at Blackheath; how he deceives a policeman dressed as a parson; his capture by PC Robinson; his journey to Sheffield for trial and his attempted escape; an identification parade in prison and his execution.”
Collections Search BFI

“Charles Frederick Peace (1832 – 1879), known as Charlie, was born in Sheffield, the son of a sometime collier, lion-tamer and shoemaker. His life before 1846 seems to have been unremarkable, but the double blow that year of an accident on the rolling mills at his workplace, when hot steel pierced his leg, and the death of his father, seems to have led him into crime as a way to earn a living. His first arrest was in 1851, for burglary, and in 1854 he was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment at Doncaster.
In the years that followed, he moved between Sheffield, Manchester and prison with some regularity, and occasionally seems to have tried ‘going straight’ with little success. He moved from petty criminal to the ‘most wanted’ list in 1876, with the murder of an associate named Arthur Dyson, which led to a long period on the run.
He found a safe berth in Nottingham’s notorious Narrow Marsh slums, where he remained for several months during 1877, cracking safes and embarking on an affair with a music hall singer, all the while evading his pursuers. Despite many ingenious escapes and bold ruses, the law eventually caught up with him and he was tried, sentenced to death by hanging and executed at Armley Gaol in Leeds at the age of 47.”
Dawn of the Unread: Charlie Peace

621-William Haggar

William Haggar (1851-1925)
“Of more than 30 documented films made between 1901 and 1908, only four shorts are known to survive in their entirety. Yet two of Haggar’s extant films, A Desperate Poaching Affray (1903) and The Life of Charles Peace (1905), an early potted biopic of a murderer hanged in 1879, are among the most important British films of the 20th century’s first decade. (…)
After acquiring a Wrench projector in 1898, he ran a travelling cinema (Bioscope), appearing regularly at fairgrounds in the West of England and the South Wales coalfields.
Haggar made his own films from around 1902, most of which were distributed by Gaumont, Charles Urban or the Warwick Trading Company. The filmmaker’s ‘stock company’ was his own family (eight of his 11 children appeared in his films, with son Walter as lead in the Charles Peace film, for example). Haggar drew on his rural background and early experiences of impoverishment to make several poaching films. (…)

Haggar’s films included comedies, burlesques, crime thrillers and trick movies. His A Desperate Poaching Affray, including Haggar’s earliest extant panning shot, is now regarded by academics as one of two or three British films which influenced early narrative drama in the United States, particularly the development of the chase film. It featured several shootings during the prolonged pursuit of the poachers. Haggar, steeped in the tastes of his proletarian fairground and theatre melodrama audiences, was never averse to using violence in his films even though his film-making middle period (1903-1905) coincided with the rise of puritan religious Nonconformism in Wales. (…)
The Charles Peace movie – long mistaken for the now missing 1905 version by Frank Mottershaw of the Sheffield Photo Company – flaunted William Haggar’s love of theatre. He employed overt stage sets in the film’s first half, and the killer is in heavy stage make up throughout. The later location scenes are choreographed with typical energy and brio and include a rooftop chase and a hanging scene. The film, interestingly, also has content and stylistic similarities to Mottershaw’s A Daring Daylight Burglary (1903).”
BFI Screenonline

>>> Telling a Crime Story: Four Examples

Zecca: Social Realism

Au pays noir
R: Ferdinand Zecca / Louis Nonguet. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1905

“Poor people who were able to work received no support. The working classes were forced to take on poorly-paid and dangerous jobs in order to survive. Mining accidents spread fear and terror among mining communities. Sensational special effects on the screen, such as firedamp explosions, helped reinforce demands by the labour unions and charitable organisations for safer working conditions and improved support for surviving dependants.
Mining accidents used to be part of daily life for miners: Pathé, the leading film company of the time, condemned this scandalous situation by releasing this melodramatic social reportage which was shot partly on location at a mining site and partly on a recreated set in a film studio.”
Screening the Poor
Trier University / Department of Media Studies

620-Au pays noir
Constantin Meunier (1831-1905): Au pays noir. About 1893

La grève
R: Ferdinand Zecca. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1904

During a strike, several workers are killed in a confrontation. The wife of one of them kills the factory owner. At her trial, the owner’s son asks for mercy, knowing that his father was wrong. Because of that the wife is freed.

>>> A Day in the Life of a Wigan Coal Miner



Chomón’s Box of Tricks

Le rêve des marmitons
R / K: Segundo de Chomón. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1908
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

„The director continued with his project of investigating the possibilities of cinematography, in particular by submitting his characters to all sorts of absurd situations. Of course, unusual situations are a staple of comedy, not least in the cinema, which can use technical trickery to multiply such situations. The same goes for fantasy, which, by its nature, is no slave to ‚the natural course of things‘ and which also benefitted enormously from that new trickery. Amongst the many devices in the Spaniard’s box of tricks, stop-motion proved the most fertile for materialising the mad dreams of fantasy worlds. In Le rêve des marmitons (1908) it is the device that is used for making people’s hands detach from their bodies and remain alive, in a sort of proto-surrealism that would have delighted Salvador Dalí. (…)
This is animation at the service of laziness, showing a dream of how, one day, all the most tedious domestic chores might by done automatically, as in this proto-surrealist fairy story. In Chomón‘s hands, this new toy — stop-motion — was capable of allowing even flies to have a lead role in a film. And it was, indeed, a little fly that the director gets to intervene in Le rêve des marmitons by drawing caricatures on the bald head of one of the cooks: while the man is asleep, the insect wets its legs in a bottle of Chinese ink and then runs amok, making a number of irreverent drawings on the shiny pate. And just as the Spanish director could feature a fly in a film by means of stop-motion, so he could include, among his celluloid extravaganzas, parasols processing through the streets and dancing to the sound of a circus band. This occurs in Symphonie bizarre, a film that, as in the case of Le rêve des marmitons, would have warranted the description ‚surrealist‘ if that word had been current in 1908.“
Paulo Roberto de Carvalho Barbosa: The Man of a Thousand Tricks: Chomón the animator. In: Art Research Journal / Revista de Pequisa em Arte, V. 2, n. 1, jan. 2015, p. 126-127

Symphonie Bizarre
R / K: Segundo de Chomón. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1909

Ince presents: Civilization

R: Reginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince, Raymond B. West. B: C. Gardner Sullivan. K:  Joseph H. August, Irvin Willat, Clyde de Vinna. Mus: Victor Schertzinger. D: Howard Hickman, Enid Markey, Lola May, Kate Bruce, J. Frank Burke, Claire Du Brey, George Fisher, Charles K. French, Herschel Mayall. P: Thomas H. Ince Corporation. USA 1915/1916

Thomas Ince‘s Civilization contained the first original full orchestral and choral film score for an American feature, composed by American-born Victor Schertzinger (his first film credit). (amc filmsite)

“Echoes of Biblical teachings were prominent in the filmmaking of Thomas H. Ince, as he recognized its resonance with audiences of his time. This was most prominently the case with Civilization (initially titled ‘He Who Returned’), which had a simple but sweep-ing purpose encapsulated by a one newspaper head-line: ‘Aims Film to Shorten Life of War—Thomas Ince Contends Great Movie Spectacle ‘Civilization’ Is Excellent Peace Argument.’ This was a time when the United States struggled to remain neutral and avoid becoming involved in the conflict that had en-gulfed Europe. Civilization was directed by a team in 1915, and released in April 1916, and even before the public saw it, Ince arranged a viewing by President Wilson and his cabinet, and sent another print to the Pope. Although advertised as a million dollar spectacle, that was closer to its box-office return of $800,000; Civilization actually cost approximately $100,000. After the opening in Los Angeles in April, lack of anticipated business prompted additional recutting and new scenes shot before the New York premiere. Not only a ‘Peace Song,’ but also a march, both composed by Victor Schertzinger, were issued as accompanying sheet music. (…)
Civilization must be considered in the context of the time in which it was made; President Wilson would run for re-election in 1916 on the slogan, ‘He kept us out of war.’ Even as Americans were dismayed at the war’s slaughter in Europe, the sinking of the British passenger liner ‘Lusitania’ in 1915, which resulted in the drowning of 100 Americans, nearly goaded the United States into participation. The event signaled the increasingly antagonistic attitude toward Germany for quickly adopting submarine warfare to blockade the Allies. Underwater vessels became a popular motion picture topic, appearing in other Ince productions, and it is crucial in Civilization  accurately depicting the German motivation, to sink surface ships carried war supplies, as well the appalling consequences in loss of life. (…) The antagonists seem Teutonic, with spiked helmets and upturned moustaches, yet the capitol building of the country is also a domed structure clearly modeled on the United States Capitol; Ince seems to be indicating that warlike actions may well spring up in America. ‘Photoplay Magazine’ added, ‘True, it all might happen to us, or to any other nation ….’ In the final sequence, the soldiers return home and reunite with their families.”
Brian Taves
Library of Congress

“The battles are large-scale and epic, but not tied to the characters in such a way as to make us really care what’s going on. Our main characters spend a lot of the movie in a beatific trance. Even when they aren’t, they are given to rather broad pantomiming, as when the King tells the Count that he will be allowed to marry his love, and the Count immediately spreads his arms wide and stares up in rapture. The effects, editing, and production design are all good quality, certainly compared to the average Thomas Ince production, but (…) it’s hard not to compare it unfavorably to D.W. Griffith’s lavish production values. In no way does it measure up, even the battle scenes are frankly weak just in comparison to the previous year’s The Birth of a Nation. While it’s realistic that there’s a lot of smoke on the battlefield, so much is used that it tends to obscure the action, and you can’t really make a good battle scene just showing one side of the fight. Apparently a success in its day, Civilization came off to me as too clumsy and blunt in its message, and not really a great example of film technique of the period.”


Flying Train, 68mm

The Flying Train / Wuppertaler Schwebebahn
P: Deutsche Mutoscop und Biograph G.m.b.H.  D 1902
Print: The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.

“‘The Flying Train‘ depicts a ride on a suspended railway in Germany in 1902. The footage is almost as impressive as the feat of engineering it captures. For many years our curators believed our Mutoscope rolls were slightly shrunken 70mm film, but they were actually shot on Biograph’s proprietary 68mm stock. Formats like Biograph’s 68mm and Fox’s 70mm Grandeur are of particular interest to researchers visiting the Film Study Center because the large image area affords stunning visual clarity and quality, especially compared to the more standard 35mm or 16mm stocks.”
The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.

The MoMA version, original speed, upscaled and colorized by Denis Shiryaev:

“Upscaled to 4K; FPS boosted to 60 frames per second, I have also fixed some playback speed issues; Stabilized; Colorized – please, be aware that colorization colors are not real and fake, colorization was made only for the ambiance and do not represent real historical data.
Note: Contrary to the text at the beginning, the city ‘Wuppertal’ didn’t yet exist in 1902. Back then, these were a handful of seperated cities and towns called ‘Elberfeld’, ‘Ronsdorf’, ‘Cronenberg’, ‘Vohwinkel’ and ‘Barmen’. These cities were united in 1929 under the name ‘Barmen-Elberfeld’ and were renamed into ‘Wuppertal’ in 1930, according to the fact that the cities are located around the Wupper river.”
Denis Shiryaev

“Bereits vor 1900 verloren auf die Kamera zurasende Züge an Attraktivität und wurden kaum noch in dieser Blickperspektive gedreht. Stattdessen wurden Aufnahmeapparate auf Lokomotiven gesetzt, um für unzählige Landschaftspanoramen stetig gleitende Kamerafahrten zu erzielen. Diese ‘Reisebilder’ akzentuieren industrielle Technik alsTeil der Landschaft, wenn spektakuläre Streckenverläufe oder kunstvolle Brückenbauten befahren werden. Als Sujet nicht-fiktionaler Aufnahmen wurden Lokomotiven und Züge erst wieder von der Technikfaszination der Avantgarde in den 1920er und 1930er entdeckt. Wegen ihrer eigentümlichen technischen Bauweise konnte die Wuppertaler Schwebebahn eine gewisse Attraktivität bewahren. Als ‘Flying Train’ (1901) fand sie über den Verbund der Mutoskop- und Biograph-Gesellschaften weite Verbreitung.”
Martin Loiperdinger: Industriebilder. In: Uli Jung und Martin Loiperdinger (Hrg.): Geschichte des dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland. Band 1: Kaiserreich (1895-1918). Stuttgart: Reclam 2005, p. 324

Just for Fun: Wuppertal Schwebebahn 1902 & 2015 side by side video, by pwduze, YouTube:

La mort du duc d’Enghien en 1804

La mort du duc d’Enghien en 1804
R: Albert Capellani. B: Léon Hennique. D: Georges Grand, Henry Houry, Germaine Dermoz, Paul Capellani, Henri Étiévant, Daniel Mendaille, René Leprince. P:  Pathé Frères. Fr 1909

“An exceedingly well acted and photographed picture of a historical episode in French history, which occurred during 1803-1804, when Napoleon was first consul. It relates graphically the fate of the Duke D’Enghien, who was supposed to be plotting against Napoleon and planning to place a Bourbon on the throne. Napoleon assumed that the Duke was the Bourbon prince who was to succeed to the throne, though he had no proof. Spies reported the Duke’s absence for days at a time, but he was much in love and was really at the home of his inamorata, or engaged in the pleasures of the chase. Nevertheless, he was condemned to be executed, and even though some excuse for pardoning him was sought, none was found and he was shot at Versailles.
The action is very vivid. The characters do their work in the spirit of the piece and occasion, and one imagines for the time that the actual scene is transpiring before one’s eyes. The Pathés have been particularly happy in their reproductions of dramatic incidents in French history, and this picture is no exception to the rule. The interpretation is so convincing that one acquires almost unconsciously a keener understanding of the men who were instrumental in enacting the roles here reproduced.”
The Moving Picture World, December 31, 1909

About Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien
“At the outbreak of the French Revolution, he emigrated with his father and grandfather a few days after the Storming of the Bastille, and in exile he would seek to raise forces for the invasion of France and restoration of the monarchy to its pre-revolutionary status. (…) Early in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of France, heard news which seemed to connect the young duke with the Cadoudal Affair, a conspiracy which was being tracked by the French police at the time. (…) The news ran that the duke was in company with Charles François Dumouriez and had made secret journeys into France. This was false. (…) However, the duke had previously been condemned in absentia for having fought against the French Republic in the Armée des Émigrés. Napoleon gave orders for the seizure of the duke.
French dragoons crossed the Rhine secretly, surrounded his house and brought him to Strasbourg (15 March 1804), and thence to the Château de Vincennes, near Paris, where a military commission of French colonels presided over by General Hulin was hastily convened to try him. The duke was charged chiefly with bearing arms against France in the late war, and with intending to take part in the new coalition then proposed against France.
The military commission, presided over by Hulin, drew up the act of condemnation. (…) On 21 March, the duke was shot in the moat of the castle, near a grave which had already been prepared.  (…)
The execution of Enghien shocked the aristocracy of Europe, who still remembered the bloodletting of the Revolution. Either Antoine Boulay, comte de la Meurthe (deputy from Meurthe in the Corps législatif) or Napoleon’s chief of police, Fouché, said about his execution ‘C’est pire qu’un crime, c’est une faute’, a statement often rendered in English as ‘It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder.’ The statement is also sometimes attributed to Talleyrand.
Conversely, in France the execution appeared to quiet domestic resistance to Napoleon, who soon crowned himself Emperor of the French.”


Lionel Barrymore

The Woman in Black
R: Lawrence Marston. B: Based on the play “The woman in black” by H. Grattan Donnelly. K: Tony G. Gaudio. D: Lionel Barrymore, Alan Hale, Mrs. Lawrence Marston, Marie Newton, Millicent Evans, Charles Hill Mailes, Hector V. Sarno, Jack Drumier, Frank Evans. P: Klaw & Erlanger, Biograph Company. USA 1914
Print: Library of Congress
Music (from original 78 rpm records of the late 1910s and the early 1920s) added by Robert Fells

The Woman in Black is based on a successful play produced by the powerful Klaw and Erlanger combine that dominated much of the American theater in the early 20th century. In the 1910s, the company began filming some of its most popular plays but ultimately the venture was not successful. In this film, Lionel Barrymore starred with Alan Hale (Sr.), both of whom would have long careers in movies extending through 1950.”

“Mary, a young gypsy girl, is seduced by the immoral Robert Crane and abandoned. She is exiled from the gypsies and, along with her mother Zenda, known as ‘The Woman in Black,’ she vows revenge. Meanwhile, Crane blackmails Stella Everett’s father into forcing her to marry him, even though she loves Frank Mansfield, Crane’s rival for a congressional seat. Frank wins, but Stella still faces the prospect of marriage to Crane until Zenda comes to her with a plan. On their wedding day, after the vows are recited, Crane lifts the veil from his wife’s face and discovers that his bride is actually Mary. Now Stella and Frank are free to marry, and Zenda has gained her revenge.”
AFI catalog

Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore, original name Lionel Herbert Blythe, (born April 28, 1878, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. — died November 15, 1954, Van Nuys, California), American stage, film, and radio actor who forged a career as one of the most important character actors of the early 20th century. Perhaps the least flamboyant member of the Barrymore acting family, he was best known to modern audiences for his performance as Mr. Potter in the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Barrymore was the son of the stage actors Maurice and Georgiana Barrymore, founders of the celebrated family of actors. Although he appeared in a few plays in his teens, he did not intend to enter the family profession and instead studied painting in Paris for three years. He found that he was unable to earn a living as a painter, however, and he returned to the United States and to acting. (…)

In 1926 Barrymore left Broadway permanently for Hollywood and began a long line of outstanding screen characterizations. His early notable films included Sadie Thompson (1928) and The Mysterious Island (1929). His performance as an alcoholic defense attorney in A Free Soul (1931) won him an Academy Award as best actor. He appeared with his brother, John, in Grand Hotel (1932) and with both John and their sister, Ethel, in Rasputin and the Empress (1932). (…) In his later years Barrymore projected an image of an irascible (but usually lovable) curmudgeon, a role in which he exploited to the fullest his distinctive traits — a tall stooped posture (though, because of arthritis and other injuries, he usually performed in a wheelchair from 1938 on), shaggy eyebrows, and a hoarse, rasping voice. His portrayal of the avaricious Mr. Potter in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life belongs to this period.”
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

>>> Lionel Barrymore on this website: The Little Tease, The House of Darkness, The Burglar’s Dilemma, The New York Hat, The Musketeers of Pig Alley, Friends, The Miser’s Heart, Death’s Marathon, The Battle at Elderbush Gulch, The Switchtower

Lawrence Marston (1857–1939)
“Lawrence Marston was a well-known stage director, among whose accomplishments were ‘Ben Hur’, ‘The Prince of India’, and ‘Thais’ for his long-time employers, Klaw & Erlanger. Lawrence Marston was with Thanhouser in 1912 and 1913 and directed a number of films there, including Thanhouser’s first three-reel production released as a single unit, The Star of Bethlehem. (…) Marston departed from Thanhouser and went to American Biograph, where he was located by late autumn 1913.”
Thanhouser Biographies

>>> Marston films on this site: The Evidence of the Film,  His Uncle’s Wives,  When the Studio Burned