(Eight reels, released February 25, 1917)
After affiliating with Pathé in late 1916, Thanhouser produced only feature-length dramas. In 1917 the studio had a roster of only four stars, none of them a commercial match for the personality-stars created by the publicity machines of other studios. Frederick Warde, like his Thanhouser colleague Jeanne Eagels, was one of the most talented and famous stage actors in New York City, and was the perfect choice for the popular title character of the 1766 English novel. The production vindicated the new feature-length movie format by restoring several characters, plot complications, and atmosphere that had been truncated in Thanhousers 1910 version of less than one-sixth the length.
Warde, forgotten today, was best known for his classic stage work, but starred in several films including the title role in Richard III in 1912, the first American feature film (not a Thanhouser production). The director, Ernest C. Warde, is the stars son.
The elaborate production required several months to produce, working around Wardes busy Chautauqua lecture schedule, and includes incidents vividly remembered by the novels readers, such as the green spectacles, the debtors prison, the sham marriage, and the burning of the vicarage.
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