Bab's Matinee Idol

Bab's Matinee Idol is a 1917 American silent romantic comedy film, based on the Mary Roberts Rinehart novels, produced by Famous Players-Lasky, and directed by J. Searle Dawley. This was the final film in the trilogy of Babs films that starred Marguerite Clark.[1]

Bab's Matinee Idol
Newspaper advertisement.
Directed byJ. Searle Dawley
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Written byMargaret Turnbull (scenario)
Story byMary Roberts Rinehart
StarringMarguerite Clark
CinematographyH. Lyman Broening
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 26, 1917 (1917-11-26)
Running time
5 reels (1,500 metres)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[2] Bab (Clark) is in love with Adrian (Steele), an actor, and cuts his picture out of a newspaper and worships it. An epidemic of measles breaks out and Bab is sent home. A few days later Bab learns that the play with her idol is in town, so she borrows money to see a performance with her hero. She writes him a note, and he invites her into his dressing room. She learns that unless the show gets more publicity, it will close. She arranges with Carter Brooks (Barrie) and her father (Losee) for Adrian to apply for work at her father's ammunition factory, and after he is thrown out the story will be in the newspapers. However, the Honorable Page Beresford (Chadwick), who is after Bab's sister Leila's (Greene) hand and fortune, arrives at the factory to place an order for shells and, mistaken for Adrian, gets thrown out. When the real Adrian applies for work, he is hired and not allowed to leave, and misses the matinee performance. His irate wife, searching for Adrian, soon puts matters right. Bab succumbs to the measles and the revelation that Adrian is married completely shatters her thoughts of romance, at least for the time being.


  • Marguerite Clark as Bab Archibald
  • Helen Greene as Leila Archibald
  • Isabel O'Madigan as Mrs. Archibald
  • Frank Losee as Mr. Archibald
  • Nigel Barrie as Carter Brooks
  • William Hinckley
  • Cyril Chadwick as Honorable Page Beresford
  • Leone Morgan as Jane Raleigh
  • Vernon Steele as Adrian Egleston
  • George Odell as The Butler
  • Daisy Belmore as Hannah

Preservation status

All three Bab's films are now presumed lost.[3]

See also


  1. Progressive Silent Film List: Bab's Matinee Idol at
  2. "Reviews: Bab's Matinee Idol". Exhibitors Herald. New York: Exhibitors Herald Company. 5 (25): 27. December 15, 1917.
  3. Nunn, Curtis (1981). Marguerite Clark, America's Darling of Broadway and the Silent Screen. TCU Press. p. VII.

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