Beyond (1921 film)
Beyond is a 1921 American drama silent film based on the play The Lifted Veil by Henry Arthur Jones. The film was directed by William Desmond Taylor and produced by Jesse L. Lasky. It stars Ethel Clayton, Charles Meredith and Earl Schenck. The feature was distributed by Paramount Pictures and was set in part in New Zealand.
Lobby card for film
|Directed by||William Desmond Taylor|
|Produced by||Jesse L. Lasky|
|Screenplay by||Julia Crawford Ivers|
|Based on||The Lifted Veil (play)|
by Henry Arthur Jones
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|October 30, 1921|
On her deathbed, the mother of Avis Langley begs her to watch over her wayward twin brother, Alec. Just before Avis is to be married to Geoffrey Southerne, Alec disappears and the spirit of Mrs. Langley appears to Avis to remind her of her promise. Samuel Ackroyd, from New Zealand, calls to explain that Alec who is engaged to his daughter has disappeared. Avis goes to New Zealand, finds Alec and persuades him to reform and marry Bessie and then sails for home. En route, the steamer is wrecked, and Avis being the only survivor is washed up on the shore of a small island. Geoffery, believing her dead, marries Viva Newmarch whom he does not love. After a year, Avis returns and her mother's spirit comes to console her. She declines to reveal that she is alive, however, until the accidental death of Viva creates the possibility of her reunion with Geoffrey.
The director, William Taylor told the Los Angeles Times in 1921 that, "motion pictures are in their occult age...mysticism has a strong grip on popular fancy, there are those who absorb with avidity every new idea in the subject, from the ouija board on. Others believe strongly in some one phase. But all, total scoffers included, are interested in what is said and done on the subject".
This film is preserved incomplete at the Library of Congress with only three of the five reels.
Reviews and reception
Reviews for the film were generally mediocre. The New York Daily Telegraph (September 11, 1921) praised Clayton's performance saying she did "exceedingly well with the role of the daughter", and noted that the film "would not hold one's attention so well were it not for the star [Clayton] and the well thought out direction of William D. Taylor". The Moving Picture World (September 17, 1921) said of the film, "the big dramatic points seem to miss fire and the death of the second wife [is] a trick of the dramatist’s to bring about a happy ending". J. S. Dickerson's review in the Motion Picture News (September 11, 1921) was critical of the film saying, "the ghost of Ethel's mother shows up every so often to explain that everything will come out all right, but she never tells her anything that will aid in bringing this about...About the only place [Beyond] may be expected to go over is at a spiritualistic camp meeting...it has no theme worthy of respect nor technical construction unusual enough to command interest".
- Library of Congress. Copyright Office (1921). Catalog of Copyright Entries. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 1099–.
- Munden, Kenneth White (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States. University of California Press. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-0-520-20969-5.
- Long, Bruce (1 January 1991). William Desmond Taylor: A Dossier. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 203–. ISBN 978-0-8108-4171-0.
- Catalog of Holdings, The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artist Collections at The Library of Congress (<-book title) p.15 c.1978 published by The American Film Institute
- The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Beyond
- Soister, John T. (2012). American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929. McFarland. pp. 36–38. ISBN 978-0-7864-8790-5.
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