Deserted at the Altar

Deserted at the Altar is a 1922 American silent film melodrama[1] directed by William K. Howard[1] and produced by Phil Goldstone Productions.[6] It stars Bessie Love and Tully Marshall. Its preservation status is unknown.[8]

Deserted at the Altar
Directed byWilliam K. Howard
Produced byPhil Goldstone
Written byGrace Miller White[1]
Based on
  • Deserted at the Altar (play)
    by Pierce Kingsley[2][3]
  • Deserted at the Altar (novel)
    by Grace Miller White[4]
Starring
Cinematography
Production
company
Phil Goldstone Productions[6]
Release date
  • December 1, 1922 (1922-12-01) (U.S.)[7]
Running time
7 reels[1]
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Production

The film is a Poverty Row (Gower Street) production, and was filmed in only ten days.[9]

Plot

Two villains plan to steal the inheritance of Anna Moore (Love) by marrying her. When her brother Tommy (Lee) is hit by a car, the wealthy driver pays the doctor bills, and falls in love with Anna. This thwarts the villains' initial plans, who hire a woman to pose as the wealthy driver's estranged mother of his baby, and stop the wedding. When the woman reveals her true identity, the villains are exposed, and Anna and her rich fiancee are reunited.[1][7]

Cast

Promotion and release

The film is notable for its then-novel methods of promotion, which included stunts, such as weddings in movie theaters,[12] and staged "Just Married" car rides around town.[13]

On its release, the film was shown with the short Fighting Blood in some theaters.[14]

Reception

Generally, the film received positive reviews,[15][16][17][18] although some reviewers thought that "Director Howard has used nearly two reels too much in telling the story"[1] and the plot twists were not believable. There was speculation that more clear title would have improved theater attendance even more.[19]

The film was commercially successful.[20]

References

  1. "More Old Fashioned Melodrama with Regulation Hokum". The Film Daily. October 1, 1922. p. 14.
  2. Goble, Alan, ed. (September 8, 2011). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. p. 261. ISBN 978-3-11-095194-3.
  3. Kingsley, Pierce (1902). Deserted at the Altar: a Melodrama in Four Acts. OCLC 17422107.
  4. Blaney, Charles E. (1907). "Popular Novels Written from Plays".
  5. Love, Bessie (1977). From Hollywood with Love: An Autobiography of Bessie Love. London: Elm Tree Books. p. 151. OCLC 734075937.
  6. Beall, Harry Hammond (September 2, 1922). "With the Procession in Los Angeles". Exhibitors Herald. p. 105.
  7. Munden, Kenneth W., ed. (1971). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films 1921–1930. New York: R.R. Bowker Company. p. 181. OCLC 664500075.
  8. "Progressive Silent Film List: Deserted at the Altar". Silent Era.
  9. Love, Bessie (December 5, 1969). "Grease Paint and the Rent". The Christian Science Monitor. p. 12.
  10. Beall, Harry Hammond (July 8, 1922). "With the Procession in Los Angeles". Exhibitors Herald. p. 52.
  11. Paietta, Ann Catherine; Kauppila, Jean L. (1994). Animals on Screen and Radio: An Annotated Sourcebook. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-8108-2939-8.
  12. Two couples who wed in movie theaters were:
    • William G. Swope and Elinor K. Foose in Harrisburg, PA. – "Regional News from Correspondents". Motion Picture News. January 6, 1923. p. 81.
    • Earl Prantzman and Myrtle Martin in Butler, PA. – "Old, But Still Dough Maker". Moving Picture World. February 10, 1923. p. 580. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  13. "Effective Street Ballyhoo for "Deserted at the Altar"". Motion Picture News. February 10, 1923. p. 701.
  14. "Voice of the Box Office". Exhibitors Trade Review. Vol. 13 no. 26. May 26, 1923. p. 1271.
  15. Positive reviews:
    • Couch, C.G. (April 14, 1923). "State Rights". Moving Picture World. p. 755. Capacity business for four nights. Picture very good.
    • Pilosi, Louis (April 21, 1923). "State Rights". Moving Picture World. p. 846. A real picture of rural drama and must say that it is true to life.
    • Lichtman, Al (February 24, 1923). "Deserted at the Altar". Exhibitors Trade Review. Vol. 13 no. 13. p. 669. Went well for three days.
  16. Summarized reviews, all positive, from "Consensus of Published Reviews". Moving Picture World. January 6, 1927. p. 58.
    • M.P.W. – "A simple story, well told, Inspired by melodrama of the same title."
    • T.R. – "Any exhibitor seeking rural drama with a goodly bit of humor will be repaid for examining it."
    • N. – "It makes a fair entertainment because the sponsors have had the foresight to humanize it in every way possible."
    • P.D. – "The picture offers entertainment only for a certain crowd, those who are satisfied with Improbable situations and the usual melodramatic hokum."
  17. Quotes from various reviews: "Deserted at the Altar". Exhibitors Trade Review. Vol. 13 no. 7. January 13, 1923. p. 368. Picture has been playing to a knockout business throughout the territory, and repeated its success here with one of the best weeks since last winter. … The picture is even more redolent of realistic happenings and exciting situations than was the play. … picture went strong for big crowds, especially at night. Made genuine hit.
  18. Lukewarm to negative reviews (first 2 from same theater):
    • Angelmire, C.A. (June 16, 1923). "Deserted at the Altar (Goldstone)". Exhibitors Herald. p. 77. A good little picture. It is not elaborate, but will please them. Poor attendance, but can't explain it.
    • Anglemiro, C.A. (July 7, 1923). "State Rights". Moving Picture World. p. 84. Star cast. A good clean little picture. It is not wonderful or elaborate, but it is good. We can't seem to get them out to see the pictures anymore. Usual advertising brought poor attendance.
    • "Big Houses Say". Motion Picture News. January 13, 1923. p. 187. Picture and business both poor
  19. "The Screen in Review". Picture-Play Magazine. Vol. 17 no. 5. January 1923. p. 104. The title is an error of judgment, because it will lure in the type of people who can't appreciate these fine points and will keep out those who can.
  20. Three examples:
    • "C.C. Burr Will Spend a Fortune in Advertising". Moving Picture World. January 6, 1923. p. 76. The picture did a splendid business.
    • "New Pittsburgh 'Change Formed". Moving Picture World. February 24, 1923. p. 796. Merit Film Exchange here is reporting big business on 'Deserted at the Altar.' In fact, according to reports heard in Film Now, the Phil Goldstone picture is grossing more money than any picture that exchange has handled.
    • "Voice of the Box Office". Exhibitors Trade Review. Vol. 13 no. 26. May 26, 1923. p. 1271. Good business.
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