Romance (1920 film)

Romance is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by Chester Withey and released through United Artists. The film is based on the 1913 play Romance by Edward Sheldon and stars Doris Keane, the actress who created the role in the play. This was Miss Keane's only motion picture. D. W. Griffith allowed the use of his Mamaroneck Studios for the production. The nephew of Griffith's favorite cameraman, Billy Bitzer, was the cinematographer. The story was later remade as Romance in 1930, an early talking vehicle for Greta Garbo.

Film still with Sydney and Keane
Directed byChester Withey
Produced by?Doris Keane (copyright)
?Albert Grey (copyright)
Written byWells Hastings (scenario)
Based onRomance
by Edward Sheldon
StarringDoris Keane
Basil Sydney
CinematographyLouis Bitzer
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • May 30, 1920 (1920-05-30)
Running time
70 minutes (7 reels)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

No copies of Romance are known to survive making it a lost film.[1]


As described in a film publication,[2] a youth (Arthur Rankin) in the prologue seeks advice from his grandfather (Sydney), who then recalls a romance of his own youth which is then shown as a flashback. A priest (Sydney) is in love with an Italian opera singer (Keane), and the drama involves the conflict between his efforts to rise above worldly things or to leave with her. The romance ends with a deep note of pathos.



The movie was based on a hit play and was financed by fledgling United Artists. $150,000 was spent on the story and Doris Keane's salary. It went $100,000 over budget and recorded a loss of $80,000.[3]


  1. Progressive Silent Film List: Romance (1920) at
  2. "Romance: Artistic Production Given Play of Love and Sentiment". Motion Picture News. New York City: Motion Picture News, Inc. 21 (23): 4545. May 29, 1920. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  3. Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3.

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