The Nightingale (1914 film)

The Nightingale is a 1914 American silent drama film directed and written by Augustus Thomas and released by Alco Film Corporation. It is the motion picture debut of Ethel Barrymore in a story written especially for her by Thomas. Thomas, famed as a Broadway playwright, was the best friend of Barrymore's father Maurice and had known the actress since she was a child.[1] As with many of Barrymore's films to come, the advertising for this film says the film is told in 'acts' as with a stage play, an effort to remind the audience of the star's status and preference for the legitimate stage. This film is long thought to be lost.[2][3][4][5]

The Nightingale
Ad for film
Directed byAugustus E. Thomas
Produced byAll Star Feature Film Corporation
Written byAugustus Thomas
StarringEthel Barrymore
Distributed byAlco Film Corporation
Release date
  • October 5, 1914 (1914-10-05)
Running time
5 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


The story of this film is similar to Clyde Fitch's 1901 play Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines in which Barrymore became a star playing an Italian opera singer. Fitch had died in 1909 and Charles Frohman, Barrymore's theatrical employer, owned the rights to Captain Jinks. Augustus Thomas, a Barrymore family friend and author, fashioned a similar story for Barrymore enticing her make a film with material she was familiar with. This was common practice in the silent era to make a write-around story to popular works in which screen rights could not be attained.

A screen version of Fitch's Captain Jinks was later made with Ann Murdock.


  • Ethel Barrymore as Isola Franti, 'The Nightingale'
  • William Courtleigh as Tony Franti
  • Frank Andrews as Andrea Franti
  • Conway Tearle as Charles Marden
  • Charles A. Stevenson as Nathan Narden
  • Irving Brooks as 'Red' Galvin
  • Mario Majeroni as David Mantz
  • Philip Hahn as Jean de Resni
  • Ida Darling as Mrs. Belmore
  • Bobby Stewart as Nathan Marden II
  • Henri Antiznat as Prefect of Police
  • Frank Dudley as Frank
  • M. Monet as Gazzi Catassi
  • Caroline French as Maid
  • Mrs. Cooper Cliffe as Nola
  • Claude Cooper as Madonni
  • Ed West as Police Sergeant


  1. Great Times, Good Times:The Odyssey of Maurice Barrymore, Doubleday Press, c.1977 by James Kotsilibas Davis
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1911-20 by The American Film Institute, c. 1988
  3. The Nightingale at
  4. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: The Nightingale
  5. The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:The Nightingale

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