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HISTORY

The 5 Jun 1915 Motography included Samuel Merwin and Henry Kitchell Webster’s 1907 novel, Comrade John, among a list of literary works recently acquired by the Pathé Exchange, Inc. The upcoming production, featuring Ruth Roland and Broadway star William Elliott, was announced in the 17 Jul 1915 Motion Picture News. Elliott was expected at Balboa Amusement Producing Co. studios in Long Beach, CA, during the early part of the following week. The picture marked Roland’s first appearance in a Pathé “Gold Rooster Plays” release. A news item in the 30 Jul 1915 Var mistakenly identified Elliott’s co-star as Mary Boland.
       According to the 7 Aug 1915 Motion Picture News, principal photography was currently underway. A 400-foot Paris, France, street set was constructed for the production. Although the scenario called for a miniature palace to be destroyed in the film’s climactic fire sequence, Balboa general manager H. M. Horkheimer commissioned a full-sized palace set, valued at $3,000, to be built in a canyon outside the city, along with the installation of water pipes, access roads, and a lake. Business manager Norman Manning was credited with directing the project.
       Comrade John opened 29 Oct 1915. In contrast to positive reviews from other publications, the 12 Nov 1915 Var noted “innumerable inconsistencies in the stage direction, so crude as to be laughable.” ... More Less

The 5 Jun 1915 Motography included Samuel Merwin and Henry Kitchell Webster’s 1907 novel, Comrade John, among a list of literary works recently acquired by the Pathé Exchange, Inc. The upcoming production, featuring Ruth Roland and Broadway star William Elliott, was announced in the 17 Jul 1915 Motion Picture News. Elliott was expected at Balboa Amusement Producing Co. studios in Long Beach, CA, during the early part of the following week. The picture marked Roland’s first appearance in a Pathé “Gold Rooster Plays” release. A news item in the 30 Jul 1915 Var mistakenly identified Elliott’s co-star as Mary Boland.
       According to the 7 Aug 1915 Motion Picture News, principal photography was currently underway. A 400-foot Paris, France, street set was constructed for the production. Although the scenario called for a miniature palace to be destroyed in the film’s climactic fire sequence, Balboa general manager H. M. Horkheimer commissioned a full-sized palace set, valued at $3,000, to be built in a canyon outside the city, along with the installation of water pipes, access roads, and a lake. Business manager Norman Manning was credited with directing the project.
       Comrade John opened 29 Oct 1915. In contrast to positive reviews from other publications, the 12 Nov 1915 Var noted “innumerable inconsistencies in the stage direction, so crude as to be laughable.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture News
17 Jul 1915
p. 33, 109
Motion Picture News
7 Aug 1915
p. 62
Motion Picture News
6 Nov 1915
p. 81, 85
Motography
5 Jun 1915
p. 917
Motography
6 Nov 1915
p. 970, 994
Moving Picture World
23 Oct 1915
p. 637
Moving Picture World
30a Oct 1915
p. 969, 984, 1030
Variety
15 May 1915
p. 1090
Variety
30 Jul 1915
p. 18
Variety
12 Nov 1915
p. 23
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Gold Rooster Plays
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Comrade John by Samuel Merwin, Henry Kitchell Webster (New York, 1907).
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 October 1915
Production Date:
began Jul 1915
Copyright Claimant:
Pathé-Frères
Copyright Date:
27 October 1915
Copyright Number:
LU6783
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Architect John Chance is hired to build a "Dream City" for a religious cult leader, Prophet Herman Stein. During a visit to Paris, France, John rescues fellow American Cynthia Grey from riotous masqueraders at a carnival. On her voyage home, Cynthia is recruited by Stein, who believes that her beauty will attract others. John builds the city, but credits the effort to Stein’s "comrades," in keeping with the cult’s motto, "Beauty Through Toil." Although Cynthia and John are in love, the married Stein attempts to seduce her. John informs the newspapers of the cult leader’s fraudulent financial practices, prompting the "comrades" to burn the "Dream City." John carries Cynthia to safety, and Stein dies in the blaze while attempting to escape with his ill-gotten gains. ... +


Architect John Chance is hired to build a "Dream City" for a religious cult leader, Prophet Herman Stein. During a visit to Paris, France, John rescues fellow American Cynthia Grey from riotous masqueraders at a carnival. On her voyage home, Cynthia is recruited by Stein, who believes that her beauty will attract others. John builds the city, but credits the effort to Stein’s "comrades," in keeping with the cult’s motto, "Beauty Through Toil." Although Cynthia and John are in love, the married Stein attempts to seduce her. John informs the newspapers of the cult leader’s fraudulent financial practices, prompting the "comrades" to burn the "Dream City." John carries Cynthia to safety, and Stein dies in the blaze while attempting to escape with his ill-gotten gains. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.