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HISTORY

The Sign of the Rose was originally a vaudeville piece in which Beban starred for five years, playing around the world. Klaw and Erlanger produced the subsequent four-act play from which the film was based. The film opened in Los Angeles on 12 Apr 1915 in nine reels under the name The Sign of the Rose , at Clune's Auditorium, where The Birth of a Nation had just finished its nine-week run. The film opened under the title The Alien in New York on 31 May 1915. In both of these showings, and in subsequent showings in large theaters around the country, the film ended as the character Pietro enters the flower shop to buy a rose for his daughter's coffin. The curtain then rose and lights came up on a stage set of the flower shop. The actors from the film then appeared live and enacted the denouement, which lasted for approximately thirty minutes. The film was released nationally in Jul 1915 in eight reels, with a filmed ending replacing the staged one. The Los Angeles showing had a musical score by Lloyd Brown and Carli D. Elinor, which included vocal selections. Some sources call the character played by Blanche Schwed "Rosa" rather than "Rosina." Some scenes in this film were shot at Mt. Baldy, CA. Some reviews refer to the film's title as An Alien . In 1922 George Beban Productions produced a film from the same source entitled The Sign of the Rose , which in its pre-release showings included live action mixed with filmed action during ... More Less

The Sign of the Rose was originally a vaudeville piece in which Beban starred for five years, playing around the world. Klaw and Erlanger produced the subsequent four-act play from which the film was based. The film opened in Los Angeles on 12 Apr 1915 in nine reels under the name The Sign of the Rose , at Clune's Auditorium, where The Birth of a Nation had just finished its nine-week run. The film opened under the title The Alien in New York on 31 May 1915. In both of these showings, and in subsequent showings in large theaters around the country, the film ended as the character Pietro enters the flower shop to buy a rose for his daughter's coffin. The curtain then rose and lights came up on a stage set of the flower shop. The actors from the film then appeared live and enacted the denouement, which lasted for approximately thirty minutes. The film was released nationally in Jul 1915 in eight reels, with a filmed ending replacing the staged one. The Los Angeles showing had a musical score by Lloyd Brown and Carli D. Elinor, which included vocal selections. Some sources call the character played by Blanche Schwed "Rosa" rather than "Rosina." Some scenes in this film were shot at Mt. Baldy, CA. Some reviews refer to the film's title as An Alien . In 1922 George Beban Productions produced a film from the same source entitled The Sign of the Rose , which in its pre-release showings included live action mixed with filmed action during the last two reels (see entry).
       The 12 Apr 1915 Clune's Auditorium opening engagement program reads: "Messrs. Kessel and Baumann Presents [sic] The Distinguished Character Actor MR. GEORGE BEBAN In His Own Unique Combination of the Silent and Spoken Drama "The Sign of the Rose" In Ten Reels and One Act Produced Under the Personal Supervision of Thomas H. Ince." This program also credits W. J. Kane with the role of Lynch instead of Edward Gillespie. Lloyd Brown was the manager of Clune's Auditorium, and it is unlikely he was involved in preparing the musical accompaniment for the film. The opening program states: Musical Program by Augmented Orchestra Conducted by CARLI D. ELINOR—RAY HASTINGS, Organist." For the live stage portion of the premiere engagement the program notes: "Production Designed and Built by Thos. Brierly—Properties by Harry Elwell—All Plants and Floral Decorations by Howard & Smith, 9th and Olive Sts." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motog
10 Apr 15
p. 572.
Motog
1 May 15
p. 691.
Motog
12 Jun 15
p. 957.
Motog
19 Jun 15
p. 1035.
MPN
6 Feb 15
p. 35.
MPN
27 Feb 15
p. 41.
MPN
6 Mar 15
p. 42.
MPN
27 Mar 15
p. 45.
MPN
3 Apr 15
p. 150.
MPN
1 May 15
p. 43.
MPW
27 Feb 15
p. 1300.
MPW
24 Apr 15
p. 535, 561
MPW
1 May 15
pp. 740-41.
MPW
12 Jun 15
p. 1789.
MPW
24 Jul 15
p. 732.
NYDM
2 Jun 15
p. 28.
NYDM
30 Jun 15
p. 24.
Variety
4 Jun 15
p. 18.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Sign of the Rose
Release Date:
July 1915
Copyright Claimant:
New York Motion Picture Corp.
Copyright Date:
2 August 1915
Copyright Number:
LU5992
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
8-9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Pietro Massena, a poor Italian ditch-digger, lovingly raises his motherless daughter Rosina. Phil Griswold, in order to throw a party to celebrate his expected inheritance, induces his friend Robbins to rob the flower shop where he works. After the inheritance goes to Phil's brother William, who refuses Phil money to return to the flower shop, Phil kidnaps William's daughter Dorothy and sends a "Black Hand" ransom demand to throw suspicion onto Pietro, who earlier frightened Dorothy when he delivered a Christmas tree to William's house. William drives into the slums looking for Pietro and accidentally runs down Rosina. The grieving Pietro goes to the flower shop on Christmas morning to buy a rose for Rosina's coffin and is accused of the kidnapping, because Phil arranged to have a man known by "the sign of the rose" pick up the ransom money there. Pietro threatens to kill the arresting detective so that he can return to his "bambino," when William arrives with news that Dorothy has been found. William offers Pietro compensation, but he refuses and sorrowfully returns ... +


Pietro Massena, a poor Italian ditch-digger, lovingly raises his motherless daughter Rosina. Phil Griswold, in order to throw a party to celebrate his expected inheritance, induces his friend Robbins to rob the flower shop where he works. After the inheritance goes to Phil's brother William, who refuses Phil money to return to the flower shop, Phil kidnaps William's daughter Dorothy and sends a "Black Hand" ransom demand to throw suspicion onto Pietro, who earlier frightened Dorothy when he delivered a Christmas tree to William's house. William drives into the slums looking for Pietro and accidentally runs down Rosina. The grieving Pietro goes to the flower shop on Christmas morning to buy a rose for Rosina's coffin and is accused of the kidnapping, because Phil arranged to have a man known by "the sign of the rose" pick up the ransom money there. Pietro threatens to kill the arresting detective so that he can return to his "bambino," when William arrives with news that Dorothy has been found. William offers Pietro compensation, but he refuses and sorrowfully returns home. +

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.