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HISTORY

The 31 Oct 1914 Motion Picture News announced that Broadway stage actress Mabel Taliaferro had signed with B. A. Rolfe Photo Plays, Inc., to star in her first motion picture, an adaptation of the popular stage play The Three of Us. Two weeks later, the 14 Nov 1914 issue of Motography (released on 7 Nov) reported that shooting was set to begin the following week. “The intensely dramatic scenes of the play laid in the mining region will be taken in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, while the interiors will be taken in New York.” More specifically, interiors were filmed at the Rolfe studios in Yonkers, NY, the 12 Dec 1914 New York Clipper mentioned. The role of “Rhy MacChesney” called for a familiarity with horses. “She rides, and on one occasion there is a spirited race with a railroad train,” the 21 Nov 1914 Motion Picture News noted; as the 5 Dec 1914 New York Clipper revealed, Taliaferro was a good fit. “She is, in private life, quite at home on the back of a thoroughbred, and so the long race over the mountain to save the mine, ‘The Three of Us,’ was nothing strange to her.”
       For the film’s finale, according to the aforementioned New York Clipper item, dynamite was used to blow a hole in one of Mauch Chunk’s rugged mountainsides. “The explosion was real before the cameras—so real, in fact, that none of the characters was permitted to figure in the scene.”
       Reviewer Clifford H. Pangburn, writing in the 2 Jan 1914 Motion Picture News, commented that the mining location ...

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The 31 Oct 1914 Motion Picture News announced that Broadway stage actress Mabel Taliaferro had signed with B. A. Rolfe Photo Plays, Inc., to star in her first motion picture, an adaptation of the popular stage play The Three of Us. Two weeks later, the 14 Nov 1914 issue of Motography (released on 7 Nov) reported that shooting was set to begin the following week. “The intensely dramatic scenes of the play laid in the mining region will be taken in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, while the interiors will be taken in New York.” More specifically, interiors were filmed at the Rolfe studios in Yonkers, NY, the 12 Dec 1914 New York Clipper mentioned. The role of “Rhy MacChesney” called for a familiarity with horses. “She rides, and on one occasion there is a spirited race with a railroad train,” the 21 Nov 1914 Motion Picture News noted; as the 5 Dec 1914 New York Clipper revealed, Taliaferro was a good fit. “She is, in private life, quite at home on the back of a thoroughbred, and so the long race over the mountain to save the mine, ‘The Three of Us,’ was nothing strange to her.”
       For the film’s finale, according to the aforementioned New York Clipper item, dynamite was used to blow a hole in one of Mauch Chunk’s rugged mountainsides. “The explosion was real before the cameras—so real, in fact, that none of the characters was permitted to figure in the scene.”
       Reviewer Clifford H. Pangburn, writing in the 2 Jan 1914 Motion Picture News, commented that the mining location in eastern Pennsylvania’s Poconos “does not resemble the mining region of Colorado very closely, but considering the limitations imposed by taking the picture in the East, John W. Noble, the director, has accomplished wonders in exterior effects.” Pangburn also praised the fight between hero “Steve Towney” and villain “Louis Beresford,” which he called “the most realistic” he had seen in some time, “and is bound to have any audience on the edge of the seats.” Hanford C. Judson, reviewer for the 2 Jan 1915 Moving Picture World, added, “they really break the cabin up.”
       Other early films shot in the picturesque mining town of Mauch Chunk, PA, were Circular Panorama of Mauch Chunk, Penna. (1901), Panoramic View of Switchback, Mauch Chunk (1902), and Loading a Train with Stone (1903, see entries). The 1970 motion picture The Molly Maguires (see entry) was also filmed there. In 1953, Mauch Chunk changed its name to Jim Thorpe, in honor of the Olympic champion.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
Corporate note credit:
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture News
31 Oct 1914
p. 67.
Motion Picture News
21 Nov 1914
p. 22.
Motion Picture News
19 Dec 1914
p. 39.
Motion Picture News
2 Jan 1915
p. 45.
Motion Picture News
9 Jan 1915
p. 58.
Motion Picture News
30 Jan 1915
p. 34.
Motography
14 Nov 1914
p. 658.
Motography
2 Jan 1915
p. 41.
Moving Picture World
2 Jan 1915
p. 79, 139.
New York Clipper
5 Dec 1914
p. 14.
New York Clipper
12 Dec 1914
p. 6.
NYDM
23 Dec 1914
p. 37.
Variety
25 Dec 1914
p. 42.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Three of Us by Rachel Crothers (New York, 17 Oct 1906).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 December 1914
Production Date:
Nov-early Dec 1914
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Rhy MacChesney and her younger brothers, Clem and Sonny, inherit an unprofitable Colorado gold mine, called The Three of Us, from their late father. Steve Towney, who loves Rhy, owns what has been an equally unsuccessful mine adjoining theirs. One day Steve’s luck changes when he accidentally discovers gold, but he must register his claim in Gold City by noon the following day or loose title to the mine. Rhy urges him to wait until after that night’s Halloween dinner at Mr. and Mrs. Bix’s house and go in the morning. Clem overhears their conversation and, wanting $500 to go East, sells the information to rival miner Louis Beresford, who represents a mining company. That night, when Rhy finds that someone has taken the papers and ore samples Steve entrusted to her, she suspects Beresford and sneaks into his cabin to retrieve them. Steve sees Rhy entering Bereford’s place and misinterprets her actions, but when Beresford catches her and tries to take sexual advantage, Steve rushes in and thrashes him. Steve accuses Rhy of stealing his claim, but she proves her love and honesty by taking a wild, daring ride across the mountains to register Steve’s claim just in time to save his mine from Beresford’s machinations. In the end, Steve uses dynamite to open his mine and discovers that the vein of gold also runs through the adjacent MacChesney ...

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Rhy MacChesney and her younger brothers, Clem and Sonny, inherit an unprofitable Colorado gold mine, called The Three of Us, from their late father. Steve Towney, who loves Rhy, owns what has been an equally unsuccessful mine adjoining theirs. One day Steve’s luck changes when he accidentally discovers gold, but he must register his claim in Gold City by noon the following day or loose title to the mine. Rhy urges him to wait until after that night’s Halloween dinner at Mr. and Mrs. Bix’s house and go in the morning. Clem overhears their conversation and, wanting $500 to go East, sells the information to rival miner Louis Beresford, who represents a mining company. That night, when Rhy finds that someone has taken the papers and ore samples Steve entrusted to her, she suspects Beresford and sneaks into his cabin to retrieve them. Steve sees Rhy entering Bereford’s place and misinterprets her actions, but when Beresford catches her and tries to take sexual advantage, Steve rushes in and thrashes him. Steve accuses Rhy of stealing his claim, but she proves her love and honesty by taking a wild, daring ride across the mountains to register Steve’s claim just in time to save his mine from Beresford’s machinations. In the end, Steve uses dynamite to open his mine and discovers that the vein of gold also runs through the adjacent MacChesney property.

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

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