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HISTORY

Sources vary concerning the cameraman. Information in the copyright descriptions and the ETR review credits Louis Ostland, while Wid's credits Lucien Tainguy.
       An 11 May 1918 Motography brief announced that novelist and short story writer Roy Somerville had written Hitting the Trail for World Film Corp. One month later, the 1 Jun 1918 Exhibitors Herald stated that director Dell Henderson had commenced work on the film. Shooting took place at World Film’s studio facilities in Fort Lee, NJ, and on location in New York City and Coney Island, NY, as stated in a 15 Jun 1918 Motion Picture News brief. The same issue noted that actress Belle Seacombe was cast in the role of a flower factory forewoman, and an 8 Jun 1918 item reported that actress Evelyn Greeley had learned the art of artificial flower making for her role. Some scenes were filmed in the Chinatown district of New York City, specifically at a Chinatown Mission located in a former theater at 10 Mott Street. An item in the 15 Jun 1918 Moving Picture World claimed that Hitting the Trail would offer “the first views in a motion picture feature of the famous Chinatown Mission” whose purpose was to “reclaim girls and secure positions for them, to give temporary shelter to the unfortunate breaking away from drug habit, and also those who are broken in physical, moral and spiritual health.” Boxing scenes shot in the Fort Lee studio featured real-life boxers Kid Broad and Eddie Kelly, according to a 21 Sep 1918 [Edmonton, Alberta] Edmonton Journal article.
       Contemporary ...

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Sources vary concerning the cameraman. Information in the copyright descriptions and the ETR review credits Louis Ostland, while Wid's credits Lucien Tainguy.
       An 11 May 1918 Motography brief announced that novelist and short story writer Roy Somerville had written Hitting the Trail for World Film Corp. One month later, the 1 Jun 1918 Exhibitors Herald stated that director Dell Henderson had commenced work on the film. Shooting took place at World Film’s studio facilities in Fort Lee, NJ, and on location in New York City and Coney Island, NY, as stated in a 15 Jun 1918 Motion Picture News brief. The same issue noted that actress Belle Seacombe was cast in the role of a flower factory forewoman, and an 8 Jun 1918 item reported that actress Evelyn Greeley had learned the art of artificial flower making for her role. Some scenes were filmed in the Chinatown district of New York City, specifically at a Chinatown Mission located in a former theater at 10 Mott Street. An item in the 15 Jun 1918 Moving Picture World claimed that Hitting the Trail would offer “the first views in a motion picture feature of the famous Chinatown Mission” whose purpose was to “reclaim girls and secure positions for them, to give temporary shelter to the unfortunate breaking away from drug habit, and also those who are broken in physical, moral and spiritual health.” Boxing scenes shot in the Fort Lee studio featured real-life boxers Kid Broad and Eddie Kelly, according to a 21 Sep 1918 [Edmonton, Alberta] Edmonton Journal article.
       Contemporary sources listed varying release dates. The 19 Oct 1918, 2 Nov 1918, and 21 Dec 1918 editions of Motion Picture News cited issue dates of 18 Nov 1918, 9 Dec 1918, and 16 Dec 1918, respectively. The 17 Nov 1918 Washington Post advertised a 23 Nov 1918 opening at the Knickerbocker Theatre, and the 22 Nov 1918 [Wilmington, DE] Morning News noted that the picture would be shown the next two nights at the Savoy Theatre. An otherwise negative review in Var, published on 22 Nov 1918, noted that the film offered some interesting views of Coney Island’s Luna Park amusement park. MPN, in their review, mentioned the film's depictions of "the quick wit of the Irish" and "a lustful Italian."

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alberta]
21 Sep 1918
p. 25.
Evening Journal [Wilmington, DE]
21 Nov 1918
p. 13.
Evening Star [Washington, D.C.]
22 Nov 1918
p. 28.
Exhibitors Herald
1 Jun 1918
p. 27.
Exhibitors Trade Review
30 Nov 1918
p. 2079.
Morning News [Wilmington, DE]
22 Nov 1918
p. 3.
Motion Picture News
11 May 1918
p. 2834.
Motion Picture News
1 Jun 1918
p. 3281.
Motion Picture News
8 Jun 1918
p. 3449.
Motion Picture News
15 Jun 1918
p. 3593.
Motion Picture News
22 Jun 1918
p. 3718.
Motion Picture News
19 Oct 1918
p. 2610.
Motion Picture News
2 Nov 1918
p. 2805.
Motion Picture News
30 Nov 1918
p. 3271.
Motion Picture News
21 Dec 1918
p. 3745.
Motography
11 May 1918
p. 923.
Motography
15 Jun 1918
p. 1147.
Motography
22 Jun 1918
p. 1162.
Moving Picture World
15 Jun 1918
p. 1597.
Moving Picture World
22 Jun 1918
p. 1728.
NYDM
14 Dec 1918
p. 880.
Variety
22 Nov 1918
p. 45.
Washington Post [Washington, D.C.]
17 Nov 1918
p. 14.
Wid's Daily
3 Dec 1918.
---
Wid's Daily
8 Dec 1918
p. 9.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
Dell Henderson
Dir
WRITERS
Roy Somerville
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 November 1918
Premiere Information:
Wilmington, DE, opening: 22 Nov 1918; Washington, D.C., opening: 23 Nov 1918
Production Date:
began late May or Jun 1918
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
World Film Corp.
18 November 1918
LU13123
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Kid Kelly, a gangster in New York's Lower East Side, attempts to rob the store of Goldberg the milliner. When the police arrive, Flo Haines, who had come to the building to look at an apartment, hides. When the police find her, they charge her with the crime, but the Kid turns himself over to the law instead. After his release, he again meets Flo, who works by day in an artifical flower factory, and by night in Reverend Roberts's relief mission, and soon falls in love with her. The Kid's jealous sweetheart Mamie tricks Flo into coming to her apartment, where she drugs the girl and turns her over to Joe Carelli, the lustful owner of the flower factory. The Kid saves Flo, but when Carelli is found murdered the next day, he is arrested for the crime. The confession of Annie, who had stabbed Carelli in a jealous rage, frees the Kid, who reforms himself and marries ...

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Kid Kelly, a gangster in New York's Lower East Side, attempts to rob the store of Goldberg the milliner. When the police arrive, Flo Haines, who had come to the building to look at an apartment, hides. When the police find her, they charge her with the crime, but the Kid turns himself over to the law instead. After his release, he again meets Flo, who works by day in an artifical flower factory, and by night in Reverend Roberts's relief mission, and soon falls in love with her. The Kid's jealous sweetheart Mamie tricks Flo into coming to her apartment, where she drugs the girl and turns her over to Joe Carelli, the lustful owner of the flower factory. The Kid saves Flo, but when Carelli is found murdered the next day, he is arrested for the crime. The confession of Annie, who had stabbed Carelli in a jealous rage, frees the Kid, who reforms himself and marries Flo.

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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.