The Quest of the Sacred Gem (1914)

Melodrama | November 1914

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HISTORY

Reviewer Charles R. Condon, in the 28 November 1914 Motography, wrote that the Hindu temple set was "a masterpiece in studio construction...complete in every detail, even to the half-naked, white-haired beggars who adorn the foot of each of the temple's enormous columns." Likewise, the 21 November 1914 Moving Picture World's Hanford C. Judson called the set "so astonishingly like a Brahman temple that one will wonder whether it were really taken in the Occident—it is an excellent specimen of studio craftsmanship." Filming was done at Pathé's American studio at Fort Lee, NJ, but Clifford H. Pangburn, in the 21 November 1914 Motion Picture News added that a rooftop chase on New York's East Side showed the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River in the background.
       This was Edna Mayo's first motion picture, according to the January 1915 Motion Picture Magazine.
       Although no literary source was cited for this film, the plot closely follows the novel The Moonstone, published in London in 1868, by Wilkie Collins. Another adaptation of the novel was released by World Film Corp. under the title The Moonstone (1915, see entry).
       According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant, under the title The Quest of the Sacred Jewel, the same as the title in Pathé's copyright, even though it not used in the 1915 U.S. release. ...

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Reviewer Charles R. Condon, in the 28 November 1914 Motography, wrote that the Hindu temple set was "a masterpiece in studio construction...complete in every detail, even to the half-naked, white-haired beggars who adorn the foot of each of the temple's enormous columns." Likewise, the 21 November 1914 Moving Picture World's Hanford C. Judson called the set "so astonishingly like a Brahman temple that one will wonder whether it were really taken in the Occident—it is an excellent specimen of studio craftsmanship." Filming was done at Pathé's American studio at Fort Lee, NJ, but Clifford H. Pangburn, in the 21 November 1914 Motion Picture News added that a rooftop chase on New York's East Side showed the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River in the background.
       This was Edna Mayo's first motion picture, according to the January 1915 Motion Picture Magazine.
       Although no literary source was cited for this film, the plot closely follows the novel The Moonstone, published in London in 1868, by Wilkie Collins. Another adaptation of the novel was released by World Film Corp. under the title The Moonstone (1915, see entry).
       According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant, under the title The Quest of the Sacred Jewel, the same as the title in Pathé's copyright, even though it not used in the 1915 U.S. release.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture Magazine
Jan 1915
p. 170, 122
Motion Picture News
21 Nov 1914
p. 38
Motography
21 Nov 1914
pp. 718-19
Motography
28 Nov 1914
pp. 726
Moving Picture World
21 Nov 1914
p. 1087, 1140
NYDM
18 Nov 1914
p. 34
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Quest of the Sacred Jewel
Release Date:
November 1914
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Pathé Frèrés
21 October 1914
LU3569
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
4,000
Length(in reels):
4
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

David Harding, while visiting a sacred temple in Barrnipore, India, becomes fascinated with a priceless diamond set in the forehead of a stone elephant god. During a religious festival, he disguises himself as a Hindu, steals the diamond, and escapes to America, but he is followed by several Hindu priests who had observed his theft. On a train leaving New York City, one of the Hindus, hanging from the roof of a Pullman car, stabs Harding in his berth, but is himself hit by a passing telegraph pole and falls to his death before he can get the diamond. Harding's estate is left to his niece, May Rowland, who soon thereafter gives a party to celebrate her engagement to Joe Marsden. During the party, at which she wears the diamond, Joe is lured outside and hypnotized by a Hindu priest disguised as an juggler, and after the guests leave, Joe is instructed to steal the diamond. Later, Joe sneak into May's dressing room and takes the jewel from its drawer, but on his way out, it drops from his grasp unnoticed, and another guest, a young man, picks up and secretes it. He later pawns it to pay off gambling debts. By now, May has called off her engagement, and her family hires a private detective, who eventually solves the case with the help of his antic-prone office boy and clears Joe of complicity in the theft. The Hindus return to India with the diamond, and, as the main priest tries to replace it in the forehead of the stone god, he suffers a heart attack. The stone falls into the incense pot and is consumed by fire, dispelling ...

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David Harding, while visiting a sacred temple in Barrnipore, India, becomes fascinated with a priceless diamond set in the forehead of a stone elephant god. During a religious festival, he disguises himself as a Hindu, steals the diamond, and escapes to America, but he is followed by several Hindu priests who had observed his theft. On a train leaving New York City, one of the Hindus, hanging from the roof of a Pullman car, stabs Harding in his berth, but is himself hit by a passing telegraph pole and falls to his death before he can get the diamond. Harding's estate is left to his niece, May Rowland, who soon thereafter gives a party to celebrate her engagement to Joe Marsden. During the party, at which she wears the diamond, Joe is lured outside and hypnotized by a Hindu priest disguised as an juggler, and after the guests leave, Joe is instructed to steal the diamond. Later, Joe sneak into May's dressing room and takes the jewel from its drawer, but on his way out, it drops from his grasp unnoticed, and another guest, a young man, picks up and secretes it. He later pawns it to pay off gambling debts. By now, May has called off her engagement, and her family hires a private detective, who eventually solves the case with the help of his antic-prone office boy and clears Joe of complicity in the theft. The Hindus return to India with the diamond, and, as the main priest tries to replace it in the forehead of the stone god, he suffers a heart attack. The stone falls into the incense pot and is consumed by fire, dispelling the curse. May and Joe are happily reunited.

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

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