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HISTORY

Principal photography was underway as of 15 April 1916 at Thanhouser Studios in Jacksonville, FL, according to that day’s issue of Moving Picture World. The star was referred to as “Mlle. Valkyrien,” also known as Valda Valkyrien, Adele Frede, Adele Freed, and the Baroness Dewitz. Her stage name, Valkyrien, was purportedly bestowed upon her by the King of Denmark, when she won a beauty contest in 1914, although other sources suggest that the contest was held in the U.S. The picture’s working title was The Image Maker of Thebes.
       The 6 May 1916 Motography noted that “an ancient Egyptian temple” set was built for the production in Atlantic Beach, FL. The 20 April 1916 New York Age stated that the cast featured a company of African American actors led by Irvin G. Miller. A review in the 14 April 1917 [Pensacola, FL] Pensacola News Journal revealed that real alligators were used for a scene in which the title character is eaten alive at the behest of an Egyptian pharaoh. The close of production was announced in the 3 June 1916 Motography. Items in the 25 November 1916 and 13 January 1917 issues of Motion Picture News indicated that the title had been shortened to The Image Maker, although the film was advertised by its working title in the 27 February 1917 [Oneonta, NY] Oneonta Star.
       The picture was released on 21 January 1917, followed by openings on 26 January 1917 at the Palace Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA, and ...

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Principal photography was underway as of 15 April 1916 at Thanhouser Studios in Jacksonville, FL, according to that day’s issue of Moving Picture World. The star was referred to as “Mlle. Valkyrien,” also known as Valda Valkyrien, Adele Frede, Adele Freed, and the Baroness Dewitz. Her stage name, Valkyrien, was purportedly bestowed upon her by the King of Denmark, when she won a beauty contest in 1914, although other sources suggest that the contest was held in the U.S. The picture’s working title was The Image Maker of Thebes.
       The 6 May 1916 Motography noted that “an ancient Egyptian temple” set was built for the production in Atlantic Beach, FL. The 20 April 1916 New York Age stated that the cast featured a company of African American actors led by Irvin G. Miller. A review in the 14 April 1917 [Pensacola, FL] Pensacola News Journal revealed that real alligators were used for a scene in which the title character is eaten alive at the behest of an Egyptian pharaoh. The close of production was announced in the 3 June 1916 Motography. Items in the 25 November 1916 and 13 January 1917 issues of Motion Picture News indicated that the title had been shortened to The Image Maker, although the film was advertised by its working title in the 27 February 1917 [Oneonta, NY] Oneonta Star.
       The picture was released on 21 January 1917, followed by openings on 26 January 1917 at the Palace Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA, and on 29 January 1917 at Loew’s Broadway Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. The scenario was adapted by Grace Ade as a short story for the February 1917 Photo-Play Journal.
       According to the 1 September 1923 Motion Picture News, the feature was reissued that year by the Lee-Bradford Corp., as a states’ rights release.
       The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of January 2021.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Cedar Rapids Gazette [Cedar Rapids, IA]
20 Jan 1917
p. 7
Exhibitors Trade Review
20 Jan 1917
p. 490
Motion Picture News
25 Nov 1916
p. 3279
Motion Picture News
23 Dec 1916
p. 4026
Motion Picture News
13 Jan 1917
p. 258
Motion Picture News
27 Jan 1917
p. 592
Motion Picture News
10 Feb 1917
p. 932
Motion Picture Story
Aug 1916
p. 63
Motography
6 May 1916
p. 1061
Motography
3 Jun 1916
p. 1270
Moving Picture World
15 Apr 1916
p. 421
Moving Picture World
27 Jan 1917
p. 541
Moving Picture World
1 Sep 1917
p. 19
New York Age [New York City, NY]
20 Apr 1916
p. 6
NYDM
20 Jan 1917
p. 26
Oneonta Star [Oneonta, NY]
27 Feb 1917
p. 2
Pensacola News Journal [Pensacola, FL]
14 Apr 1917
p. 6
Photoplay
Feb 1917
pp. 171-172
Racine Journal-News [Racine, WI]
28 Apr 1916
p. 13
The Chat [Brooklyn, NY]
27 Jan 1917
p. 45
Wid's Daily
11 Jan 1917
p. 31
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Pathé Gold Rooster Play
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
Eugene Moore
Dir
WRITER
Emmett Mixx
Scen
PHOTOGRAPHY
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Image Maker of Thebes
Release Date:
21 January 1917
Premiere Information:
Cedar Rapids, IA, opening: 26 Jan 1917; Brooklyn, NY, opening: 29 Jan 1917; reissued in 1923
Production Date:
Apr--May 1916
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

While visiting Florida, actress Marion Bell immediately falls in love with John Arden. Neither can understand the force drawing them together until they discover a book on the royal romances of ancient Egypt, which suggests that they are the reincarnations of the Prince of Tsa and Ashubetis, the "image maker" of Thebes. Thousands of years earlier, the pharaoh becomes enraged by his son's love for the lowly artist and orders her thrown to the crocodiles. The prince is mortally wounded while attempting to save her, and as the young lovers die, Ashubetis swears her eternal devotion. Their modern-day counterparts are also the objects of parental opposition, but when Marion is summoned to Egypt to join a film company, John follows. On the anniversary of the prince's death, they meet at his tomb and vow never to be parted ...

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While visiting Florida, actress Marion Bell immediately falls in love with John Arden. Neither can understand the force drawing them together until they discover a book on the royal romances of ancient Egypt, which suggests that they are the reincarnations of the Prince of Tsa and Ashubetis, the "image maker" of Thebes. Thousands of years earlier, the pharaoh becomes enraged by his son's love for the lowly artist and orders her thrown to the crocodiles. The prince is mortally wounded while attempting to save her, and as the young lovers die, Ashubetis swears her eternal devotion. Their modern-day counterparts are also the objects of parental opposition, but when Marion is summoned to Egypt to join a film company, John follows. On the anniversary of the prince's death, they meet at his tomb and vow never to be parted again.

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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.