The Devil's Daughter (1915)

Melodrama | June 1915

Director:

Frank Powell

Producer:

William Fox

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The 5 June 1915 Motion Picture News recounted director Frank Powell's company's two days in St. Augustine, FL, where he shot Theda Bara wearing filmy costumes on the beach. Other scenes were filmed at the private Villa Flora estate of Dr. Garnett, and at the Hotel Ponce De Leon and the Hotel Alcazar. Also, the proprietors of the Hotel Marion, where the company stayed, put their 85-foot yacht, Hilda, at their disposal. A member of the company was three-year-old Jane Lee, who played "Little Beata." A week later, the 12 June 1915 Motion Picture News reported that the company had returned to Fox's studios in Jersey City, NJ, and were busy at work.
       According to the copyright entry, this film was based on Joseph H. Trant's translation of Italian playwright Gabriele D'Annunzio's play La Gioconda, which opened in New York on 4 November 1902. According to news items, despite Eleanor Duse's performance as La Gioconda in the current stage production, D'Annunzio demanded that Theda Bara portray the lead role as a prerequisite to him signing the contract with Fox for film rights. A trade showing of the film was given in New York on 16 June 1915.
       Briefly, a working title for this film was The Vampire. Another of Theda Bara's 1915 films, A Fool There Was (see entry), was based upon a Rudyard Kipling poem called "The Vampire." Although Bara was popularly known as "The Vampire," or "Vamp," she did not appear in the Metro film The Vampire (see entry) which was released two months later, starring Olga Petrova.
       The Ohio ...

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The 5 June 1915 Motion Picture News recounted director Frank Powell's company's two days in St. Augustine, FL, where he shot Theda Bara wearing filmy costumes on the beach. Other scenes were filmed at the private Villa Flora estate of Dr. Garnett, and at the Hotel Ponce De Leon and the Hotel Alcazar. Also, the proprietors of the Hotel Marion, where the company stayed, put their 85-foot yacht, Hilda, at their disposal. A member of the company was three-year-old Jane Lee, who played "Little Beata." A week later, the 12 June 1915 Motion Picture News reported that the company had returned to Fox's studios in Jersey City, NJ, and were busy at work.
       According to the copyright entry, this film was based on Joseph H. Trant's translation of Italian playwright Gabriele D'Annunzio's play La Gioconda, which opened in New York on 4 November 1902. According to news items, despite Eleanor Duse's performance as La Gioconda in the current stage production, D'Annunzio demanded that Theda Bara portray the lead role as a prerequisite to him signing the contract with Fox for film rights. A trade showing of the film was given in New York on 16 June 1915.
       Briefly, a working title for this film was The Vampire. Another of Theda Bara's 1915 films, A Fool There Was (see entry), was based upon a Rudyard Kipling poem called "The Vampire." Although Bara was popularly known as "The Vampire," or "Vamp," she did not appear in the Metro film The Vampire (see entry) which was released two months later, starring Olga Petrova.
       The Ohio Board of Censorship in Cleveland objected to the film and made substantial cuts that shortened The Devil's Daughter by either 1,300 of 1,800 feet—all of it containing images of Miss Bara, a native of Cincinnati, OH. Newspapermen who saw the film claimed that if Fox had kept the original La Gioconda title, the censors probably would not bothered with the film.
       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
Motion Picture News
22 May 1915
p. 54
Motion Picture News
12 Jun 1915
p. 37, 46
Motion Picture News
26 Jun 1915
p. 79
Motion Picture News
10 Jul 1915
p. 40
Motion Picture News
24 Jul 1915
p. 53
Motography
3 Jul 1915
p. 44
Moving Picture World
5 Jun 1915
p. 66
Moving Picture World
26 Jun 1915
p. 2120, 2185
NYDM
23 Jun 1915
pp. 28-29
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
Presents
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
Asst cam
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play La Gioconda by Gabriele D'Annunzio (Palermo, Italy, 15 Apr 1899).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
La Gioconda
The Vampire
Release Date:
June 1915
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
William Fox
16 June 1915
LP6036
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After her lover deserts her, Gioconda Dianti vows to avenge herself by wrecking the lives of other men. When Lucio Settala, a famous sculptor, meets Gioconda and asks her to pose for him, she sets out to ruin him. She enthralls the artist, causing him to forget his wife Silvia, their daughter Little Beata, and even his work. After Gioconda defies Silvia to take her husband back, Lucio, in a fit of desperation, shoots himself. Silvia nurses him back to health, but Lucio soon returns to the enticing Gioconda. When Silvia's subsequent quarrel with Gioconda becomes a fight, Gioconda attempts to destroy Lucio's statue, but it falls on Silvia and is saved. Silvia, however, is maimed for life. Because of this, Lucio's sanity is affected and he becomes a raving maniac. Later, Gioconda, cast aside by her "man of the world," also goes ...

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After her lover deserts her, Gioconda Dianti vows to avenge herself by wrecking the lives of other men. When Lucio Settala, a famous sculptor, meets Gioconda and asks her to pose for him, she sets out to ruin him. She enthralls the artist, causing him to forget his wife Silvia, their daughter Little Beata, and even his work. After Gioconda defies Silvia to take her husband back, Lucio, in a fit of desperation, shoots himself. Silvia nurses him back to health, but Lucio soon returns to the enticing Gioconda. When Silvia's subsequent quarrel with Gioconda becomes a fight, Gioconda attempts to destroy Lucio's statue, but it falls on Silvia and is saved. Silvia, however, is maimed for life. Because of this, Lucio's sanity is affected and he becomes a raving maniac. Later, Gioconda, cast aside by her "man of the world," also goes mad.

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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.