In the Palace of the King (1915)

Drama | 11 October 1915

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HISTORY

The scenario was based on the 1900 novel, In the Palace of the King: A Love Story of Old Madrid, by F. Marion Crawford. Screen rights to the property were acquired by the Essanay Film Mfg. Co. through the agency of Sanger and Jordan, as stated in the 15 May 1915 Motion Picture News. The film marked the screen debut of stage actress Arline Hackett, referred to as “Norma Hackett” in the 8 Sep 1915 [Chicago, IL] Examiner.
       Articles in the 4 Sep 1915, 11 Sep 1915, 18 Sep 1915, and 2 Oct 1915 issues of Motion Picture News reported that the production required a cast of approximately 5,000, including 100 female dancers recruited from local stage shows, and 1,000 Illinois National Guardsmen to play Spanish soldiers. A palace was constructed at Essanay’s Chicago, IL, studio lot, modeled on original drawings of the Palace of the Alhambra in Madrid, Spain. The remaining grounds were covered with tents, to be used as temporary housing for the thousands of background actors. Four larger tents were also installed “for dressing-room purposes.” Among the “experts” working on the project was choreographer Mrs. Arend Van Vlissingen, reputed to have discovered famed dance Isadora Duncan. The production ultimately took over both of Essanay’s Chicago facilities. Following the completion of principal photography, director Fred Wright told the 9 Oct 1915 Motion Picture News that hiring so many inexperienced background actors actually expedited the production, as they tended to follow his instructions without question. He was also aided by eight assistant directors.
       In ...

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The scenario was based on the 1900 novel, In the Palace of the King: A Love Story of Old Madrid, by F. Marion Crawford. Screen rights to the property were acquired by the Essanay Film Mfg. Co. through the agency of Sanger and Jordan, as stated in the 15 May 1915 Motion Picture News. The film marked the screen debut of stage actress Arline Hackett, referred to as “Norma Hackett” in the 8 Sep 1915 [Chicago, IL] Examiner.
       Articles in the 4 Sep 1915, 11 Sep 1915, 18 Sep 1915, and 2 Oct 1915 issues of Motion Picture News reported that the production required a cast of approximately 5,000, including 100 female dancers recruited from local stage shows, and 1,000 Illinois National Guardsmen to play Spanish soldiers. A palace was constructed at Essanay’s Chicago, IL, studio lot, modeled on original drawings of the Palace of the Alhambra in Madrid, Spain. The remaining grounds were covered with tents, to be used as temporary housing for the thousands of background actors. Four larger tents were also installed “for dressing-room purposes.” Among the “experts” working on the project was choreographer Mrs. Arend Van Vlissingen, reputed to have discovered famed dance Isadora Duncan. The production ultimately took over both of Essanay’s Chicago facilities. Following the completion of principal photography, director Fred Wright told the 9 Oct 1915 Motion Picture News that hiring so many inexperienced background actors actually expedited the production, as they tended to follow his instructions without question. He was also aided by eight assistant directors.
       In the Palace of the King was released on 11 Oct 1915, followed by a 17 Oct 1915 opening at the Band Box Theatre in Chicago, and on 22 Oct 1915 at the Decatur Theatre in Brooklyn, NY.
       The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of October 2019.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Examiner [Chicago, IL]
8 Sep 1915
p. 9
EssN
25 Sep 1915
---
Fresno Morning Republican [Fresno, CA]
10 Oct 1915
p. 11
Motion Picture News
15 May 1915
p. 465
Motion Picture News
22 May 1915
p. 1340
Motion Picture News
4 Sep 1915
p. 40
Motion Picture News
11 Sep 1915
p. 47
Motion Picture News
18 Sep 1915
p. 42
Motion Picture News
25 Sep 1915
p. 46
Motion Picture News
2 Oct 1915
pp. 47-48
Motion Picture News
9 Oct 1915
p. 35, 52
Motion Picture News
16 Oct 1915
pp. 36-38, 88
Motion Picture News
23 Oct 1915
p. 120
Motion Picture News
6 Nov 1915
p. 34
Motion Picture News
18 Dec 1915
p. 43
Motography
4 Sep 1915
p. 465
Motography
9 Oct 1915
p. 743
Moving Picture World
16 Oct 1915
pp. 460-461
Moving Picture World
23 Oct 1915
p. 688
NYDM
22 Sep 1915
p. 32
NYDM
29 Sep 1915
p. 32
NYDM
6 Oct 1915
p. 34
NYDM
16 Oct 1915
p. 28
The Chat [Brooklyn, NY]
16 Oct 1915
p. 18
Variety
1 Oct 1915
p. 21
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 October 1915
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: 17 Oct 1915; Brooklyn, NY opening: 22 Oct 1915
Production Date:
ended late Sep 1915
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Essanay Film Mfg. Co.
22 September 1915
LP6466
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In sixteenth-century Spain, Don Juan of Austria arrives in Madrid, hailed as a national hero following his victory over the Moors. His half-brother, King Philip II, suspects that Don Juan has designs on his throne and opposes his love affair with Dolores of Mendoza. Philip pressures Dolores's father, the commander of the king's guard, to thwart the budding romance. The loyal Mendoza entreats Dolores to desert Don Juan, and when she refuses, he locks her up for shipment to a convent. Inez, Dolores' blind sister, changes clothing with the captive and helps her to escape. Dolores flees to Don Juan’s home, fearing for his safety. Philip arrives soon after with Mendoza, demanding to see his daughter. Don Juan hides Dolores and denies all charges; he is stabbed by Philip and presumed dead. Dreading that the murder will cost Philip his throne, Mendoza nobly agrees to accept blame but is saved when the court jester reveals that Don Juan is only wounded. ...

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In sixteenth-century Spain, Don Juan of Austria arrives in Madrid, hailed as a national hero following his victory over the Moors. His half-brother, King Philip II, suspects that Don Juan has designs on his throne and opposes his love affair with Dolores of Mendoza. Philip pressures Dolores's father, the commander of the king's guard, to thwart the budding romance. The loyal Mendoza entreats Dolores to desert Don Juan, and when she refuses, he locks her up for shipment to a convent. Inez, Dolores' blind sister, changes clothing with the captive and helps her to escape. Dolores flees to Don Juan’s home, fearing for his safety. Philip arrives soon after with Mendoza, demanding to see his daughter. Don Juan hides Dolores and denies all charges; he is stabbed by Philip and presumed dead. Dreading that the murder will cost Philip his throne, Mendoza nobly agrees to accept blame but is saved when the court jester reveals that Don Juan is only wounded.

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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.