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HISTORY

The New York City-based Life Photo Film Corporation, which billed itself as “The House of Broadway Features,” was formed in early 1914 to make “features adapted from stage productions that have already created a name for themselves,” according to a full-page advertisement in the 15 Aug 1914 Motion Picture News. The 22 Aug 1914 Motography noted that the company was just completing a studio-factory in Grantwood, NJ. Springtime was set to be its sixth release.
       The 24 Oct 1914 Moving Picture World noted that Life Photo’s film adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s successful Broadway play, Springtime, was “in active preparation.” Frank Kugler, head cameraman on Life Photo's previous film, The Ordeal (see entry), was expected to take a two-week vacation and return to shoot Springtime, according to the 3 Oct 1914 Motography, but he was replaced by John Arnold, the 14 Nov 1914 editions of Moving Picture World and Motography revealed. William S. Davis was set to direct.
       The 14 Nov 1914 Moving Picture World reported that thirty players from the Life Photo Film Corp. left in a special train car for New Orleans, LA, on Monday, 2 Nov 1914. Since many buildings mentioned in Booth Tarkington’s play were still standing, producer Edwin M. Roskam “determined to have as many of the scenes as possible enacted before the camera in their original locations.” Filming in and around New Orleans was expected to take four weeks, with special attention to scenes in the French Quarter. “Some of the interiors will be photographed in houses which date back to French ...

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The New York City-based Life Photo Film Corporation, which billed itself as “The House of Broadway Features,” was formed in early 1914 to make “features adapted from stage productions that have already created a name for themselves,” according to a full-page advertisement in the 15 Aug 1914 Motion Picture News. The 22 Aug 1914 Motography noted that the company was just completing a studio-factory in Grantwood, NJ. Springtime was set to be its sixth release.
       The 24 Oct 1914 Moving Picture World noted that Life Photo’s film adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s successful Broadway play, Springtime, was “in active preparation.” Frank Kugler, head cameraman on Life Photo's previous film, The Ordeal (see entry), was expected to take a two-week vacation and return to shoot Springtime, according to the 3 Oct 1914 Motography, but he was replaced by John Arnold, the 14 Nov 1914 editions of Moving Picture World and Motography revealed. William S. Davis was set to direct.
       The 14 Nov 1914 Moving Picture World reported that thirty players from the Life Photo Film Corp. left in a special train car for New Orleans, LA, on Monday, 2 Nov 1914. Since many buildings mentioned in Booth Tarkington’s play were still standing, producer Edwin M. Roskam “determined to have as many of the scenes as possible enacted before the camera in their original locations.” Filming in and around New Orleans was expected to take four weeks, with special attention to scenes in the French Quarter. “Some of the interiors will be photographed in houses which date back to French days in New Orleans. Where this is found not to be practicable, studio work will be done. At a considerable outlay, Mr. Roskam is having special studios built. In order to have the proper atmosphere, properties and studio settings, Mr. Roskam is carrying with him to New Orleans fifteen sets of scenery and considerable properties. The costumes have been designed by artists who are thoroughly familiar with Colonial modes. The costumes of Miss Nash, who plays Madeline, are said to be very attractive and suit her dainty personality thoroughly.” Various follow-up pieces in the trades, including the 5 Dec 1914 Motion Picture News, noted that New Orleans officials allowed the film company to use “all the public and private parks in the city.” The 2 Jan 1915 Motography reported that most interior settings were filmed in an old mansion, and some exteriors were shot on the New Orleans waterfront and at “the old Custom House.” According to the 19 Dec 1914 Motion Picture News, the cast had returned to New York. The 25 Dec 1914 Variety mentioned that filming also took place in St. Augustine, FL.
       An advertisement in the 7 Nov 1914 Moving Picture World announced that Alco Film Corp. would henceforth distribute Life Photo's films, beginning with Springtime, and include the backlog of the company's earlier films. The ad also referred to the twenty-five-year-old Broadway stage actress, Florence Nash, who was making her first and only appearance in silent film, as “A Dainty Ingenue in a Dainty Part.” Reviewer W. Stephen Bush would later comment in the 2 Jan 1915 Moving Picture World that, despite her pleasing and earnest personality, “the first flush of youth so essential to the story is missing. Early youth is one of the rare realities of life for which no substitute will ever be found either on the speaking stage or on the screen.” Variety likewise opined that “Miss Nash acts her part sweetly but looks a trifle older than the girl should be.” The trade paper, along with the Motion Picture News, also criticized how many of the studio interiors did not match the location exteriors.
       Some sources, including Variety, misprinted Charles Travis’s name as Charles Travers.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Motion Picture News
15 Aug 1914
---
Motion Picture News
14 Nov 1914
p. 30
Motion Picture News
5 Dec 1914
p. 24
Motion Picture News
19 Dec 1914
p. 64
Motion Picture News
2 Jan 1915
p. 44
Motography
22 Aug 1914
---
Motography
3 Oct 1914
p. 478
Motography
14 Nov 1914
p. 650
Motography
26 Dec 1914
p. 902
Motography
2 Jan 1915
p. 25
Motography
6 Feb 1915
p. 195, 232
Moving Picture World
24 Oct 1914
p. 476
Moving Picture World
7 Nov 1914
p. 837
Moving Picture World
14 Nov 1914
p. 939, 948
Moving Picture World
5 Dec 1914
p. 1373, 1399
Moving Picture World
12 Dec 1914
p. 1546
Moving Picture World
2 Jan 1915
p. 55, 139
New York Clipper
14 Nov 1914
p. 12
NYDM
23 Dec 1914
p. 37
Variety
25 Dec 1914
p. 42
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
William S. Davis
Dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Springtime by Booth Tarkington and Harry Leon Wilson (New York, 19 Oct 1909).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHORS
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 December 1914
Production Date:
early Nov--mid Dec 1914
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Val De Valette betrothed his daughter Madeline to his wealthy cousin Raoul De Valette during her childhood. Now, in 1812, Raoul is in love with L’Acadienne, a faithful Creole girl, but he leaves her when it comes time for him to meet Madeline. L’Acadienne follows him and tells Madeline’s father about their affair, but Val does nothing. Madeline is disappointed in Raoul, but is willing to dutifully obey her father’s wishes until she meets Gilbert Steele, a neighbor whose father has bought most of Val’s property and now, knowing of his poverty, wants to also purchase the De Valette home. When he sends his son to negotiate the sale, Gilbert instantly falls in love with Madeline, and she reciprocates. Val De Valette is outraged by this impertinence and orders Gilbert from the house. Shortly afterward, Gilbert is recruited to join Andrew Jackson’s forces and fight the British in New Orleans. He leaves without telling his father, and Madeline, who desperately comes looking for him, is turned out of the house for disobeying her father. Eventually, hearing an erroneous rumor that Gilbert has been killed, she suffers a breakdown. Because of Madeline’s mental state, Raoul gets out of the marital arrangement and returns with L’Acadienne to New Orleans. When Gilbert returns home, he restores Madeline’s health and gets Val’s permission to marry ...

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Val De Valette betrothed his daughter Madeline to his wealthy cousin Raoul De Valette during her childhood. Now, in 1812, Raoul is in love with L’Acadienne, a faithful Creole girl, but he leaves her when it comes time for him to meet Madeline. L’Acadienne follows him and tells Madeline’s father about their affair, but Val does nothing. Madeline is disappointed in Raoul, but is willing to dutifully obey her father’s wishes until she meets Gilbert Steele, a neighbor whose father has bought most of Val’s property and now, knowing of his poverty, wants to also purchase the De Valette home. When he sends his son to negotiate the sale, Gilbert instantly falls in love with Madeline, and she reciprocates. Val De Valette is outraged by this impertinence and orders Gilbert from the house. Shortly afterward, Gilbert is recruited to join Andrew Jackson’s forces and fight the British in New Orleans. He leaves without telling his father, and Madeline, who desperately comes looking for him, is turned out of the house for disobeying her father. Eventually, hearing an erroneous rumor that Gilbert has been killed, she suffers a breakdown. Because of Madeline’s mental state, Raoul gets out of the marital arrangement and returns with L’Acadienne to New Orleans. When Gilbert returns home, he restores Madeline’s health and gets Val’s permission to marry her.

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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.