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HISTORY

The scenario was based on the 1900 novel, The Worldlings by Leonard Merrick. News items in the 1 October 1924 Variety and the 4 October 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review announced the upcoming screen adaptation from Samuel Goldwyn Productions as A Thief in Paradise, starring Ronald Colman, who had recently signed a five-year contract with the company, and Doris Kenyon, who was on loan from First National Pictures, Inc. The 25 October 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review noted that co-star Aileen Pringle was on loan from the Metro-Goldwyn Corp.
       The 19 October 1924 Los Angeles Times stated that Colman had recently completed scenes along an unspecified stretch of the Pacific shoreline. Another seaside location was identified by the 29 November 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review as the home of U.S. Senator Charles W. Clark in Del Monte, CA.
       Articles in the 20 December 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review and the 10 January 1925 Exhibitors Herald reported that an unnamed producer of short comedies had plagiarized a scene from the film, which depicted a polo match involving two teams of young women, one comprised of blondes and the other of brunettes, all of whom were clad in bathing suits. The sequence was credited to director George Fitzmaurice, screenwriter Frances Marion, and Goldwyn. The latter went on to speculate that the “cheap imitation” would likely be released prior to his feature and ruin “the novelty element.” Goldwyn was considering placing an injunction against the rival producer.
       The 2 January 1925 [San Francisco, CA] Examiner announced the ...

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The scenario was based on the 1900 novel, The Worldlings by Leonard Merrick. News items in the 1 October 1924 Variety and the 4 October 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review announced the upcoming screen adaptation from Samuel Goldwyn Productions as A Thief in Paradise, starring Ronald Colman, who had recently signed a five-year contract with the company, and Doris Kenyon, who was on loan from First National Pictures, Inc. The 25 October 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review noted that co-star Aileen Pringle was on loan from the Metro-Goldwyn Corp.
       The 19 October 1924 Los Angeles Times stated that Colman had recently completed scenes along an unspecified stretch of the Pacific shoreline. Another seaside location was identified by the 29 November 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review as the home of U.S. Senator Charles W. Clark in Del Monte, CA.
       Articles in the 20 December 1924 Exhibitors Trade Review and the 10 January 1925 Exhibitors Herald reported that an unnamed producer of short comedies had plagiarized a scene from the film, which depicted a polo match involving two teams of young women, one comprised of blondes and the other of brunettes, all of whom were clad in bathing suits. The sequence was credited to director George Fitzmaurice, screenwriter Frances Marion, and Goldwyn. The latter went on to speculate that the “cheap imitation” would likely be released prior to his feature and ruin “the novelty element.” Goldwyn was considering placing an injunction against the rival producer.
       The 2 January 1925 [San Francisco, CA] Examiner announced the completion of filming, adding that Goldwyn had engaged Freudian psychologist Professor Alden Sidgewick to advise Fitzmaurice on the most current “ideas of love.” That same week, the 3 January 1925 Exhibitors Trade Review reported Goldwyn’s arrival in New York City with a finished print of the feature, and his plans for an elaborate Broadway opening.
       A Thief in Paradise was released on 18 January 1925, followed by a New York City opening at the Strand Theatre during the week of 25 January 1925. A review in the 27 January 1925 [New York City] Herald-Tribune declared the screen adaptation to be beneath the standards of both Frances Marion and Leonard Merrick. However, the picture received the approval of the Los Angeles District, California Federation of Women’s Clubs, as stated in the 15 February 1925 Los Angeles Times.
       The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
8 Nov 1924
p. 71
Exhibitors Herald
10 Jan 1925
p. 48
Exhibitors Herald
24 Jan 1925
p. 51
Exhibitors Trade Review
4 Oct 1924
p. 31
Exhibitors Trade Review
11 Oct 1924
p. 31
Exhibitors Trade Review
25 Oct 1924
p. 28, 43
Exhibitors Trade Review
29 Nov 1924
p. 46
Exhibitors Trade Review
20 Dec 1924
p. 23
Exhibitors Trade Review
3 Jan 1925
p. 21
Exhibitors Trade Review
21 Jan 1925
p. 48
Film Daily
11 Jan 1925
---
Los Angeles Times
19 Oct 1924
Section C, p. 20
Los Angeles Times
15 Feb 5
Section D, p. 13, 22
New York Herald-Tribune
27 Jan 1925
p. 14
New York Times
26 Jan 1926
p. 14
San Francisco Examiner [San Francisco, CA]
2 Jan 1925
p. 10
Variety
1 Oct 1924
p. 19
Variety
28 Jan 1925
p. 34
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 January 1925
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 25 Jan 1925
Production Date:
began mid Oct 1924
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Samuel Goldwyn
29 December 1924
LP20957
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
7,355
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Years of failure and bad luck have made Maurice Blake a beachcomber on a Samoan island, where he earns a precarious living by diving for pearls with Philip Jardine, the disinherited son of Noel Jardine, a San Francisco, California, millionaire. When Philip is killed by a shark, his half-caste mistress, Rosa Carmina, informs Maurice that Philip had been forgiven by his father, and she persuades him to return to the U.S. under her lover's identity. Maurice's impersonation is successful: He is accepted by Noel and falls in love with Helen Saville, Philip's childhood sweetheart. After Maurice reluctantly declares his love, he and Helen are married. However, before the contrite Maurice can explain his deception, Rosa spitefully informs Helen. Maurice shoots himself, but Helen forgives him and nurses him back to health. He later reconciles with Noel, who intends to adopt him. Rosa returns to the ...

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Years of failure and bad luck have made Maurice Blake a beachcomber on a Samoan island, where he earns a precarious living by diving for pearls with Philip Jardine, the disinherited son of Noel Jardine, a San Francisco, California, millionaire. When Philip is killed by a shark, his half-caste mistress, Rosa Carmina, informs Maurice that Philip had been forgiven by his father, and she persuades him to return to the U.S. under her lover's identity. Maurice's impersonation is successful: He is accepted by Noel and falls in love with Helen Saville, Philip's childhood sweetheart. After Maurice reluctantly declares his love, he and Helen are married. However, before the contrite Maurice can explain his deception, Rosa spitefully informs Helen. Maurice shoots himself, but Helen forgives him and nurses him back to health. He later reconciles with Noel, who intends to adopt him. Rosa returns to the islands.

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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.