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HISTORY

This pageant, which raised money for the Red Cross and featured leading stage and film actors, was held on 5 Oct 1917 in an open-air theater on a private estate, Rosemary Farm, near Huntington, Long Island. The film of the pageant was divided into two parts. The first showed happenings throughout the world which led to the war, and the second entitled "The Drawing of the Sword," showed the entrance of the Allied Powers into the war. The film included Adoph Bom's Russian dancers. A reviewer noted that the film's absence of dissolves, fades, and other transition devices gave it an appearance of having been assembled poorly. Mrs. H. P. Davison, who was in the film, was the wife of the chairman of the Red Cross War Council. The appearance of Ethel, John and Lionel Barrymore in this film refutes many modern sources which claim that the only film in which they appeared together was Rasputin and the Empress , made in 1932 for M-G-M. The cast members listed above were noted in the MPN review of the film. The following is a description of scenes and listing of cast members that was given in the MPW review of the pageant. The film of the pageant may not have included all of these scenes or all of these cast members. In the prologue, Edith Wynne Matthison invokes the powers of earth and skies, and dedicates an altar to peace. The pupils of Florence Fleming Noyes, costumed as Greek vestals, dance an invocation. In the Flemish episode, allegiance is given in Flanders and fleece, ... More Less

This pageant, which raised money for the Red Cross and featured leading stage and film actors, was held on 5 Oct 1917 in an open-air theater on a private estate, Rosemary Farm, near Huntington, Long Island. The film of the pageant was divided into two parts. The first showed happenings throughout the world which led to the war, and the second entitled "The Drawing of the Sword," showed the entrance of the Allied Powers into the war. The film included Adoph Bom's Russian dancers. A reviewer noted that the film's absence of dissolves, fades, and other transition devices gave it an appearance of having been assembled poorly. Mrs. H. P. Davison, who was in the film, was the wife of the chairman of the Red Cross War Council. The appearance of Ethel, John and Lionel Barrymore in this film refutes many modern sources which claim that the only film in which they appeared together was Rasputin and the Empress , made in 1932 for M-G-M. The cast members listed above were noted in the MPN review of the film. The following is a description of scenes and listing of cast members that was given in the MPW review of the pageant. The film of the pageant may not have included all of these scenes or all of these cast members. In the prologue, Edith Wynne Matthison invokes the powers of earth and skies, and dedicates an altar to peace. The pupils of Florence Fleming Noyes, costumed as Greek vestals, dance an invocation. In the Flemish episode, allegiance is given in Flanders and fleece, as a symbol, is deposited on the altar. Cast: Douglas J. Wood (Herald); Ethel Barrymore (Flanders); Kitty Gordon (Bruges); Margaret Moreland (Ghent); Adelaide Prince (Ypres); Olive Tell (Louvain). In the Italian episode, The Alps calls upon various bodies of water to appear. Cast: Irene Fenwick (Herald); Dr. Montgomery Irving (The Alps); Annette Kellerman (The Mediterranean); Josephine Drake (The Adriatic); Ethel McDonough (Leader of the Lakes). In the English episode, at the Island of Runnymede, King John, after an acrimonious discussion with the Barons, signs the Magna Carta, which is laid on the altar. Cast: Norman Trevor (Herald); George Backus (King John); Marjorie Wood (Queen); Maclyn Arbuckle (Baron Fitz-Walter); Lumsden Hare (The Archbishop of Canterbury); Frank Keenan (The Secretary); Frederick Truesdell (The Papal Legate). In the French episode, which was staged by Ben Ali Haggin, the Pavane is danced before the Court by Mrs. Ben Ali Haggin and Clifton Webb. Jeanne D'Arc enters accompanied by strange influences. She leads them off to battle. Cast: Ben Ali Haggin (Dunois, the Defender of France); Ina Claire (Jeanne D'Arc); Eugene O'Brien (Herald); Guy Faviere (Charles VII, the Dauphin). In the Russian episode, merchants set up booths at a village fair. A fugitive from a tyrant's rage is concealed by the peasants. In a religious procession, an icon is put on the altar. The tyrant, carried aloft by slaves, enters. The fugitive is discovered and banished. Cast: John Barrymore (The tyrant); George F. Smithfield (The fugitive). In the "Triumph of War" episode (the last of the first part), floral and fruit offerings are scattered by War and his group. In the second part, entitled "The Drawing of the Sword," Justice, Truth and Liberty preside over a court. When Servia states the demands made on him by Austria, Liberty and Justice bid him to draw his sword, while Truth warns that this would set the world aflame. Belgium, with its striken people and orphaned children, pleads its cause. England, France and Russia come to her defense. England calls to her colonies, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, who respond. Japan pledges to defend the Pacific. The cry of Armenia, Poland and Roumania is heard. Italy and Portugal join the allies. After Truth warns of the enemy's strength, Liberty and Justice call to America for help. The new Russia's bewilderment causes the allied nations to groan, but with a new trumpet call, America, backed by U.S. troops, enters and pledges her sword to the common cause. Cast: Alice Fischer (Herald); Howard Kyle (Justice); Blanche Yurka (Truth); Gladys Hanson (Liberty); Tyrone Power (Servia); Ethel Barrymore (Belgium); E. H. Sothern (England); Rita Jolivet (France); Richard Bennett (Russia); Michio Itow (Japan); Marjorie Rambeau (America). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
17 Mar 17
p. 1827.
MPN
8 Dec 17
pp. 4043-44.
MPW
27 Oct 17
p. 545.
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1917
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
World War I


Subject
Subject (Major):

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.