Tongues of Flame (1924)

Melodrama | December 1924

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HISTORY

The picture was based on the 1924 novel, Tongues of Flame, by Peter Clark MacFarlane. An item in the 12 Jul 1924 Moving Picture World stated that, shortly after the book’s publication, actor Thomas Meighan had brought it to the attention of Adolph Zukor, head of Famous Players-Lasky Corp. While Meighan went on location to film The Alaskan (1924, see entry), Famous Players-Lasky entered into negotiations to purchase screen rights to MacFarlane’s novel. Tragically, around the same time, MacFarlane took his own life following a “long battle with diabetes,” as noted in a 10 Jun 1924 LAT article announcing the novelist’s death. MacFarlane’s suicide note, addressed to his physician, included the following mention of the book: “My last work, ‘Tongues of Flame,’ which was published two weeks ago, was the best that I have been able to do. It is the best attempt I have been able to make for the good of humanity since I left the ministry.” MacFarlane had formerly served as a pastor at the First Church, Disciples of Christ, in Alameda, CA.
       The 6 Aug 1924 issue of Var announced that filming would begin 25 Aug 1924 at Famous Players-Lasky’s studio in Long Island, NY. The Oct 1924 issue of American Cinematographer confirmed that production was underway, and the 22 Nov 1924 Moving Picture World stated that it was “nearing completion.”
       Theatrical release took place in Dec 1924. Moving Picture World, which gave the film a mixed review in its 27 Dec 1924 issue, pointed out that the real-life Native Americans shown in the film were “not the familiar ...

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The picture was based on the 1924 novel, Tongues of Flame, by Peter Clark MacFarlane. An item in the 12 Jul 1924 Moving Picture World stated that, shortly after the book’s publication, actor Thomas Meighan had brought it to the attention of Adolph Zukor, head of Famous Players-Lasky Corp. While Meighan went on location to film The Alaskan (1924, see entry), Famous Players-Lasky entered into negotiations to purchase screen rights to MacFarlane’s novel. Tragically, around the same time, MacFarlane took his own life following a “long battle with diabetes,” as noted in a 10 Jun 1924 LAT article announcing the novelist’s death. MacFarlane’s suicide note, addressed to his physician, included the following mention of the book: “My last work, ‘Tongues of Flame,’ which was published two weeks ago, was the best that I have been able to do. It is the best attempt I have been able to make for the good of humanity since I left the ministry.” MacFarlane had formerly served as a pastor at the First Church, Disciples of Christ, in Alameda, CA.
       The 6 Aug 1924 issue of Var announced that filming would begin 25 Aug 1924 at Famous Players-Lasky’s studio in Long Island, NY. The Oct 1924 issue of American Cinematographer confirmed that production was underway, and the 22 Nov 1924 Moving Picture World stated that it was “nearing completion.”
       Theatrical release took place in Dec 1924. Moving Picture World, which gave the film a mixed review in its 27 Dec 1924 issue, pointed out that the real-life Native Americans shown in the film were “not the familiar Indians of romantic western stories…but the modern Indians, without glamour, as they appear on their reservations clad in nondescript clothes of the present day.”

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Oct 1924
p. 12
Birmingham News [Birmingham, AL]a
1 Dec 1924
p. 11
Chicago Tribune
2 Dec 1924
p. 18
Exhibitors Herald
19 Jul 1924
p. 18
Exhibitors Herald
2 Aug 1924
p. 229
Exhibitors Herald
24 Jan 1925
p. 52
Exhibitors Trade Review
2 Aug 1924
p. 12
Exhibitors Trade Review
3 Jan 1925
p. 33
Film Daily
21 Dec 1924
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Jun 1924
p. 1, 4
Los Angeles Times
11 Dec 1924
Section A, p. 11
Los Angeles Times
14 Dec 1924
Section C, p. 31
Moving Picture World
12 Jul 1924
p. 127
Moving Picture World
22 Nov 1924
p. 354
Moving Picture World
27 Dec 1924
p. 830
Moving Picture World
27 Dec 1924
p. 870
New York Times
12 Dec 1924
p. 28
New York Times
16 Dec 1924
p. 28
Variety
6 Aug 1924
p. 20
Variety
24 Sep 1924
p. 23
Variety
17 Dec 1924
p. 37
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Faxon M. Dean
Photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Tongues of Flame by Peter Clark MacFarlane (New York, 1924).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
December 1924
Premiere Information:
Birmingham, AL, opening: week of 1 Dec 1924; Chicago opening: 9 Dec 1924; Los Angeles opening: 13 Dec 1924; New York opening: week of 15 Dec 1924
Production Date:
late Aug--late Nov or early Dec 1924
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Famous Players-Lasky Corp.
17 December 1924
LP20920
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
6,763
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

The town of Edgewater, built on land formerly belonging to "Siwash" Indians, owes its prosperity to its wealthy developer, Boland. When he attempts to buy the remainder of the Siwash Reservation, the Indians, led by Lahleet, their beautiful schoolteacher, are distrustful, and Boland refers them to Henry Harrington, a respected young lawyer under whose command some of their number served in the Great War. Harrington advises them to accept Boland's generous offer and draws up the necessary papers. After the sale, Boland sinks oil wells on the land; angered at this duplicity and fraud, Harrington exposes him as a common swindler. Boland then has Harrington jailed on a false charge of robbery. Meanwhile, an action instituted by Hornblower, a shyster, on the Indians' behalf, results in a court decision awarding the tribe the entire town of Edgewater, owing to irregularities in Boland's original surveys. The townspeople, angered at Boland, set fire to his properties. Released from jail when the fires burn out of control, Harrington organizes the Indians and saves the town. The Indians get back their reservation and return Edgewater to its grateful citizens. Harrington declares his love for ...

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The town of Edgewater, built on land formerly belonging to "Siwash" Indians, owes its prosperity to its wealthy developer, Boland. When he attempts to buy the remainder of the Siwash Reservation, the Indians, led by Lahleet, their beautiful schoolteacher, are distrustful, and Boland refers them to Henry Harrington, a respected young lawyer under whose command some of their number served in the Great War. Harrington advises them to accept Boland's generous offer and draws up the necessary papers. After the sale, Boland sinks oil wells on the land; angered at this duplicity and fraud, Harrington exposes him as a common swindler. Boland then has Harrington jailed on a false charge of robbery. Meanwhile, an action instituted by Hornblower, a shyster, on the Indians' behalf, results in a court decision awarding the tribe the entire town of Edgewater, owing to irregularities in Boland's original surveys. The townspeople, angered at Boland, set fire to his properties. Released from jail when the fires burn out of control, Harrington organizes the Indians and saves the town. The Indians get back their reservation and return Edgewater to its grateful citizens. Harrington declares his love for Lahleet.

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GENRE
Genre:


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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