This article appeared in the Corvallis Daily Gazette in June 1909. The article discusses the recent motion picture to arrive in Corvallis, Resurrection. As the article describes the motion picture was adapted from Tolstoi’s novel which the article describes as “melancholy.” Resurrection was a free adaption directed D.W. Griffith and produced by Biograph.
The article goes on to pronounce how it is interesting to see the story acted out in front of viewers rather than just on paper. Seeing as motion pictures were still a relatively new and developing technology by 1909 seeing stories that audiences have only read would have been an exciting and new concept.
The article continues on to quote the Motion Picture World and its review of the film and its original impact on audiences in New York. The film seems to have sparked interest in New York audiences. It is noteworthy that this article chooses to incorporate this ambiguous quote about the showing of the film in New York. During this time New York still had a very prominent role in the motion picture industry therefore one would imagine it being just as important as quoting how the release of a film in Hollywood went today. The quoted passage adds how Biograph did a great job of depicting the story and the characters as compared to the “original play” as well as a great admiration for an actress’s emotions towards the camera.
This article appeared in the Gazette on June 26, 1906, and as it states the film had premiered the night before at the Star Theater in Corvallis. According to the American Film Institute Catalog, Resurrection premiered May 20, 1909, meaning that this film reached Corvallis only about a month after its original release. This indicated that Corvallis would have been a prominent town for viewing films. Around 1909 there is only mention of one other theater in Corvallis which is the Palace theater which does not seem to have shown Biograph’s Resurrection.
Pathe exchange advertises their movie “The Iron Claw” and the Serial that will be published in the Sunday Oregonian above. The advertisements are for the release date of April 3rd 1916 as well as the story that will be released in the Oregonian previous to the release date of the film. The first ad describes how audiences can read the story in the paper beforehand and then see it in the theater the following week. As we have learned sound on film was not introduced until 1927 therefore “The Iron Claw” would have been a silent film. While the film was most likely accompanied by a band or music of some sort having the story published in detail in the Oregonian beforehand could have helped audiences to understand the story more thoroughly. Additionally, having the story published would have drawn viewers in just as a trailer would serve to attract movie goers presently. Furthermore, the ad lists the actors in the film as well as their previous popular films that they have been in. We have learned that it was common practice for studios and their films to build popularity for their movie off the stars in it. The second ad is from the next week (April 2nd) and presents the story, while additionally serving as an advertisement for the film that will debut the following day at the Pantages Theater in Portland. As we have learned previously in class it was common for films to play at only one or a small amount of theaters. This would bring people from many towns away to see movies because they would not be playing near their home. While the advertisement does list theaters that “The Iron Claw” would be playing at on later dates it was very common that a movie would not reach these theaters for many weeks, months, or even years after it originally premiered.
Pathe Exchange. “The New Motion Picture Serial”. The Sunday Oregonian [Portland], 26 March 1916, p. 7.
Pathe Exchange. “The Iron Claw”. The Sunday Oregonian [Portland], 2 April 1916, p. 7.