"Quiet On The Sand !...... Lights, Camera, Action"
Actually you may talk quietly amongst yourselves because this film doesn't talk at all
"A MAN OF STONE "
CONWAY TEARLE as Captain Deering
MARTHA MANSFIELD as Lady Mary Fortescue
BETTY HOWE as Laila
COLIN CAMPBELL as Lt. Waite
WARREN COOKE as Lord Branton
CHARLES D. BROWN as Lord Reggie
Making Movies At Smith's Point Beach In The 1920's
And the Oscar Goes To .......
Not really because there were no Oscars in 1921, and it's highly unlikely that this film would of won one if there were. But perhaps we should give "The Freddy" ( for F J Quinby) to Marty Van Lith for uncovering these gems. Below are actual home photos taken by the Tom Michelson Family of Brookhaven during the filming at Smith Point Beach of the Lewis J. Selznick (father of Gone With The Wind's David O. Selznick) production of "A Man of Stone" directed by George Archainbaud.
I can confidently say without having seen this flick,( read the plot *) that it probably would not of been nominated for any Oscars as The Selznick Co. did nothing to publicise it when it was released in November of 1921 even though their leading man Conway Tearle** 1878 - 1939 was a well known actor then. But I do say give Marty a Freddy. It was big dreamer and developer of Tangier, Fred J Quinby's flimsy wooden bridge that allowed Smith Point Beach on Fire Island to become a prime location used for several desert films. Desert movies were made wildly popular in the 1920's by Rudolf Valentino's portrayal of The Sheik (1921) & sequel Son Of The Sheik (1926). The 1910 bridge's construction that allowed cameras, camels and crew to cross the narrow bay, was supervised by local resident Michael Gillispie of Tangier (now Shirley) for Quinby's Tangier Development Company. According to historian Van Field, it was mainly the movie companies who kept repairing the bridge when it would get torn up by winter ice.
That could well be cinematographer Jules Cronjager 1872-1934 behind the camera and perhaps stunning silent screen actress Martha Mansfield 1899-1923 in white hat waiting for her cue. Actualy I ran into a scene just like this, with a woman wearing a hat just like that, 54 years later on the ocean beach in Easthampton. I was walking my Irish Setter Rusty and don't you know there was a crowd like this on the beach with cameras and all. The woman in the hat like that was Diane Keaton filming "Annie Hall" with Woody Allen.
EXTRAS? I'm thinking there well could be a few locals who came over the bridge watching from the sidelines in this still.
Oh the exotic winds of Mastic blowing sand into everones eyes. There probably were no trailers for the cast just tents not unlike those used by returning veterans of the Great War.
*THE STORY LINE:
Captain Deering, a British officer whose gallant career has earned him the sobriquet "The Man of Stone," returns to London and finds that he has been jilted by his fiancée, Lady Mary Fortescue. Returning to duty in Arabia, he drinks heavily; and when he becomes seriously ill, he is cared for by Laila, a desert maiden who falls in love with him, accompanies him into the interior, and saves him from death at the hands of a robber. Lady Mary, who falls out with her suitor, arrives with the hope of winning back Deering. Representing herself as Deering's wife, she sends Laila from the camp; Deering follows Laila and rescues her from bandits; and in his absence the camp is attacked and Lady Mary is slain. Deering then resolves to devote his future to Arabian problems with Laila as his wife.
THE NEXT TWO STUDIO PHOTOS ARE HIGHLY LIKELY TO BE FROM THE SAME FILM
HMMMM ..... WHAT IS THAT PLANE DOING LANDING ON THE SET?
Why that's Dodi Knapp , ... Heck of a swell fellow,
I met him last night at the Better Ole. I'm quite sure he has come over to invite us all to his place cross the bay
for tennis, golf and a party when we wrap this thing up.
AN ARABIAN WESTERN ON LONG ISLANDS SOUTH SHORE
Westerns seemed to be Director George Archainbaud's forte. In the 1950's he would direct many Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, Range Rider, Annie Oakley TV Films. He was still active when he died in 1959. Here he is below in 1937 with playwright George Kaufman center and Paramount Director Frank Tuttle. The Film was "Good Night Ladies"
WE LOVE YOU CONWAY....YES WE DO
In "Ashes Of Vengence" Swashbuckler Conway Tearle as Robert de Bireac gallantly (yet casually) defends the honor of the fair maiden Yoland de Breaux as played by the lovely Norma Talmadge
**Conway Tearle Biography by Hal Erickson
American actor Conway Tearle headed for England after graduating West Point, in hopes of pursuing a stage career. He made his theatrical debut in 1892, working steadily in London until his return to the States in 1905. Establishing himself as a romantic lead on Broadway, Tearle eased in motion pictures in 1914 with The Nightingale. None of his silent films were particularly memorable, but he was able to build up a following in roles calling for dependability and inner strength. Such was his fame with female fans that the ad copy of his first talking picture, The Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), enthusiastically promised "love scenes as only CONWAY TEARLE can play them." Unfortunately the actor was well past 50 when talkies came in, and also reportedly was fighting a losing battle with Demon Rum. By the mid '30s Tearle's stock in Hollywood had fallen so low that he was forced to accept a starring job in a mercifully brief series of B-westerns! Conway Tearle's last film role of value was as Prince of Verona in Romeo and Juliet (1936), wherein he carried himself well despite the fact that he (and the rest of the cast, for that matter) was twenty years too old for the part.
SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME
IN " DANCER OF PARIS " (1926) OUR HERO LOOKS FORLORNLY AT THE BACK OF DOROTHY MacKAILL's HEAD
Conway Shmonway IS This The Biggest Star You Got Spooner?..........Glad You Asked Me That Cosmo .....
HERE'S THE GUY WHO STARTED THE SAND SCRATCHING UP THE CAMERA LENS & JAMMING THE FILM WITH THE DESERT PIC CRAZE
SON OF THE SHEIK 1926
Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky
It would turn out to be his last picture as he collapsed at premiere in NY and died eight days later. It might of been the swan song too for movie making at Smith Point. The Son Of The Sheik outdoor scenes were done there, but the bridge was in bad bad shape by then.
Silver Is That You?
Notice the buildings in distance behind Valentino's horse. Most likely it's the Coast Guard Compound.
NOT THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI, BUT THIS BRIDGE LED TO MANY A MOVIE SET
Besides being a great place to fish from.
FRED GILLESPIE HAS THIS DRAWING OF HOW THE ICE WAS TREATING HIS DAD'S BRIDGE BY THE END OF THE TWENTIES
STRIKE THE SET !
AERIAL VIEW 1930 NOTICE THE ENTIRE CENTER OF THE BRIDGE IS GONE
SO.... YOU WANT MORE ACTION PICS?........SEYMOUR STILLS SAYS: