icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," & Silents on the Islands


Image: Screen shot

Lois Weber & Anna Pavlova connect


On April 3, 1916, the silent film The Dumb Girl of Portici was released. The title sounds insulting to modern audiences, although a century ago, "dumb" simply meant "mute" or unable to speak. In the opera, which is the source, the mute girl dances and pantomimes, so it's not much of a stretch to have a prima ballerina – Anna Pavlova – play this part. Pavlova plays the sister of a humble fisherman. She spends much of her time dancing on the beach, instead of doing something useful like cleaning and gutting fish.


Lois Weber directed this eight-reel movie, and filmed the beach scenes on California's Santa Catalina Island. Other scenes were filmed at one of the million-dollar mansions in Montecito, CA.


Good news! This film survives and can be seen on Youtube.


Be the first to comment