Fires of Youth (Two reels of approx.2,000 feet, originally released in five-reel Pathé Gold Rooster Play version by the Pathé Exchange on June 17, 1917; shortened re-release by Imperial Film Company Ltd.).
Wealthy industrialist (Frederick Warde) seeks to regain his youth (Jeanne Eagles) in this cut down two-reel version.
Directed by Emile Chautard. Assistant director: James Ewens. Scenario by Agnes Christine Johnston. Photographed by Jacques Bizeul.
Print source: Em Gee, 31 minutes, 12 seconds.
Cast: Frederick Warde (Iron-Hearted Pemberton), Jeanne Eagels (Billy's sister), Helen Badgley (Billy), Ernest Howard (Billy's father), Robert Vaughn (Jim), James Ewens, Carey L. Hastings, Grace Stevens.
Original music composed and performed by Ray Brubacher thanhouser.org/people/Rayb.htm.
The productions from Thanhouser’s mature period, 1915-1917, clearly show the advancements that set the stage for the first cinematic golden age, the 1920s. In this surviving shortened version of Fires of Youth are evident such advances as detailed character development by veteran actor Warde (and in a smaller role, at least in the shortened version, by Eagels), mature editing technique, special lighting effects, intelligent story development, realistic use of locations, fluid dialogue inter-titles, complex staging, and access to better cameras with the defeat of the Patents Trust.
Acclaimed French stage and film director Emile Chautard was brought from Éclair studio in France to direct.
This lone surviving print was recently purchased by Em Gee Film Library from the collection of the Silent Movie Theatre in California. The shortened version is imprinted with “Imperial Film Company Ltd.,” an English production and distribution company founded in 1913 by Paul Kimberley who was also managing director of Thanhouser Films Ltd. in London in 1913-1914.
This film is available on DVD from Thanhouser Film Company Preservation, Inc. at thanhouser.org