Tag Archives: British silent film

Merci et Cie the Movie Modiste

Merci et Cie the Movie Modiste

Post World War 1 there was renewed optimism for the British Film industry and various moves were made to improve the quality of productions with effective and original costume design recognised as being of crucial importance. Between 1919-1922 this was evident by the formation of two dress designing departments at the newly formed Islington studio for Famous Players Lasky, headed by Marcelle de St Martin and the Alliance Studios, headed by Gladys Jackson. But there were various other independent designers rising to the occasion as well. One such person was the fashion designer and costumier Mde de Petier of Merci et Cie (sometimes spelt Mercie) based at 90 Charing Cross Road, whose business was described as ‘milliners.’

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Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty

Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty by Gary Chapman

A long lost artistic genius of the Jazz Age, Dolly Tree was famous on both sides of the Atlantic, for her extravagant creations that appeared in stage shows, cabaret, couture and film in the glamorous 1920s and 1930s. It is now time for her to be reclaimed as one of the great British dress-designers of the 20th century

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Marcelle de Saint Martin and British silent film

Marcelle de Saint Martin and British silent film

French born Marcelle De Saint Martin, became the first true head of a cohesive costume or wardrobe department for a British film studio beginning work at the Islington film Studio in the early 1920s.

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The School For Scandal (1923)

The School For Scandal (1923)

A surprising British feature film released in 1923 was Bertram Phillips’ The School For Scandal starring Queenie Thomas based on a well-known British stage play by Richard Sheridan.

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Paddy the Next Best Thing (1923)

Paddy the Next Best Thing (1923)

Herbert’s Wilcox’s second film with Mae Marsh, following The Flames of Passion, was Paddy the Next Best Thing, a romantic drama about a young tomboy and her growing love for a rich landowner set in Ireland and London, once again directed by Graham Cutts.

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Josephine Earle

Josephine Earle

Josephine Earle was an American actress who made a name for herself at Vitagraph in a series of Vamp movie roles from 1915. She then made herself thoroughly at home in England during the 1920s appearing in British silent films, legitimate stage shows and cabaret.

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The Flames of Passion (1922)

Flames of Passion (1922)

One of the earliest ground breaking British silent films from Herbert Wilcox and Graham Cutts was The Flames of Passion starring the American actress Mae Marsh and a solid British cast.

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The White Shadow (1924)

The White Shadow (1924)

Part of a two-picture deal starring the American actress Betty Compson, The White Shadow (1924) was the second picture from British director Graham Cutts, following in the footsteps of the highly successful Woman to Woman (1923).

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Two Lancashire Lasses in London (1917)

Two Lancashire Lasses in London (1917)

Two Lancashire Lasses in London was a typical British feature film made during the First World War. The film is lost, at the time of its release it was overshadowed by big American releases and yet a press book has survived that gives us a glimpse of what it was all about.

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