Thomas H. Ince

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Thomas H. Ince

#1 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:18 pm

Thomas H. Ince (1882 - 1924)


The theme or keynote of the story must be REAL. It
must be based upon the principle of life, something which
every man and woman knows in common with his neighbor;
some underlying basis of human existence which touches
the lives of the laborer or the capitalist, the shop girl or the
queen. The theme must be a universal language--love,
greed, sacrifice, fear or any emotion which is generally
known… This is the art of the screen, as I see it, and the
secret of better pictures is to hold up the mirror of life and
show us to ourselves.

(Thomas Ince was the proto-type of the producer-director, and during his short but prolific career, he turned his hand to every aspect of filmmaking. He worked in some capacity on most of the scripts of his many films, and while he often left the direction to others, he was often involved in editing the films in the end. The following filmography is limited to films that Ince either produced and/or directed. Titles in bold indicate films where he took credit as both producer and director; titles in cursive are films on which he only took director credit; and, titles in regular type are those upon which he only took producer credit – including credits as “presenter” and “supervisor”)

Little Nell’s Tobacco (short, 1910)

The Brand (1911)

A Dog’s Tale (short, 1911)

Their First Misunderstanding (short, 1911)

The Empty Shell (short, 1911)

The Dream (short, 1911)

Maid or Man (short, 1911)

At the Duke’s Command (short, 1911)

When the Cat’s Away (short, 1911)

The Mirror (short, 1911)

Her Darkest Hour (short, 1911)

The Convert (short, 1911)

Artful Kate (short, 1911)

A Manly Man / His Gratitude (short, 1911)

Tracked (short, 1911)

The Message in the Bottle (short, 1911)

The Fisher-Mad (short, 1911)

In Old Madrid / In Sunny Spain (short, 1911)

The Penniless Prince (short, 1911)

Sweet Memories / Sweetheart Days (short, 1911)

Across the Plains (short, 1911)

The Stampede (short, 1911)

As a Boy Dreams (short, 1911) Unknown Video (R1 US) – included on “Nickelodia, Vol. 2”

Second Sight (short, 1911)

The Fair Dentist / Mary’s Patients (short, 1911)

For Her Brother’s Sake (short, 1911)

The Master and the Man (short, 1911)

The Lighthouse Keeper (short, 1911)

The Forged Dispatch (short, 1911)

The Last Appeal (short, 1911)

Back to the Soil (short, 1911)

Behind the Stockade (short, 1911)

The Fortunes of War (short, 1911)

In the Sultan’s Garden (short, 1911)

For the Queen’s Honor (short, 1911)

A Gasoline Engagement (short, 1911)

At a Quarter of Two / Mr. Burglar, M.D. (short, 1911)

The Skating Bug (short, 1911)

The Call of the Song (short, 1911)

Behind the Times (short, 1911)

The Toss of a Coin (short, 1911)

Duty (short, 1911)

By the House That Jack Built (short, 1911)

‘Tween Two Loves (short, 1911)

Through the Air (short, 1911)

The Sentinel Asleep (short, 1911)

The Bettter Way / Going Straight / Mary’s Convert (short, 1911)

The Aggressor (short, 1911)

A Biting Business (short, 1911)

His Dress Shirt (short, 1911)

The Winning of Wonega (short, 1911)

Uncle’s Visit (short, 1911)

Tony and the Stork (short, 1911)

The Lover’s Signal (dir. Joseph W. Smiley, short, 1911)

Bar Z’s New Cook / The New Cook (short, 1911)

The Foreman’s Courage (short, 1911)

Cowgirls’ Pranks (short, 1911)

An Indian Martyr (short, 1911)

Falsely Accused (short, 1911)

The Portrait (short, 1911)

Getting His Man (short, 1911)

The Colonel’s Son (short, 1912)

The Clod (short, 1912)

For Freedom of Cuba (short, 1912)

A Mexican Tragedy (short, 1912)

Chinese Smugglers (short, 1912)

The Trinity (short, 1912)

The Indian Maid’s Elopement (short, 1912)

The Gambler’s Heart (short, 1912)

The Laugh on Dad (short, 1912)

The Honor of the Tribe (short, 1912)

The Run on the Bank (short, 1912)

The Sub-Chief’s Choice (short, 1912)

The Ranch Girl’s Love (short, 1912)

The Kid and the Sleuth (short, 1912)

Love and Jealousy (short, 1912)

The Empty Water Keg (short, 1912)

The Protection of the Cross (short, 1912)

A Tenderfoot’s Revenge (short, 1912)

Broncho Bill’s Love Affair (short, 1912)

Through the Flames (short, 1912)

The Wild West Circus (short, 1912)

The Tables Turned (short, 1912)

The Deputy’s Sweetheart (short, 1912)

War on the Plains / Across the Plains (short, 1912)

The Indian Massacre / The Heart of an Indian (short, 1912) Flicker Alley (R1 US) – included on “Saved From the Flames.”

The Battle of the Red Man /An Indian Maid’s Vengeance (short, 1912)

The Deserter (short, 1912)

Blazing the Trail (short, 1912)

The Post Telegrapher (co-dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

The Crisis (short, 1912)

The Lieutenant’s Last Fight (short, 1912)

The Outcast (short, 1912)

A Soldier’s Honor (short, 1912)

His Punishment (short, 1912)

His Message (short, 1912)

The Colonel’s Peril (short, 1912)

His Nemesis (short, 1912)

Snowball and His Pal (short, 1912)

His Double Life (short, 1912)

The Last Resource (short, 1912)

The Desert (short, 1912)

The Gambler and the Girl (short, 1912)

The Reformed Outlaw (short, 1912)

The Garrison Triangle (short, 1912)

The Bugle Call (short, 1912)

The Other Girl (short, 1912)

The Buffalo Hunt (short, 1912)

The Reckoning (short, 1912)

The Bandit’s Gratitude (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

A White Lie (short, 1912)

For the Honor of the Tribe (short, 1912)

The Frontier Child (short, 1912)

An Old Tune (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

The Fugitive (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

The Penalty (short, 1912)

The Doctor’s Double (dir. Fred J. Balshofer, short, 1912)

The Hidden Trail (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

The Sergeant’s Boy (short, 1912)

The Colonel’s Ward (short, 1912)

The Man They Scorned (short, 1912)

When Lee Surrenders (short, 1912)

On the Firing Line (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

For the Honor of the Seventh (dir. Reginald Barker, short, 1912)

Custer’s Last Fight / Custer’s Last Raid (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

The Altar of Death (co-dir. C. Gardner Sullivan, short, 1912)

The Civilian (short, 1912)

The Ball Player and the Bandit (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

The Invaders (co-dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912) National Film Preservation Foundation (R1 US) – included on “More
Treasures from American Film Archives.”

For the Cause (co-dir. Francis Ford, short, 1912)

Blood Will Tell (dir. Walter Edwards, short, 1912)

A Double Reward (short, 1912)

The Prospector’s Daughter (short, 1912)

The Law of the West (short, 1912)

Days of ‘49 (short, 1913)

A Shadow of the Past (short, 1913)

The Mosaic Law (short, 1913)

Bread Cast Upon the Waters (short, 1913)

The Sea Dog (short, 1913)

The Favorite Son (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1913)

Texas Kelly at Bay (dir. Francis Ford, short, 1913)

A Black Conspiracy (dir. Walter Edwards, short, 1913)

The Drummer of the 8th(short, 1913) Image Entertainment (R1 US) – included on “Civil War Films of the Silent Era.”

A Child of War (short, 1913)

The Battle of Gettysburg (co-dir. Charles Giblyn, 1913)

In Love and War / The Call to Arms (co-dir. Allan Dwan, short, 1913)

The Boomerang (short, 1913)

Granddad (short, 1913) Image Entertainment (R1 US) – included on “Civil War Films of the Silent Era.”

Borrowed Gold (dir. Reginald Barker, short, 1913)

From the Shadows (short, 1913)

The Witch of Salem (dir. Raymond B. West, short, 1913)

Her Legacy (dir. Fred J. Balshofer, short, 1913)

The Soul of the South (short, 1913)

A Military Judas (co-dir. Jay Hunt, short, 1914)

A Kentucky Romance (short, 1914)

The Silent Witness (co-dir. Charles Giblyn, short, 1914)

A Relic of Old Japan (co-dir. Reginald Barker, short, 1914)

The Hour of Reckoning (short, 1914)

Yellow Flame (dir. Charles Giblyn, short, 1914)

The Raiders (dir. Jay Hunt, short, 1914)

Desert Gold / After the Storm (dir. Scott Sidney, short, 1914)

The Wrath of the Gods (dir. Reginald Barker, 1914) Milestone (R1 US) – included as second feature on “The Dragon Painter.”

His Hour of Manhood (dir. Tom Chatterton, short, 1914)

Star of the North (co-dir. Jay Hunt, short, 1914)

Jim Cameron’s Wife (dir. Tom Chatterton, short, 1914)

The Gangsters and the Girl (dir. Scott Sidney, short, 1914)

The Village ‘Neath the Sea (co-dir. Jay Hunt, short, 1914)

Stacked Cards (co-dir. Scott Sidney, short, 1914)

The Death Mask (short, 1914)

The Last of the Line (short, 1914)

A Political Feud (co-dir. Richard Stanton, short, 1914)

The Golden Goose (co-dir. Raymond B. West, short, 1914)

The Power of the Angelus (co-dir. William Clifford, short, 1914)

One of the Discarded (short, 1914)

The Typhoon (dir. Reginald Barker, 1914)

The Worth of a Life (dir. Scott Sidney, short, 1914)

The Hateful God (dir. Scott Sidney, short, 1914)

The Bargain / The Two Gun-Man in the Bargain (Reginald Barker, 1914)

The Italian (uncredited dir. Reginald Barker, 1915) Flicker Alley (R1 US) – included on “Perils of the New Land.”

Mother Hulda (dir. Raymond B. West, short, 1915)

In the Land of the Otter (dir. Walter Edwards, short, 1915)

The Cross of Fire (dir. Walter Edwards, short, 1915)

The Famine (dir. George Osborne, short, 1915)

A Modern Noble (dir. Jay Hunt, short, 1915)

Shorty’s Adventures in the City (dir. Richard Stanton, short, 1915)

In the Tennessee Hills (dir. James Vincent, short, 1915) Unknown Video (R0 US) – included on “Nickelodia, Vol. 1.”

The Wells of Paradise (dir. Tom Chatterton, short, 1915)

Satan McAllister’s Heir (dir. Walter Edwards, short, 1915)

A Confidence Game (co-dir. William Clifford, short, 1915)

The Devil / Satan’s Pawn (co-dir. Reginald Barker, short, 1915)

The Roughneck / The Gentlemen from Blue Gulch (dir. William S. Hart and Clifford Smith, short, 1915)

The Alien / The Sign of the Rose (co-dir. Reginald Barker, 1915)

On the Night Stage / The Bandit and the Preacher (dir. Reginald Barker, 1915)

The Cup of Life (co-dir. Raymond B. West, 1915)

Rumpelstiltskin (dir. Raymond B. West, 1915)

The Mating (dir. Raymond B. West, 1915)

The Pathway from the Past (co-dir. Richard V. Spencer, short, 1915)

The Darkening Trail / The Hell-Hound of Alaska (dir. William S. Hart, 1915)

The Toast of Death (short, 1915)

The Reward (dir. Reginald Barker, short, 1915)

The Man from Oregon (dir. Reginald Barker and Walter Edwards, 1915)

The Coward (co-dir. Reginald Barker, 1915) Image Entertainment (R1) – included on “Civil War Films of the Silent

The Disciple (dir. William S. Hart, 1915)

The Iron Strain (dir. Reginald Barker, 1915)

The Edge of the Abyss (dir. Walter Edwards, 1915)

Matrimony (dir. Scott Sidney, short, 1915)

The Golden Claw (dir. Reginald Barker, 1915)

Between Men (dir. William S. Hart, 1915)

The Forbidden Adventure / City of the Dead (dir. Charles Swickard, short, 1915)

Aloha Oe (dir. Richard Stanton and Charles Swickard, 1915)

The Winged Idol (dir. Scott Sidney, 1915)

The Corner (dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

The Conqueror (dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

The Three Musketeers (dir. Charles Swickard, 1916)

Peggy (co-dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916)

Bullets and Brown Eyes (dir. Scott Sidney, 1916)

The Last Act (dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

The Moral Fabric (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916)

The Waifs (dir. Scott Sidney, 1916)

Hell’s Hinges (dir. Charles Swickard, 1916) National Film Preservation Foundation (R1 US) – included on “Treasures from
American Film Archives.”

The Aryan (dir. Reginald Barker, William S. Hart and Clifford Smith, 1916)

The Stepping Stone (co-dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

The Primal Lure (dir. William S. Hart, 1916)

Civilization (co-dir. Reginald Barker and Raymond B. West, 1916)

Civilization’s Child (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916)

The Sorrows of Love (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916)

The Beggar of Cawnpore (dir. Charles Swickard, 1916)

The Apostle of Vengeance (dir. William S. Hart and Clifford Smith, 1916)

The Deserter (dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

Madcap Ambrose (dir. Fred Hibbard, short, 1916)

The Captive God (dir. Charles Swickard, 1916)

Lieutenant Danny, U.S.A. (dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

Home (dir. Raymond B. West, 1916)

Honor Thy Name (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916)

Shell 43 (dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

The Patriot (dir. William S. Hart, 1916)

The Thoroughbred (dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

The Wolf Woman (dir. Raymond B. West, 1916)

The Jungle Child / The Barbarian (dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

A Corner in Colleens (dir. Charles Miller, 1916)

Jim Grimsby’s Boy (dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

The Dawn Maker (dir. William S. Hart, 1916)

Plain Jane / The Hick (dir. Charles Miller, 1916)

The Return of Draw Egan (dir. William S. Hart, 1916) Grapevine (R1 US)

The Vagabond Prince (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916) ReelClassicDvd (R1 US) – as double feature with Bronco Billy and the Baby

Somewhere in France (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1916)

The Honorable Algy (dir. Raymond B. West, 1916)

The Devil’s Double (dir. William S. Hart, 1916)

The Criminal (dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

A Gamble in Souls (dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

Three of Many (dir. Reginald Barker, 1916)

The Dividend (co-dir. Walter Edwards, 1916)

The Bride of Hate / Wanted for Murder (dir. Walter Edwards, 1917)

The Iced Bullet (dir. Reginald Barker, 1917)

Chicken Casey (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

The Crab (dir. Walter Edwards, 1917)

The Gun Fighter (dir. William S. Hart, 1917)

Princess of the Dark (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

Back of the Man (dir. Reginald Barker, 1917)

The Little Brother (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

Blood Will Tell (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

The Dark Road (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

Sweetheart of the Doomed (dir. Reginald Barker, 1917)

Paddy O’Hara (Walter Edwards, 1917)

The Desert Man (William S. Hart, 1917)

Truthful Tulliver (dir. William S. Hart, 1917)

The Weaker Sex (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

The Last of the Ingrams (dir. Walter Edwards, 1917)

The Pinch Hitter (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1917) Grapevine (R1 US) – on Charles Ray Double Feature with The Busher

The Snarl (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

Happiness / Seeking Happiness (dir. Reginald Barker, 1917)

Wild Winship’s Widow (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

The Square Deal Man (dir. William S. Hart, 1917)

Wolf Lowry (dir. William S. Hart, 1917)

The Millionaire Vagrant (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1917)

Bawbs o’ the Blue Ridge (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

Whither Thou Goest (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

The Girl, Glory (dir. Roy William Neill, 1917)

Love or Justice (dir. Walter Edwards, 1917)

The Clodhopper (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1917)

Madcap Madge (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

The Hater of Men (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

The Flame of the Yukon (dir. Charles Miller, 1917)

Time Locks and Diamonds (dir. Walter Edwards, 1917)

The Sawdust Ring (dir. Charles Miller and Paul Powell, 1917)

Sudden Jim (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1917)

The Son of His Father (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1917)

The Narrow Trail (dir. William S. Hart and Lambert Hillyer, 1917)

The Gown of Destiny (dir. Lynn Reynolds, 1917)

Those Who Pay (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

A Strange Transgressor (dir. Reginald Barker, 1917)

Borrowed Plumage (dir. Raymond B. West, 1917)

The Cold Deck (dir. William S. Hart, 1917)

The Price Mark (dir. Roy William Neill, 1917)

The Silent Man (dir. William S. Hart, 1917)

The Zeppelin’s Last Raid (dir. Irvin Willat, 1917)

Love Letters (dir. Roy William Neill, 1917)

His Mother’s Boy (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1917)

Wolves of the Rail (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

The Hired Man (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

Flare-Up Sal (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

Keys of the Righteous (dir. Jerome Storm, 1918)

The Cast-Off (dir. Raymond B. West, 1918)

Love Me (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

Naughty, Naughty! (dir. Jerome Storm, 1918)

The Family Skeleton (dir. Victor Schertzinger and Jerome Storm, 1918)

Tyrant Fear (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

Playing the Game (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

Unfaithful (co-dir. Charles Miller, 1918)

The Midnight Patrol (dir. Irvin Willat, 1918)

The Lion of the Hills (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1918)

Staking His Life (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

Fresh Faces (dir. ?, 1918)

Blue Blazes Rawden (dir. William S. Hart, 1918) ReelClassicDVD (R1 US) / Alpha (R1 US) – included on William S. Hart Double Feature with The Silent Man

Free and Equal (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

The Tiger Man (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

Selfish Yates (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

The Mating of Marcella (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

His Own Home Town (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

A Desert Wooing (dir. Jerome Storm, 1918)

The Claws of the Hun (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

Shark Monroe (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

The Kaiser’s Shadow / The Triple Cross (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

A Nine O’Clock Town (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

Riddle Gawne (dir. William S. Hart and Lambert Hillyer, 1918) Unknown Video (R1 US) – surviving fragments of this film
included as extra on Suzanna

The Border Wireless (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

Green Eyes (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

The Marriage Ring (dir. Fred Niblo, 1918)

Coals of Fire (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

The Law of the North (dir. Irvin Willat, 1918)

Vive la France! (dir. Roy William Neill, 1918)

When Do We Eat? (dir. Fred Niblo, 1918)

Fuss and Feathers (dir. Fred Niblo, 1918)

Quicksand (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

Branding Broadway (dir. William S. Hart, 1918)

String Beans (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1918)

The Market of Souls (dir. Joseph De Grasse, 1919)

Hard Boiled (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1919)

Breed of Men (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1919)

The False Faces (dir. Irvin Willat, 1919)

The Girl Dodger (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

Happy Though Married (dir. Fred Niblo, 1919)

The Poppy Girl’s Husband / Poppy Girl (dir. William S. Hart and Lambert Hillyer, 1919)

The Sheriff’s Son (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1919)

Extravagance (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1919)

Patners Three (dir. Fred Niblo, 1919)

The Homebreaker (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1919)

Let’s Elope (dir. John S. Robertson, 1919)

The Law of Men (dir. Fred Niblo, 1919)

Greased Lightning (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

The Lady of Red Butte (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1919)

The Busher (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919) Kino (R1) – included in the Reel Baseball release / (R1 US) – on Charles Ray Double Feature with The Pinch Hitter

The Haunted Bedroom (dir. Fred Niblo, 1919)

Square Deal Sanderson (dir. William S. Hart and Lambert Hillyer, 1919)

Other Men’s Wives (dir. Victor Schertzinger, 1919)

Bill Henry (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

Hay Foot, Straw Foot (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

Wagon Tracks (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1919) Unknown Video (R1 US)

Stepping Out (dir. Fred Niblo, 1919)

The Egg Crate Wallop (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

23 ½ Hours’ Leave (dir. Henry King, 1919)

John Petticoats (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1919)

Crooked Straight (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

Behind the Door (dir. Irvin Willat, 1919)

His Wife’s Friend (dir. Joseph De Grasse, 1919)

Red Hot Dollars (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919)

Dangerous Hours (dir. Fred Niblo, 1919)

Black Is White (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1920)

Let’s Be Fashionable (dir. Lloyd Ingraham, 1920)

The Woman in the Suitcase (dir. Fred Niblo, 1920)

What’s Your Husband Doing? (dir. Lloyd Ingraham, 1920)

Alarm Clock Andy (dir. Jerome Storm, 1920)

The False Road (dir. Fred Niblo, 1920)

The Dark Mirror (dir. Charles Giblyn, 1920)

Homer Comes Home (dir. Jerome Storm, 1920)

Paris Green (dir. Jerome Storm, 1920)

Below the Surface (dir. Irvin Willat, 1920) Grapevine (R1 US)

Hairpins (dir. Fred Niblo, 1920)

Homespun Folks (John Griffith Wray, 1920)

The Village Smith (dir. Jerome Storm, 1920)

The Jailbird (dir. Lloyd Ingraham, 1920)

Her Husband’s Friend (dir. Fred Niblo, 1920)

The Leopard Woman (dir. Wesley Ruggles, 1920)

An Old Fashioned Boy (dir. Jerome Storm, 1920)

The Rookie’s Return (dir. Jack Nelson, 1920)

Silk Hosiery (dir. Fred Niblo, 1920)

Lying Lips / The Magic Life (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1921)

Chickens (dir. Jack Nelson, 1921)

Beau Revel (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1921)

The Home Stretch (dir. Jack Nelson, 1921)

Mother o’ Mine (dir. Fred Niblo, 1921)

The Bronze Bell (dir. James W. Horne, 1921)

One a Minute (dir. Jack Nelson, 1921)

The Cup of Life (dir. Rowland V. Lee, 1921)

Passing Through (dir. William A. Seiter, 1921)

Hail the Woman (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1921)

Skin Deep (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1922)

Lorna Doone (dir. Maurice Tourneur, 1922) Kino (R1 US)

The Hottentot (dir. James W. Horne and Del Andrews, 1922)

Bell Boy 13 (dir. William A. Seiter, 1923)

What a Wife Learned (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1923)

Scars of Jealousy (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1923)

The Sunshine Trail (dir. James W. Horne, 1923)

Soul of the Beast (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1923)

A Man of Action (dir. James W. Horne, 1923)

Her Reputation (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1923)

The Galloping Fish (dir. Del Andrews, 1924)

The Marriage Cheat (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1924)

Anna Christie (dir. John Griffith Wray, 1923)

Those Who Dance (dir. Lambert Hillyier, 1924)

Barbara Frietchie (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1924)

Christine of the Hungry Heart (dir. George Archainbaud, 1924)

Idle Tongues (dir. Lambert Hillyer, 1924)

Enticement (dir. George Archainbaud, 1925)

Percy / Mother’s Boy (dir. Roy William Neill, 1925)

Forum Discussion

Flicker Alley

Milestone: Dragon Painter

Unknown Video

Web Resources

Alternative Film Guide – article “Inceville: Film
Pioneer Thomas Ince’s Studios” by Libby Motika (“The Palisadian-Post”)

La Cineteca del Friuli – ”Thomas H. Ince Revisited” Program Notes relating to a retrospective of a selection of Ince’s films.

Film Reference


The Media Drome – article “The Mysterious Death of Thomas Ince” by Debra Pawlak

Silents are Golden – photographs of Ince’s home on 1051 Benedict Canyon Dr., Beverly Hills

Taylorology – a newsletter edited by Bruce Long, and dedicated to the investigation of the death of another Hollywood personality – William Desmond Taylor. This issue of August 2000, includes a lengthy reprint of Thomas Ince’s “Autobiography” (originally published in instalments in “The Los Angeles Record” on December 3-13, 1924


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Re: Thomas H. Ince

#2 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:29 pm

It is difficult to fully appreciate the impact Thomas Ince had on the establishment of the film industry as we know it today -- few of his films are readily accessible, and his name has generally faded into obscurity. Like D.W. Griffith, Ince was originally a stage actor, and like Griffith had done a couple of years previously, Ince took his first job in the budding film industry in order to put food on the table and wait for his fortune to change in the theatre. However, he soon understood the potential of the new medium, and saw in it also a huge business opportunity. After initially working for the New York based IMP studio, Ince soon negotiated a contract with another company to go to California and make cowboy pictures. Here, in the early stages of his career, he would direct and produce during the day, edit the day’s footage on the kitchen table in the evenings, and before going to sleep at night, he would jot down the script for the following day’s shooting. He did so at the rate of at least one film per week.

If Griffith was the great innovator of the early American film language, then Ince was the great early organizer. The film industry in the early teens was by and large amateurish and unorganized, and films were made off the cuff. Amongst Ince’s early innovations was the idea of the “shooting script,” which basically meant that he had a screenplay with stage instructions written before beginning a production. Insisting on this practice, Ince was soon able to coordinate and supervise several productions at the same time, thereby turning out several and longer films per week to meet the ever increasing demand for new product. Once he had a finished “shooting script,” he would often dispatch a director with a crew, and tell them to shoot the script exactly as written. To ensure that he got the film that he wanted in the end, he would often helm the editing personally. In this manner, Ince originated the system of working that would later become known as “unit production,” and upon which rested the success of the Hollywood studio system from the ‘20s to the ‘40s.

Another key to Ince’s success was his ability to identify talent. Many of the people, who worked for Ince as directors – Fred Niblo, Hillyer Lambert, Reginald Barker, Victor Schertzinger, James V. Horne, Roy William Neill, and many others, went on to long and successful careers in the industry. He also gave Frank Borzage his first starring roles in films, long before he became a director; he gave Sessue Hayakawa the contract that made him the first Asian-American star in such films as Wrath of the Gods and Typhoon; and most famously, he introduced one of his old acting friends to the screen in the role as cowboy, and William S. Hart indeed made the best of the situation, starring in hundreds of westerns during the next couple of decades, and becoming one of the immortal western stars.

Given the hundreds of films that Ince was involved in producing, the somewhat diffuse role that he played in their making, and the difficulty in seeing most of them today, it is difficult to make any over-arching statements about the qualities of his work. In his book “The Rise of the American Film,” Lewis Jacobs paraphrases colleagues of Ince, who called him the “greatest film editor the business has ever produced,” and “the doctor of the sick film.” Jacobs comments that Ince’s prime concern was with the story of his films, and that he was a great believer in “direct story telling,” cutting out “anything that did not contribute to the progress of the film story.” He goes on to further say: “Ince’s narrative flair was enhanced by his feeling for human relationships, space, and nature. The themes he chose most frequently were, as a contemporary expressed it, ‘soul-fights.’ Many of his films did not conform to the happy-ending convention but were tragedies. Sweeping landscapes, imposing mountain ranges, desert wastes – all these he brought into play to give his films color, to brighten dramatic moods. A torrential rain fell on a desperate hand-to-hand fight; the prairie wind beat back a tired traveler; the midday sun tortured a thirsty desert prospector.”

These descriptions by Jacobs apply well to some of those few Ince films that I have personally been able to see on DVD. Wrath of the Gods, The Invaders, The Heart of an Indian, The Italian, Granddad and In the Tennessee Hills. These films do have in common a reverence of nature; a respect for people of other cultures and their customs; the plight of the individual faced with an overwhelming adversary, be it a storm or volcano, a mortal enemy, or an unjust social system, poverty, old age, death.

Ince’s star rose with meteoric speed, and after working for a series of smaller production companies, he was in a position to form Triangle Pictures with D.W. Griffith and Mack Sennett in 1916, and then two years later sold his share in the company, and established his own studio -- Thomas Ince Productions -- in 1918. Then, at the zenith of his success, Thomas Ince passed away on his 42nd birthday. He was participating in a party in his honor onboard William Randoph Hearst’s luxury yacht, when he collapsed from a heart attack, and died before he could be brought ashore. Gossip and rumor persists to this day to the effect that Ince did not die from heart trouble, but from a stray gunshot to the head by Hearst, who had exploded in a fit of drunken jealous rage at finding Marion Davies in the arms of Charles Chaplin during the party. The incident is famously covered in Kenneth Anger’s book “Hollywood, Babylon,” and speculation can be found in numerous places on the internet.

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Re: Thomas H. Ince

#3 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:33 pm

For what it's worth, Yasujiro Ozu stated that it was seeing Ince's Civilization that made him realize _he_ wanted to be a director.

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Re: Thomas H. Ince

#4 Post by myrnaloyisdope » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:44 am

It's a shame Civilization only exists in a mutilated form today, as it's missing 5 reels and the original intertitles. The version that exists today is the 1930 version that was re-released by religious groups.

Ince's legacy as an artist is almost entirely overshadowed by the scandal surrounding his murder. This in conjunction with the fact that the vast majority of his work is lost makes him more or less a footnote, despite being a rival of Griffith.

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Re: Thomas H. Ince

#5 Post by HarryLong » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:55 am

It's a shame Civilization only exists in a mutilated form today
And so far as I could discover not even available in that form on DVD.

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Re: Thomas H. Ince

#6 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:46 pm

Even so it's pretty easy to see-- the Kino VHS of it has been available for years (it's a nice clear, crisp transfer.. I've had it for a long time) and still is if you're really itching to see the film.

Myrnaloy is correct about what's been done-- they really hyped up the Jesus angle of the film and turned it thematically into a pile of corn. But nonetheless, the skill and conceptual effervescence shine thru-- very much worth a watch. Even beyond the bounds of it's historical significance (and MK is right-- this is the film that blew Ozu's mind and set his career path in stone).

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Re: Thomas H. Ince

#7 Post by Scharphedin2 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:35 pm

I would really like to see this film. Reading about it, does make it sound as if this was a conscious attempt on Ince's part to create his masterpiece. It sounds not dissimilar to Intolerance, and I was wondering about the extent to which these two filmmakers influenced each other (on these two productions specifically).

As to the Kino VHS. I have not had a player since the late '80s, so it does me little good. I managed to find a horrible looking recording off of Spanish television with yellow Spanish subs plastered all over the VERY soft and blurry image. If there was a way to see the Kino -- if someone had done a transfer to DVDR -- that would make my day.

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