A PHILISTINE IN BOHEMIA.   Vitagraph, 1920. Nellie Spaulding, Edna Murphy, George de Winter, Rod La Roque. Based on a story by O. Henry. Director: Edward Griffith. Both this film and the one following were shown at Cinefest 28, Syracuse NY, March 2008.


   A charming short film in which Kate, whose mother runs a boarding house, is taken with Mr. Brunelli, a roomer who has the airs of an aristocrat. One day he invites her to dinner at the Restaurant Tonio where everybody seems to know him and confirms Kate’s suspicion that he must be a count.

   To her surprise, he reveals himself to be Tonio, the restaurant owner and chef, a spaghetti “prince” but not a true aristocrat, a species of disreputable roomer with whom the Irish boarding-house owners have had most unpleasant experiences.

   Relieved, Kate allows Tonio to kiss her, delighted that she has found a plebeian suitor that her mother will accept.

   Edward/Edward H./E. H. Griffith had an extensive list of directorial credits for silent films, and was also the director of the first version of Holiday (1930), which a good friend has told me he finds superior to the Cukor remake with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

  ●   THE VIOLIN OF M’SIEUR.   Vitagraph, 1914. Etienne Girardot, Clara Kimball Young, James Young, Napoleon the Dog. Director: James Young.

   When violin teacher Pere (Etienne Girardot) is separated from his beloved daughter Yvonne (Clara Kimball Young) by the FrancoPrussian war, he wanders for years until a chance encounter leads him to his daughter, now grown, married and the mother of a child, and a happy and prosperous future.

   I know you’ll want to know this: the dog saves the day. I’m glad he got a credit.