THE STOLEN VOICE. World Film Corp., 1915. Robert Warwick, Frances Nelson, Giorgio Majeroni, Violet Horner, Bertram Marburgh. Screenwriter/director: Frank Hall Crane. Shown at Cinefest 28, Syracuse NY, March 2008.


   When society matron Belle Borden (Violet Horner) is entranced with the world-famous tenor Gerald D’Orvilie (Robert Warwick) her jealous suitor, the sinister mesmerist Dr. Von Gahl (Giorgio Majeroni) renders D’Orville mute.

   Belle immediately loses interest in the silenced tenor, who travels abroad, exhausting all of his fortune in an attempt to recover his voice. Reduced to utter penury, Gerald is rescued by someone he once salvaged from the refuse heap of humanity, rising to new heights as a silent screen star. When Dr. Van Gahl sees Gerald in his new-found glory on the screen he has a fatal heart attack, which immediately restores Gerald’s voice.

   I’ve skipped over several interesting features of which the most striking is the rescue by Gerald of his co-star from the raging rapids which are pulling her to a violent death. But you’ll get no more details from me. I’ve whetted your appetite enough already. (By the way, I loved the film. Or hadn’t you guessed that already?)

Editorial Note:   Robert Warwick’s movie and television career began in 1914 and did not end until 1962, two years before his death, with a substantial combined 242 total credits on bot screens. Moviewise, his roles seem largely to have consisted of minor roles in bigger films, and bigger roles in B-movies.

   Catching my eye, though, looking down through the list of movies he appeared in, are several he made for Preston Sturges in the early 1940s: The Great McGinty (1940), Christmas in July (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), and Sullivan’s Travels (1941). He was third-listed in the latter, after Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.