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The Dream of a Moving Picture Director (1912)

A photoplay is wanted quick. The manager calls in the director to give him one in a hurry. The director shows him several scripts, but they do not suit; so the director is compelled to call... See full summary »




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Cast overview:
The Movie Hero
The Movie Heroine
The Movie Villain (as Jack Barrymore)
Will Hartzell ...
The Movie Detective
Edwin Middleton ...
Himself - The Movie Director
Shannon Fife ...
Himself - The Author of the Story


A photoplay is wanted quick. The manager calls in the director to give him one in a hurry. The director shows him several scripts, but they do not suit; so the director is compelled to call the scenario writer to have a play written in an hour. The director summons his company and reads the play to them; then tells them to make up, while he gives his plots to the stage manager. Being weary, he falls asleep in a chair in the center of the stage and dreams the following: A young girl, employed in an office, falls in love with the head clerk. The boss is a black mustached villain, who is also in love with the girl. To make an impression he gives her his photo, which she throws with contempt on the table. He then tries to embrace her. She calls for help, when her sweetheart (the head clerk) comes to her rescue. At this juncture, the heavy man is not strong enough in the part and the director stops the play and shows him what to do. The play is resumed, the "heavy" throws the head clerk ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy





Release Date:

5 June 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dream of a Motion Picture Director  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of John Barrymore (as the Movie Villain), confirmed in the review in the New York Dramatic Mirror, 12 June 1912, page 29. See more »

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John Barrymore's screen debut(unconfirmed?)
27 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

John Barrymore's first four screen appearances are listed as unconfirmed. All four unconfirmed films are 1 reelers meaning they aren't features & ran less than a thousand feet. So his first bonafide credited screen appearance is listed as the lost feature "An American Citizen"(1914) and there is no doubt he was in that film as stills survive of him in the production.

So what of Barrymore's four unconfirmed screen appearances of 1912 & 1913?

First according to IBDB.com Barrymore was performing in these Broadway plays for 1912-1913: A SLICE OF LIFE(with sister Ethel): January 29 1912-March 1912(then probably tour) AFFAIRS OF ANATOL: October 14 1912-December 1912(then probably tour) BELIEVE ME XANTIPPE: August 19 1913-October 1913

Most likely he 'WAS'IMHO in the four unconfirmed films as he would have had the time, before or after touring, to make them(1 reelers could be made in a week). From March 1912, when the play "A Slice of Life" ended on Broadway to the release date June 5 1912 of the first movie DREAM OF A MOVING PICTURE DIRECTOR Barrymore could have appeared in the film. Likewise the second & third unconfirmed movies WIDOW CASEY'S RETURN & A PRIZE PACKAGE were released on June 17 1912 & August 5 1912 respectively.

Also one has to take into account the director Edwin Middleton. He directed two out of the four unconfirmed Barrymore films and directed other 'Broadway' theater stars such as John's brother Lionel, Lillian Russell, W.C. Fields(in the famous "Pool Sharks") & Cissy Fitzgerald.

John's costars, Eleanor Caines & Jerold T Hevener, in the four unconfirmed films hail from Philadelphia as John did. Philly is a stone's throw, by train, from the New York theater district and the center of US film production at the time: NY/New Jersey. Caines appeared in all four unconfirmed films while Hevener appeared in three. ONE ON ROMANCE released April 14 1913 was the last of the four unconfirmed shorts for John & Eleanor Caines as Caines appears to have passed away on June 2 1913 at the age of 33.

This would seemingly end a bit of detective work for DREAM OF A MOVING PICTURE DIRECTOR & it's three unconfirmed brother films in which John Barrymore is alleged to have appeared in. Speculation of his appearance in these four unconfirmed films will probably ensue as no prints or stills survive of John in any of the films. Lastly John in his writings as well as most biographies on John & his siblings make no mention of him in these films or their productions. Possibly and with speculation the films were produced in Philadelphia, New Jersey or New York City.

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