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Upstairs and Down (1919) -- Lost Film ?

Author: Pamela Short from Canada
4 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Described as a "Baby Vamp" by the social set, Alice Chesterton (Olive Thomas), engaged to boring Tom Carey (David Butler), flirts with many of the male guests idling at the Ives' Long Island house party. After she encourages Terence O'Keefe (Robert Ellis), a playboy polo player from Ireland in New York to purchase horses for the British army, to rendezvous with her in the city, they are seen together at the "Midnight Frolic." Because of this, Mrs. Ives convinces Alice's newly-arrived sister Betty (Rosemary Theby) to look after Alice. Betty arranges for Terence to find her in an auto wreck where he revives her with a kiss. Genuinely in love with each other, they plan to marry, until the jealous Alice tells Betty that Terence "ruined" her. When Betty accuses Terence, he makes Alice confess her to her lies. Tom, encouraged by Terence's advice, overwhelms Alice with his "caveman" tactics. At the end, the servants, who have observed the upstairs activities, emulate their masters' flirting mannerisms.

Upstairs and Down was the first film Olive Thomas made for the newly formed Selznick Pictures Corporation. A comedy based on the 1916 play of the same name by Frederick and Fanny Hatton. The film was generally well received by critics who also noted it would likely be received better in large cities that had "moderately sophisticated" audiences. As of this writing, Upstairs and Down remains a lost silent film, tragic for fans of the beautiful actress Olive Thomas.

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