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Edna Flugrath ...
The Girl
Gerald Ames ...
The Man
Charles Rock ...
The Veteran
Douglas Munro
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war effort | See All (1) »

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War | Short

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2 January 1916 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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the war effort
26 November 2016 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This fairly typical piece of war-propaganda lurks in the Huntley Archives (their film 96671) and appears on youtube as "Avoiding the War effort". There are the customary warnings against hoarding of gold and extravagance with regard to food (buying meat for dogs)but the principal message, several times repeated is "What are you doing for your country?", turning over the family home for use as a hospital as far as the father is concerned, voluntary work for the women and of course enlistment for the men of fighting age. The film commences by informing viewers that all the actors were either overage or attested unfit (so perhaps the star, Gerald Ames, had flat feet).

An interesting aspect of the film is that it is one made by, or including, a small US group who came to work in Britain for London films 1913-1922, principally on patriotic subjects, seemingly by agreement with Universal who distributed the films. Harold M. Shaw, the director had made most of his career with Edison in the US but also worked for IMP (the future Universal) and he came to Britain as early as 1913 and remained until 1922. From 1923-1926 he worked again in the US (for Metro) until his death in a car accident. He was joined in Britain in 1914 by his longtime collaborator, scriptwriter Banister Merwin (who died in Britain in 1922), by IMP director George Loane Tucker (who stayed 1914-1916) and by his wife, actress Edna Flugrath, sister of Viola Dana and Shirley Mason, all of whom started as child-actresses. Her career was nearing its end. After her return to the US, she only made one further film in 1923 for Metro.

Flugrath does not really play "the girl" in the film, she plays a coaster's wife, running a vegetable-barrow with him until of course he agrees to enlist (this actor, Herbert Miles, also presumably suffered from flat feet).

There are not too many films made by this group floating around but The Ring and the Rajah is another from 1914.


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