The biggest hit of 1919 for Paramount Pictures.
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The leopard Thomas Meighan is carrying in the movie was a real leopard. It had killed a man in a nearby zoo and was to be euthanize, but director Cecil B. De Mille refused to have it killed. The leopard was drugged with chloroform before it was let near the actor, who then did the scene carrying the animal on his shoulder.
Gloria Swanson insisted on doing the sequence with the lions herself, even after director Cecil B. De Mille had scrapped the idea for safety reasons. According to Swanson in her 1980 autobiography, there were two trainers on the set, along with Swanson's father.
One of the reasons director Cecil B. DeMille dropped the original title was that he was afraid that audiences would confuse the word "admirable" with "admiral."
According to Gloria Swanson, the lion with which she shared a scene killed somebody two weeks after filming.
At the premiere of this film, Gloria Swanson said she overheard somebody ask of the lions, "I wonder which one is stuffed." According to Swanson in her 1980 autobiography, the lions were all real, and were very dangerous.
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Before Gloria Swanson began the scene with the lions, director Cecil B. De Mille asked her if, for her own safety, she was menstruated. She answered she was not and then the director told her to proceed.
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Based (but altered considerably) on James M. Barrie's play "The Admirable Crichton." The play originally opened in London on 4 November 1902.
The original Broadway production of the play on which this film was based, "The Admirable Crichton", was written by J.M. Barrie (author of "Peter Pan"); it opened at the Lyceum Theater on November 17, 1903, and ran for 144 performances. It starred William Gillette, noted playwright and actor who was the first one to play the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
Gloria Swanson says in her biography that director Cecil B. De Mille called her "Young fellow" during shooting, as if she was an ordinary man of the crew. She also says that he did not call her anything days after the production of the film.
A display advert in the Riverside Daily Press, Riverside, California, Monday 22 December 1919 (Volume XXXIV, Number 303, page 3) states "Theodore Roberts is the Comedian. It is a real treat to see him in this character."
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