Thursday, March 23, 2017

Patria -- It's Fairly Packed With Style, Thrill, Romance and Intrigue -- March 23, 2017

Moving Picture World, 03-March-1917
The Wharton Brothers produced Patria, a fifteen-chapter serial starring Irene Castle, for William Randolph Hearst.  Warner Oland, who made a career out of playing Asian parts, was a Japanese spy.  Baron Huroki and his spy ring wants to destroy American munitions plants, many of which are owned by Patria Channing, who was played by Irene Castle.  Milton Sills is a Secret Service agent who is after the spy ring.  At one point in the serial, the Japanese ally with Mexico to attack the United States.  While the film was being released, President Woodrow Wilson learned about the themes of the film and asked the producers to change the nationalities of many of the characters.

Irene Castle had become famous, with her husband Vernon, as a ballroom dancer.  He left the act in early 1916 to return to his native Britain, where he joined the Royal Flying Corps.  He was a successful pilot, earning the Croix de Guerre.  He was sent to Canada and then the United States to train new pilots.  He died in a flying accident in 1918.  Here we see two items of her beautiful wardrobe. 

Moving Picture World, 10-March-1917
And more of her wardrobe. 

Moving Picture World, 17-March-1917
And here we have a closeup of Irene Castle in a military uniform. 

Moving Picture World, 24-March-1917
A closeup in civilian garb. 

Moving Picture World, 24-March-1917
Patria was a hit in Portland, Oregon. 

Moving Picture World, 31-March-1917
"...many of them showing a serial for the first time."  Here we see Irene Castle at full length wearing a military uniform.  Notice the gaiters covering the tops of her shoes and her lower legs. 

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