Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Miracle Man -- August 21, 2019

Moving Picture World, 02-August-1919
The Miracle Man, based on a novel by Frank L Packard and a play by George M Cohan, was the movie that made Lon Chaney a star. Notice that his name and image do not appear in the ad. "Lon Chaney, in an exceptional characterization will be remembered forever by every one who sees this film." He played the Frog, a contortionist who served as a shill for a faith healer. Sadly, the film is lost.

Moving Picture World, 09-August-1919
"...this photoplay with an amazing soul..."

Moving Picture World, 09-August-1919

"Critical Audience at New York Penitentiary

"Approved of Crook Play — Competition Announced

"A PRINT of 'The Miracle Man,' which is scheduled for Paramount-Artcraft release in September, was taken to the Sing Sing penitentiary by a representative of the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. As it is a crook play, the manner of its reception by an audience, which naturally would be supposed to know much about crime and the ways of criminals, was the subject of considerable speculation at the office of the corporation.

"How the picture was received by this critical audience is briefly described in the Famous Players-Lasky man's written report, submitted on his return to New York. He said :

"Officials Give Praise.

"'Edward V. Brophy, warden, and John P. Joyce, superintendent of industries, told me personally that 'The Miracle Man' was the most wonderful picture they had ever seen — and they have seen many. I also received oral praise from many of the inmates themselves. Louis Jacobs said: 'The picture carries a message that reaches the men without their knowing why. It isn't crammed down their throats like a preachment. That's why it made a hit with them.' I also had to talk with — - — — (naming one of the best known newspapermen in the United States who recently was convicted of a capital crime). He had read the book and seen the play. The picture, he said, was the best he had ever seen.'

Announce Competition.

"A contest was announced to the inmates of the institution in the name of President Adolph Zukor and the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. An offer was made of a first prize of $10, a second prize of $7 and a third prize of $5 for the three best compositions conveying the impressions made upon the writer by the picture. The judges will be George Blaisdell, editor of Moving Picture World; Joseph Dannenberg, editor of Wid's ; Lesley Mason, editor of Exhibitor's Trade Review; Robert E. Welch, managing editor of Motion Picture News, and Miss Louella O. Parsons, motion picture editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

"Sing Sing Critic Praises.

"Before the Famous Players-Lasky representative left the prison he was handed a copy of a review of "The Miracle Man," written by "F. M.":

"'So many photoplays have been called 'inspirational,' so many have had a message,' yet almost as many have failed to inspire or deliver the message. Never have we been more profoundly moved in viewing a picture or had our souls more deeply, or wholesomely, stirred than when, by a courtesy and thoughtfulness which we could not fully appreciate until after the last reel had been run, the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation permitted us to see, even before it could be seen elsewhere, this remarkable picture of George Loane Tucker's. Into it has been woven every feature that has made his other pictures the successes they were.

"'Never before have we seen a picture which we considered worthy of being compared to a great symphony, by a great composer, performed by a large and capable orchestra. In 'The Miracle Man,' as in the symphony, each tone and each accent have a definite meaning, all contributing to the final perfection of the masterpiece and all blended into one harmonious whole, no part of which would be complete without the other parts, though each part in itself may be 'a thing of beauty and a joy forever.'"

Moving Picture World, 16-August-1919
"Its fame will be spread by an endless chain."

Moving Picture World, 23-August-1919
A preview showing for the trade.

Moving Picture World, 30-August-1919
Famous Players-Lasky commissioned a song to promote The Miracle Man.

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