Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Won in the Clouds -- February 11, 2014


Roy Knabenshue was a pioneering American dirigible pilot and builder.  He flew Tom Baldwin's California Arrow at the 1904 Saint Louis Exposition.  He built an early passenger-carrying dirigible, the White City, in California in 1913.  That may be the dirigible featured in this Universal film.  Otis Turner was a pioneering director.  The ad above is from the 28-February-1914 issue of Moving Picture World.  The two ads below are from the 07-March-1914 issue.  Be sure to click on the images to see larger versions.  

The review below is from the 03-April-1914 Washington Times. Kaffir is not a polite term. 

CECIL JAMES, an Englishman, accompanied by his daughter, Grace, is hunting big game in the wilds of Africa. One day. Bangula, a Kaffir, steals a rifle from the gunrack. When Bangula is captured by his fellows he is saved from death by the interference of James. Out of gratitude, Bangula leads James and his daughter to the fabled diamond mine of the Kabangans. In the city of Bloemfontein, Roy Knabenshue, an American aeronaut, arrives with his dirigible balloon for the purpose of carrying agents of Bjornsen, a banker,. to the diamond mines of the interior. Knabenshue falls in love with Bjornsen's daughter. Mary. Far in the interior James and his daughter reach a Kaffir village near the diamond mine. From the fact that he smokes a pipe. James is taken to be a fire god by the natives, and meets Portuguese Jack, a renegade, who is worshiped as a fire god and virtually held a prisoner James locates the diamond mines and secures many rough diamonds. Portuguese attempts to force his attentions on Grace, and when they attempt to escape with the diamonds he reports them to the chief of the tribe. They hide the diamonds in the floor of the feast house where the Kaffiirs feed their victims to the lions, and when they finally escape they are obliged to leave the diamonds. How they enlist the American aeronaut in their attempt to recover the diamonds and the thrilling experiences they have make a series of great pictures.

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