Tale Of Two Cites, A; Switch Tower, The

1158. A TALE OF TWO CITIES and IN THE SWITCH TOWER (1911, 1915-usa).
1. A TALE OF TWO CITIES (19H-USA). With MAURICE COSTELLO, FLORENCE TURNER, LEO DELANEY, NORMA TALMADGE. Maurice Costello, the “Dimpled Darling” with a picture-perfect profile to rival John Barry- more, was a matinee idol on Broadway for almost two decades. He was also one of the first American stage stars to appear on screen, beginning in 1908. Three years later, he starred for Vitagraph as Sydney Carton in the initial film versionÑthere have been six others sinceÑof A Tale of Two Cities, it was adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic panorama of love, intrigue and sacrifice during the French Revolution. Leo Delaney, who closely resemÂbled Costello, was cast as Charles Darnay (who, of course, closely resembled Carton); “Vitagraph Girl” Florence Turner, the studio’s top star, was never lovelier as Lucie Manette. Unsurprisingly, this proved to be Costello’s greatest celluloid success. Our abridged print is one of the finest quality you’re likely to see from this early period. Oh, yes, the “Girl in the Tumbril” is none other than Norma Talmadge, in one of her first screen appearancesÑand all of 14 years old!
2. IN THE SWITCH TOWER (191S-USA). With WALTER EDWARDS, FRANK BORZAGE. Frank Borzage may today be unknown to all but the most informed cinema buff and historian, but he carved out a career for himself during the silent and early sound film era as a prolific director, particularly of romantic and sentimental love stories. Before commencing work behind the cameraÑand earning a pair of Academy Awards in the early years the prize was offeredÑhe was employed as an actor in front of it; first playing bit parts for Thomas Ince, and then graduating to supporting and lead roles for Ince and Mutual. Borzage stars here as Joel Wharton, a young, up-and-coming railroad man. His father, Bill (Walter Edwards), once a top engineer, has become a hopeless alcoholic. The manner in which the elder Wharton attempts to thwart the wreck of a train, on which his estranged son and daughter-in-law are passengers, is the highlight of this touching and ironic melodrama. Silent films with music score, correct projection speed. 70 minutes total. ÒSilentÓ Drama