Archivo de la categoría: New York Clipper, The

Their Lives by a Thread (1913)

The Moving Picture World del 22 de marzo de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 12, p. 1222):

COMING RELEASES OF WARNER’S FEATURES

Some big things are in store for exhibitors using Warner’s Features. Down in Austin Texas, the Satex Film Co. is turning out some wonderful three-reel productions, featuring Miss Martha Russell, formerly Essanay’s leading lady. The first picture, “Their Lives by a Thread,” has been confiscated by the Mexican Government because it contained some striking scenes taken across the border in which real untamed Mexicans are shown attacking Americans. But the second release [“Mexican Conspiracy out Generaled”], more thrilling than the first is on its way North, and will be ready for booking this month.

The Moving Picture World del 26 de abril de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 429)
The Moving Picture World del 26 de abril de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 429)

The New York Clipper del 3 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. LVI, No. 12, p. 16):

Martha Russell, star of the Satex Film Co., of Austin, Texas, late of the Essanay Co., has never appeared to better advantage than in her latest releases controlled by Warner’s Feature Film Co. They are: “Mexican Conspiracy out Generaled” and “Their Lives by a Thread.”

The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 6, p. 604):

Martha Russell, in “Their Lives by a Thread”

The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 191 (Vol. XVI, No. 6,  p. 604)
The Moving Picture World del 10 de mayo de 1913 (Vol. XVI, No. 6, p. 604)

Lovers of the sensational will find in “Their Lives by a Thread,” a three-reel Warner’s Feature, some startling incidents. Martha Russell, as the daughter of a prosperous American living in Mexico, who has defrauded his life insurance company out of $100,000 by a fiendish plot, falls in love with the president of the insurance company and saves him from death at the bottom of a deep excavation.

To accomplish this, she climbs inside an ore-bucket and with a Mexican girl at the throttle of the hoisting engine, is carried five hundred feet in the air, then lowered to the spot where her admirer has been thrown by half-crazed strikers who believe him to be a strike-breaking leader.

Miss Russell is supported by Robert Kelly, leading man of the Satex Film Co., of Austin, Texas.

Emilio García Riera en su obra México visto por el cine extranjero (p. 51) relata:

En Their Lives by a Thread (1913), unos norteamericanos eran atacados en la frontera por “salvajes mexicanos verdaderos”, según The Moving Picture World (22 de marzo de 1913); se decía en la nota dedicada por la revista a esa película que Their Lives by a Thread fue confiscada por el gobierno mexicano, pues varias de sus escenas habían sido filmadas indebidamente en México.

Ficha filmográfica de Their Life by a Thread. También conocida bajo el título de Their Lives by a Slender Thread. (1913) Norteamericana. B&N: Tres rollos. Drama. Producción: Satex Film Company. Distribución: Warner’s Features, Incorporated. Estrenada en abril de 1913. Drama. Intérpretes: Martha Russell y Robert Kelly.

El cinematógrafo en el estado de Veracruz (1912)

Dos medios impresos norteamericanos publicaron la misma nota sobre el negocio del cinematógrafo en el estado de Veracruz. Primero, el Motography de enero de 1912  (Vol. VII, No. 1, p. 22); segundo, The New York Clipper de mayo 4 de 1912 (Vol LX, No. 12, p. 4).

Aunque con cuatro meses de diferencia la nota es la misma, lo cual muestra que las noticias sobre el cine en México eran poco difundidas en Estados Unidos y los medios “refriteaban” las mismas notas. Cabe destacar la ortografía que utilizan: Vera Cruz, misma que siguieron utilizando hasta bien entrados los años 20.

Si bien el negocio era relativamente bueno, la novedad del mismo iba en descenso y lo combinaban con teatro, danzas españolas y otras variedades. En el puerto, el único establecimiento dedicado enteramente al cine era el salón de Variedades, el cual utilizaba un cinematógrafo de la marca Pathé.

En el puerto de Veracruz sí se proyectaban películas de buena manufactura, pues el público no aceptaba cintas viejas o de mala calidad. Hacía tiempo que los cinematografistas itinerantes tenían presencia en la ciudad y la gente ya se había acostumbrado el buen cine. Ejemplo de ello, fue una función que tuvo en su noche de estreno alrededor de mil personas; la siguiente noche, tan solo seis.

Las ciudades veracruzanas con población entre 2,000 y 35,000 habitantes eran visitadas por cinematografistas itinerantes quienes se proveían de películas y aparatos con la Compañía Cinematográfica Explotadora.

Destaca el reporte consular que las películas americanas eran poco entendidas debido a la idiosincracia del publico,  situación que no sucedía con el público capitalino, más habituado a ese tipo de cintas.

Veracruz circa 1915. Foto: Colección Allen Morrison
Veracruz (circa 1915). Foto: Colección Allen Morrison

Shows in Vera Cruz

Consul William W. Canada, of Vera Cruz, Mexico, writes that moving-picture shows in his district, while still patronized, have long since ceased to be a novelty. In Vera Cruz, population about 50,000, the largest city in the consular jurisdiction, these shows have  taken second rank in the estimation of the majority of the people, and wherever such a performance takes place it is in combination with a more or less theatrical enterprise. Spanish dancers, farces, and general variety business are the principal attractions at present. The Salon de Variedades is the only permanent place of entertainment of this kind in Vera Cruz.

As far as he is informed, other towns of comparative importance, as, for instance, Jalapa, Orizaba, Cordoba, Coatepec, Cosamaloapan, Tlacotalpan, Alvarado, Tuxpan, Papantla, Huatusco, Rio Blanco, and others of 35,000 down to 2,000 inhabitants, have no permanent moving-picture shows. All these places are visited at slated intervals by traveling exhibitors, who do not even own apparatus or films, but are fitted out by the Compañía Cinematográfica Explotadora, Mexico City.

The Vera Cruz show operates a Pathé apparatus, and nearly all films shown are from the same concern. At long intervals only are American films shown. The fact is that, with few exceptions, pictures of American scenes are never well understood. This is due to the lack of familiarity with conditions as they exist in the United States, and also because the humor or pathos, as the case may be, represented on French films is of a nature that appeals to the people. In Mexico City, where the American element is better represented, matters are different.

It is worthy of mention that the films shown in Vera Cruz are all first class. There is no exception to this. The town has been worked by traveling shows for so long a time that the people will not now accept anything ancient or of inferior grade. This determination of the citizens to insist upon the best was exemplified some time ago when, upon the opening night of a show, well-advertised, over 1,000 persons attended; the succeeding evening, when the show was repeated, there were but six persons in the theater.