Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Silent Serial SensationsThe Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Barbara Tepa Lupack

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748189

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748189.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 20 September 2021

Taking a Parallel Path

Taking a Parallel Path

(p.32) Chapter 2 Taking a Parallel Path
Silent Serial Sensations

Barbara Tepa Lupack

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses how Leo Wharton got into the film industry. Leo's earliest documented stage appearance was in 1893, in the play The Fairies' Well. After a few years of itinerant acting, Leo was able to secure steadier employment at the Hopkins Grand Opera in Saint Louis, where his brother Ted was already performing. As part of Colonel Hopkins's theatrical company, Leo assumed various stage roles in the popular daylong “continuous performance” programs that Hopkins pioneered, which combined live drama and between-the-acts vaudeville. Leo's first known (and first credited) film appearance was in the title role of Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln's Clemency (1910), a photoplay produced by Ted Wharton for Pathé. The role not only garnered good reviews for his sympathetic performance and even for his resemblance to the revered figure whom he was portraying; it also led to an offer as a director for Pathé, the studio for which Ted was then working. There, Leo began directing similar shorts, such as the period historical drama The Rival Brothers' Patriotism (1911). Since early movie audiences seemed especially fond of marital comedies, Leo produced several shorts in 1913 that revolved around wedding-day complications. While these and other short pictures that Leo produced for Pathé were often predictable in their plotting and formulaic in their execution, they were nonetheless popular with audiences and profitable for Pathé. Moreover, they established his reputation in the industry.

Keywords:   Leo Wharton, film industry, Hopkins Grand Opera, stage roles, continuous performance, vaudeville, Pathé, film shorts, marital comedies, short pictures

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.