Thais (1917?) silent film

John Holland (
Tue, 23 Apr 2002 09:12:27 -0700 (PDT)

I believe I touched on this once before and stumped all of you, but
someone at Lyric Opera of Chicago has asked me for help in possibly
tracking down a silent film based on the Massenet opera (and Anatole
France novel) "Thais", made in 1916 by Sam Goldwyn and starring the
opera singer Mary Garden (it was one of her best roles). Internet Movie
Database gives 1917 as the release date, and The Motion Picture Guide
doesn't even recognize its existence (they list one made in 1914 with a
different cast). I have checked all of the usual video sources, OCLC,
and various film distribution catalogs, and have found nothing. I am
guessing that this is one of those films that disintigrated years ago,
and given that Garden herself was not happy with the film and indicates
in her autobiography that it was not especially well received, it
probably never occured to anyone to preserve it. If anyone knows of an
archival copy anywhere, all leads would be appreciated. For now I am
working under the assumption that any format would be welcome.

John Holland
Chicago Public Library
Media Express
(312) 747-4100