The Kalem Company was an American film studio founded in New York City in 1907 by George Kleine, Samuel Long , and Frank J. Marion. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A movie studio (aka film studio) is in the established sense of the term a company that distributes films. The City of New York The year 1907 in film involved some significant events Events January 19 - Variety publishes its first film review Frank Joseph Marion ( c1870 - March 28, 1963) was an American Motion picture pioneer The company immediately joined other studios in the Motion Picture Patents Company that held a monopoly on production and distribution. The Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC also known as the Edison Trust) founded in December 1908 was a trust of all the major film companies ( Edison Frank Marion had been the sales manager at Biograph Studios and Samuel Long was the manager of the Biograph production facility at Hoboken, New Jersey. Biograph Studios was a studio facility and film laboratory complex built in 1912 by the Biograph Company, formerly American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, at 807 Hoboken is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. Needing to raise more capital, the two experienced filmmakers approached Chicago businessman George Kleine to come in as a partner. A film director, or filmmaker, is a person who directs the making of a Film. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. Kleine, already a successful film distributor, was involved only a short time but it was a profitable investment for him as his partners were soon successful enough to buy out his shares at a considerable premium.
The company began operations from a small office at 131 West Twenty-fourth Street in New York City. The partners were able to lure general manager and director Sidney Olcott away from Biograph who eventually became the Kalem Company's president and was rewarded with one share of its stock. Sidney Olcott ( September 20, 1873 - December 16, 1949) was a Canadian -born Film producer, director, Actor Kalem had no indoor studios, so most of its films were shot on location. In February of 1907, the company made its first motion picture, titled "The Sleigh Belle". While Kalem scored success after success in their first year, at the once-powerful Biograph their rate of production stagnated, hampered by the loss of important personnel.
Under the direction of Sidney Olcott, Kalem made a number of significant films, including the first adaptation of Ben Hur and the following year, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Alice Joyce ( October 1, 1890 - October 9, 1955) was an actress born in Kansas City Missouri, United States This page is about the silent film For other uses see Ben-Hur Ben Hur is a 15 minute long 1907 Silent film, the first film version of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a Novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and first published in 1886 In 1910 Olcott gave actress Alice Joyce her first acting job in his production of "The Deacon's Daughter. Alice Joyce ( October 1, 1890 - October 9, 1955) was an actress born in Kansas City Missouri, United States " That year, the company shot a film in Ireland, making Kalem the first movie studio to travel outside the United States to film on location. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world As director, Olcott headed the team in Ireland and among those he brought with him were Kalem's leading lady and principal screenwriter, Gene Gauntier, actor Robert Vignola and cameraman, George Hollister. Gene Gauntier ( May 17, 1885 – December 18, 1966) was an American Screenwriter and Actress who was one Robert G Vignola ( August 5, 1882 - October 25, 1953 was an Italian -born American Actor, Screenwriter George K Hollister ( March 7, 1873 - March 28, 1952) was an American pioneer Cinematographer. There, they notably filmed A Lad from Old Ireland plus they made a number of film shorts in Blarney Castle, Glengarriff and the Lakes of Killarney. A Lad from Old Ireland is a 1910 American made Motion picture. Blarney Castle is a Medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. Glengarriff ( Gleann Garbh in Irish, meaning "Rough glen" is a village of approximately 800 people in the south-west region of County Cork, The Lakes of Killarney are a renowned scenic attraction located near Killarney, County Kerry, in Ireland. Olcott and Valentine Grant, his future wife, and others from the studio returned to Ireland for most of the summer in the next two years. Valentine Grant ( February 14, 1881, Indiana – March 12, 1949, Orange County, California) was an American The O'Kalems, as the American entourage were affectionately dubbed, made such Irish films as Rory O'Moore, The Gypsies of Old Ireland, You Remember Ellen, The Colleen Bawn, plus more than a dozen others. Later on, only the outbreak of World War I prevented Olcott from following through with his plans to build a permanent studio in Beaufort, County Kerry. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All County Kerry ( Contae Chiarraí in Irish) is a southwestern county of Ireland.
The Irish films led to Olcott taking a crew to Palestine in 1912 to make the first five-reel film. Palestine is a name which has been widely used since Roman times to refer to the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Titled From the Manger To the Cross, it told the life story of Jesus. From the Manger to the Cross or Jesus of Nazareth is a 1912 American Motion picture filmed on location in Palestine Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) According to Turner Classic Movies, it is considered the most important silent film to deal with the life of Christ. Turner Classic Movies ( TCM) is a cable television channel featuring commercial -free classic movies mostly from the Turner Entertainment and Warner In 1998 the film was selected for the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress. The National Film Registry is the registry of Films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress
Kalem was also one of the first studios to regularly film year-round by setting up facilities in Florida during the winter. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the The Florida company consisted of Sidney Olcott, George Hollister, camera man; Allen Farnham, scenic artist; Arthur Clough, property man; Gene Gauntier scenarist and leading actress; Jack J. George K Hollister ( March 7, 1873 - March 28, 1952) was an American pioneer Cinematographer. Gene Gauntier ( May 17, 1885 – December 18, 1966) was an American Screenwriter and Actress who was one Clarke, leading male actor; Robert Vignola and Ethel Eastcourt. Robert G Vignola ( August 5, 1882 - October 25, 1953 was an Italian -born American Actor, Screenwriter
In the fall of 1910, Kalem began organizing other studio locations. In November of 1910, William Wright, company treasurer, was sent to the West Coast to assess the feasibility of a permanent studio for the making of Western style films. The " West Coast " " Western Seaboard " or " Pacific Seaboard " are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the Western United States The Western is a fiction Genre seen in Film, Television, Radio, Literature, Painting and other Visual arts. Wright saw the potential and after given the go ahead from head office he acquired a property in Verdugo Canyon in Glendale and a permanent crew was dispatched from New York City. Glendale ( is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Headed by director Kenean Buel, his crew consisted of star actress Alice Joyce, George Melford, Jane Wolfe, Frank Lanning, Howard Oswald, Frank Brady, Knute Rahmn, Francelia Billington and Daisy Smith. Kenean J Buel ( c1873 - November 5, 1948) was an American Film director. Alice Joyce ( October 1, 1890 - October 9, 1955) was an actress born in Kansas City Missouri, United States George H Melford ( 19 February 1877&ndash 25 April) was an American stage and Film Actor and Film director. Jane Wolfe ( March 21, 1875 – March 29, 1958) was an American Silent film character actress and Thelemite. Frank Lanning ( 14 August, 1872 &ndash 17 June, 1945) was an American actor of the silent era. This is a disambiguation page Frank Brady may refer to Frank Brady (writer Frank Brady Sr Francelia Billington ( 1 February 1895 &ndash 24 November 1934) was an early American silent-screen actress and an accomplished camera operator With films from the Western genre much in demand, in 1911, a second California studio was opened in Santa Monica with actors Ruth Roland, Marin Sais, Ed Coxen and Marshall Neilan taken under contract. Ruth Roland ( August 26 1892 - September 22 1937) was an American stage and film actress and Film producer. Marin Sais ( August 2, 1890 - December 31, 1971) was an American motion picture Actress whose career was most prolific Albert Edward Coxen ( 8 August 1880, London, England - 21 November 1954, Hollywood, California Marshall Ambrose Neilan ( April 11, 1891 - October 27, 1958) was an important pioneer Motion picture Actor, Screenwriter The Santa Monica facility eventually would be used to make comedies. Kalem operated in these Southern California locations until October of 1913 when they took over the Essanay Studios property at 1425 Fleming Street (now, Hoover Street) in east Hollywood. The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was a motion picture studio founded on August 10, 1907 in the neighborhood of Uptown Chicago, IL
In November of 1914, Kalem released the first of 119 episodes of the serial The Hazards of Helen. Helen Holmes ( June 19, 1893 – July 8, 1950) was an American Silent film actress. Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials or Film serials, were Short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a Feature The Hazards of Helen is an American Adventure film serial (or possibly a Film series) of 119 twelve minute episodes released over An adventure film, Helen Holmes played the lead character "Helen" and did most of her own stunts in the first 26 episodes until she and director J.P. McGowan left to set up their own film production company. Adventure Film is a Film genre. History The adventure film reached its peak of popularity in 1930s and Helen Holmes ( June 19, 1893 – July 8, 1950) was an American Silent film actress. John Paterson McGowan ( February 24, 1880 – March 26, 1952) was a pioneering Hollywood Actor, Screenwriter, The two began a relationship while working on the serial that led to marriage. Director James Davis took over and Elsie McLeod substituted in episodes 27-49 until a permanent "Helen" could be found for the remainder in the form of Helen Gibson. Helen Gibson ( August 27 1892 – October 10 1977) was an American film actress, Vaudeville performer radio
On the heels of the immediate success of the Hazards of Helen, Kalem Studios simultaneously produced another sixteen episode action/adventure series they released in October of 1915 called The Ventures of Marguerite starring Marguerite Courtot. Marguerite Gabrielle Courtot ( August 20, 1897 - May 28, 1986) was an American Silent film actress.
Allan Dwan joined Kalem for a short time, as did Mary Pickford, who also directed films in 1913. Allan Dwan (April 3 1885 &ndash December 28 1981 was a pioneering Canadian -born American motion picture director, producer and screenwriter Mary Pickford ( April 8, 1892 – May 29, 1979) was an Academy Award -winning Canadian motion picture Over the years, Kalem contracted various other directors such as actor-turned-director George Melford, James W. Horne, Rube Miller, William Beaudine, Harry F. Millarde, and Robert Ellis. George H Melford ( 19 February 1877&ndash 25 April) was an American stage and Film Actor and Film director. James W Horne ( December 14, 1880 - June 29, 1942) was an early American Actor, Screenwriter and Film director William Beaudine ( January 15 1892 &ndash March 18 1970) was an American film Actor and director. Harry F Millarde ( November 12, 1885 – November 2, 1931) was a pioneer American Silent film Actor and Robert Ellis ( 27 June, 1892 &ndash 29 December, 1974) was an American film actor Screenwriter and Film director In 1915, the company lost Sidney Olcott who left to work independently for World Film Corporation, Famous Players-Lasky Co., and other studios. Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. Two years later, after having made close to one thousand motion pictures, the Kalem Company was sold to Vitagraph Studios. American Vitagraph was a United States Movie studio, founded by J