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Directed by Sidney Morgan
Script by Austin Fryers
Produced by Famous Authors
Eille Norwood Dr. O'Kama
Violet Graham Isobel Arlington
Anna Mather Madame Obnowsky
Frederick de Lara Earl of Wansborough
Ernest A. Dagnall Colonel Arlington
R. van Courtland Lord Dewsbury
Format: 35 mm. Length: 5 reels / 4363 feet.
BFI synopsis: “A fake occultist, reformed by a colonel’s daughter, saves an earl from his ex-partner.”


The Bioscope (13 January, 1916 - p.9)

     We are informed that the film version of “The Charlatan,” by Robert Buchanan, produced by Mr. Sydney Morgan, who, by the way, was the winner of the Evening News prize of £100, has been sold by the Davison Film Sales Agency to the Crown Film Hiring Company, of 52, Wardour Street.
     This film has a fine cast, including Miss Violet Graham, Mr. Edward Dagnall, and Mr. Eille Norwood.



The Bioscope (24 February, 1916 - p.58)


The Bioscope (9 March, 1916 - p.113)


The Bioscope (23 March, 1916 - p.70)


The Hull Daily Mail (24 April, 1916 - p.3)


The Hull Daily Mail (25 April, 1916 - p.2)


Derby Daily Telegraph (20 May, 1916 - p.4)


     On Monday next and two following days arrangements have been made for the exhibition of a thrilling and sensational four-part exclusive “The Apache Dancer’s Sacrifice.” The story is well told, and is thrilling from start to finish. The dancing scenes are remarkable works of art. For the latter part of the week another star attraction will be found in a production of Sir Herbert Tree’s famous play “The Charlatan,” introducing a magnificent West End caste, including Violet Graham. The play is too well known to require any introduction, and it has lost nothing in the hands of the film producers.



Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, and Cheriton Herald (26 May, 1917 - p.4)


The Taunton Courier (6 June, 1917 - p.4)

     EXCHANGE ELECTRIC THEATRE.—“The Bride of the Nancy Lee,” a fine two-reel drama, featuring Myrtle Gonzales will be shown on Monday next. It is a tale of the sea and includes a mutiny on board ships, and a terrific storm portrayed with life fidelity. An interesting full list will be shown in addition. On Thursday a stupendous film production will be screened, entitled “The Charlatan.” It is Sir Herbert Tree’s dramatization of the novel by Robert Buchanan and is full of beautiful scenes in India and in England. This film will provide a rich treat for lovers of perfection in pictures. Another excellent exclusive to be shown on Thursday is entitled “Italy’s Glorious Army,” which will deal with the tremendous efforts, but little realised in England, made by our gallant Allies.



The Bioscope (12 July, 1917 - p.133)

The Overseas Buyer’s Guide
A Directory of British Firms Engaged in Export Trade

. . .

     Cross’s Pictures, Ltd. (22, Frith Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W.), who rank amongst the oldest exporters in this country, have an immense stock of second-hand open-market subjects, in excellent condition, which they are reserving solely for export purposes. In addition, they control the rights of several of the best British-made exclusives, including the film version of the late Sir Herbert Tree’s famous play, “The Charlatan,” produced by Mr. Sydney Morgan, described elsewhere in this issue, to which we heartily recommend the attention of our readers. Any communications addressed to the Secretary of this firm, we are confident, will receive prompt and courteous attention.



     This remarkable film is a picturisation of the late Sir Herbert Tree’s stage production of “The Charlatan,” by Robert Buchanan. For the screen version a full West End cast was secured, including Miss Violet Graham, Miss Pauline Royce, Mr. Eille Norwood, and Mr. E. Dagnall.
     The problem of the occult forms the basis of this weird and thrilling drama, the principal character in which is a Dr. O’Kama, who, with Madame Obnoskin, practices his wiles upon the easy-to-make-believes. In the course of his peregrinations he comes in contact with Isobel Arlington, who exercises such an influence over him as to render him powerless to perform his trick. For three years he refrains from practising the occult, during which time Isobel becomes the affianced wife of Lord Dewsbury, a needy gambler. Later, when O’Kama returns at the invitation of Madame Obnoskin, to assist her in devining the whereabouts of Isobel’s father, who has not been heard of for some years, Dewsbury denounces him as a charlatan. Whilst in a trance Isobel is summoned to O’Kama’s presence and bestows upon him the kiss of love with a declaration of her passion for him. O’Kama unsuccessfully attempts to put a barrier between himself and Isobel, but whilst Dewsbury gloats over the downfall of his rival, Isabel again confesses her love for the man who guarded her honour.


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Directed by Edwin J. Collins
Script by Eliot Stannard.
Produced by Ideal Film Company
IMDB version:
Langhorn Burton Christiansen
Joyce Carey Priscilla Sefton
Bert Wynne Richard Christiansen
Edith Craig Dame Christiansen
Sybil Arundale Kate Orchardson
Henry Vibart Mr. Sefton
Nelson Ramsey Squire Christiansen
E. Vivian Reynolds John Wesley
BFI version:
Bert Wynne Richard Orchardson
J. Nelson Ramsey Squire Christianson
Jeff Barlow Squire Orchardson
Edith Craig Dame Christianson
Sybil Arundale Kate
Langhorne Burton Christianson
Joyce Carey Priscilla Sefton
Henry Vibart Mr. Sefton
E. Vivian Reynolds John Wesley
Format: 35 mm Film. Length: 6935 feet.
BFI synopsis: “1745: Melodrama of a family feud and the effect on the younger members.”


The Bioscope (28 February, 1918 - p.15)

     Another very large Ideal production just finished by the company is a version of “God and the Man,” by Robert Buchanan, in eight reels, and a splendid cast includes Langhorne Burton, Edith Craig, Sybil Arundale, Joyce Carey, Henry Vibart, and Vivian Reynolds. It has been produced by Mr. Collins at the London company’s studios.



The Bioscope (28 March, 1918 - p.15)

     The Ideal Film Renting Co., in their coming production “God and the Man,” have laid themselves out to surpass all their previous efforts. Indeed, they claim that in this new film they have done the biggest thing yet attempted by British producers. Certainly they have in “God and the Man”—the Trade Show of which will be announced presently—one of the most grimly impressive stories in the whole wide range of British literature. Snow, icebergs, and shipwrecks play a prominent part in the picture, which is a film version of Robert Buchanan’s book.



The Bioscope (11 April, 1918 - p.22)

     The Ideal Co., in announcing the private view of “God and the Man” for Thursday next, are confident that this picture will mark a big step forward in the achievements of British producers. Exhibitors should make a special effort to be present to view what is regarded as the greatest of “Ideal’s” super-productions.



The Bioscope (18 April, 1918 - pp.88-89)


The Bioscope (25 April, 1918 - pp.29-30)

“God and the Man”

Ideal                            8 reels

THIS truly beautiful and artistic production, shown to a large and appreciative audience at the West End Cinema on Thursday last, realises to the full the arresting and powerful story of the late Robert Buchanan, which at the time of its publication riveted the attention of the entire country, and was read and re-read, discussed and re-discussed by the multitudes whom its sincerity enthralled.
     “God and the Man” is the story of a struggle between the fierce hate of one family for another power it has wronged, and the overmastering power of love which finally conquers, as personified by John Wesley and his followers.
     The Orchardsons, father and son, have been the evil genii of the Christiansens, father, mother, sister, and brother, the latter vowing himself to bitter vengeance on the hypocrite Richard Orchardson for the betrayal of Kate, and indirectly the cause of his mother’s death, a thirst for revenge that will not even permit him to enjoy the love of Priscilla Sefton, the sweet girl who was converted at the same time as her father to give up a life of idle pleasure in order to follow the great Master’s teachings, and who cannot share a heart where hatred dwells.
     And so blinded by the wild oath to avenge his dear one’s wrongs Christiansen goes forward dismayed by nothing, praying “if there is a God” for the opportunity to slake this longing in the life-blood of his foe, with an overpowering intensity that stirs the looker-on deeper and deeper till the culminating point in the almost tragedy is reached. On, on, almost to the ends of the earth, on burning ships, on ice-bound solitudes, till at last Nature, which is God and Love, subdues hating and hatred to its supreme will.


     Among the chief actors in this brilliant cast are Mr. Langhorn Burton, whose Christiansen is magnificent in its strength and pathos of a man under the spell of vengeance, Mr. Bert Wynne, a cruel, relentless foe, and Mr. Nelson Ramsey as Squire Christiansen, one almost maddened with rage.
     The Dame Christiansen of Miss Edith Craig was a powerful study of wounded pride and rousing resentment, and Henry Vibart’s converted man of the world is fine.
     Mr. E. Vivian Reynolds’s John Wesley stands out as a figure of the living truth of a living religion, a remarkable characterisation indeed.
     The gentle Priscilla of Miss Joyce Carey wins all hearts; her truly womanly appeal to the best in both men who love her, even though one is a hypocrite to the core and the other a creature obsessed by his wrongs.
     Miss Sybil Arundale’s poor deceived and tortured Kate is superb in its heart-breaking pathos; a true-to-life picture of one who loved not wisely but too well, but through the valley of humiliation and disillusionment found the way to happiness after all.
     With this picture the Ideal Film Renting Company have made their most ambitious effort, and have every reason to be proud of a production that is one of the most interesting that has yet come from a British studio, and the same praise applies to Mr. Edwin J. Collins, the producer, and Mr. Eliot Stannard, who is responsible for the scenario.


GOD AND THE MAN. Ideal Film Renting Co.
     All British Drama, 8 reels. Trade Show (West End Cinema), April 18th.

     Robert Buchanan’s powerful, widely read novel has been faithfully adapted by Eliot Stannard and skilfully filmed by Edwin J. Collins for the Ideal Film Co. It is beyond doubt one of the best “All British” productions offered to the public, and should have a decided success in foreign markets as well as generous support in the United Kingdom. A strong, clever, and judiciously selected cast, consisting of Joyce Carey, Sybil Arundale, and Edith Craig; Langhorne Burton, Henry Vibart, and Vivian Reynolds (the last named might have stepped out of John Wesley’s medallion in the Abbey) do every justice to both author and producer. There are some unusually clever studio effects, notably the snow-clad rescue ship which so nearly gets crushed on the ice-bound coast of Labrador, these are extraordinarily realistic. Affecting scenes of revival mission work by John Wesley and his followers are reverently stage-managed. I am of opinion the film would be improved by reducing the length of the first few reels, but it is not easy to suggest what parts might be shortened.



The Kinematograph And Lantern Weekly (25 April, 1918 - p.73)


“God and the Man.” “Ideal’s” All-British Masterpiece.

He that wrongs his friend
Wrongs himself more, and ever bears about
A silent Court of Justice in his breast.
Himself the judge and jury, and himself
The prisoner at the bar, ever condemn’d.
And that drags down his life.

TO the intense religious fervour of Wesley and his followers adheres closely the vivid touch of human life, the life of to-day, even as in the days of Wesley, and thus affording the text for the sermon. The power of this combination is enhanced by the realism in portrayal, the greatness of the scenic effects, and the highest class of dramatic art. And hovering at all times over the play, and visible constantly, is the remarkable cleverness of the scenario, which has moulded the serious theme not only into the understandable, but also towards the attractive. This is an achievement of which Eliot Stannard may well be proud, for the story of Robert Buchanan itself is great, and makes one of the most powerfully impressive screen plays yet produced. With stern grimness throughout it preaches the evil of hatred and vengeance. But it preaches in acceptable fashion, without hindering conviction.
     Whilst no deviation is made from the main theme, it is made so human, with interpreting characters that charm and with incidents and scene that please the eye as well as enlist our sympathy. And once sympathy is aroused, it is but a narrow step to conviction.
     The strongest point, to my mind, of “God and the Man” as a story, and one strongly enough borne out by the screen play, is its straightforward fairness. The characters are drawn with a strong hand, the cause of and case for hatred is absolutely made the most of; there is no loophole for cynical comment. Whether hatred is right or wrong, the justification for it is put at its maximum. The case for hatred and revenge is fully set out, and convincingly. For as we judge from the human standpoint to which we have attained, no man has, or ever had, stronger reasons for hatred than Christian Christianson. His father dies through the shock of having all his land bought over his head, leaving but the bare roof of his house to call his own. His sister is betrayed by the son of the same family, and the disgrace of this kills the mother. From this wreckage of hope, of life itself, it is laid to the charge of the scenario writer to bring this much-wronged man into paths of goodwill. “Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord, “I will repay,” is an admonition perhaps worn a little threadbare in its passage through the ages, but yet eternal truth, as “God and the Man” amply proves, and proves in a skilfully convincing fashion. Leaving out all the other things, the hatred robs Christian Christianson of an inheritance of love which he may not enter.
     So much for the story and its motive, and so much to the credit of Eliot Stannard’s interpretation on the screen. And if the story be great, what is to be said of the production by Edwin Collins, with such an enterprising British firm as the Ideal behind? Under their guidance we are given conceptions, rare imaginations and beauty.
     Set as it is in the period of George II., with all the power of the preaching of John Wesley and the earnestness of his followers, we pass through a vista of the rusticity of England at that period and the intense power of the great revivalist, John Wesley (E. Vivian Reynolds). Priscilla and her father become converts, and forthwith devote their lives to the chief doctrine, love for mankind, not the gratification of evil-passioned hatred.
     The impression upon the exhibitor at the trade show will be accentuated upon the audience. The play carries us on to a vivid fire on board ship, the saving of all on board by a Dutch vessel, which in turn narrowly escapes destruction by an iceberg, and is finally frozen up in the ice off the coast of Labrador. Where shall we find greater realism than the moving of the ice floes and the escape of the vessel; and, lastly, those grim death struggles of the two men left stranded there?
     The acting, too, will make an impression. The hypocrite son of Squire Orchardson, who pretends conversion in order to win the fortune of Priscilla, the sweet but earnest convert, so beautifully rendered by Joyce Carey. This is the man who betrays Kate, the sister of Christian, a strong, emotional part for Sybil Arundale. The man of hatred, Christian, is one of the best things Langhorne Burton has given us, in its vigour and power. But, without detracting in the least from these artistes’ share in the great play, from a character creation point of view Edith Craig stands out predominant. Her Dame Christianson is a fiercely hating woman, who finds her reason for hatred in the Bible, and who compels her son to swear eternal hatred to the family of Orchardson by oath, with the Bible as witness.
     My own impression of “God and the Man” is summed up in the simple words, “a great play.” Ideal throws out a challenge to foreign producers. I follow the example with a challenge to our play critics. “God and the Man” is eight reels long, it took two hours and ten minutes at the West End Cinema, shown at a proper speed.
     Of such a play I have but attempted the impression, and with a really great play the description needs but little use of the adjective, for the superlative is superfluous.
                                                                                                                                                 W. DE W.

The review was accompanied by two stills from the film, however the copy is not grayscale, but monochrome, so the quality is not too good. Still, I’ve added them below.]


The Christianson Family.


Mr. Sefton, John Wesley and Priscilla.



[Click picture for larger image.]


The Yorkshire Evening Post (6 May 1918 - p.3)


Yorkshire Telegraph & Star (26 September, 1918 - p.1)


The Yorkshire Evening Post (7 October, 1918 - p.3)


Aberdeen Evening Express (19 October, 1918 - p.4)

The Picture House.

     The feature film at the Picture House, Union Street, for the first half of next week is “God and the Man.” The tense power of the great revivalist, John Wesley, is vividly portrayed in this seven-act film. The scenes are set in the period of George II., and the wonderful powers of the preacher and the earnestness of his followers are powerfully shown. The story by Robert Buchanan makes one of the most wonderfully impressive screens yet played with stern grimness throughout which preaches the evil of hatred and vengeance. Other items on the Picture House programme for the first half of next week include “Patsy’s Luck” (comedy), current events (latest news in pictures.)

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MATT (1918)
Directed by A. E. Coleby
Script by Rowland Talbot
Produced by I. B. Davidson & Tiger
Greta MacDonald Matt
A.E. Coleby Charles Brinkley
Ernest A. Douglas Squire Monk
IMDB synopsis: “Devon artist proves a wrecker’s adopted child is an heiress just in time to prevent her unwilling marriage to a crooked squire.”


The Bioscope (14 March, 1918 - pp.84-85)


The Bioscope (21 March, 1918 - p.87)




The Bioscope (4 April, 1918 - pp.24-25)


Ruffell’s                    5 reels

IN the filming of Robert Buchanan’s beautiful story we have not only a splendid gripping drama, but a series of exquisite coast scenes that bring home to us the beauty of our homeland at every turn, and make us realise the charm of England, with its wave-washed shores, its old traditions of time and tide bringing peace and happiness after distress and grief.
     William Jones was a wrecker—one of those sordid wretches who cared neither for precious life-saving nor for the suffering of those lured to a watery death so long as he had money, and so when the alarm bell rang out its warning he hoped and schemed for the worst.
     Mr. Monk, the Squire of Monkhurst, however, was disturbed by the ominous sound, and leaving the chess-table and his ne’er-do-well friend Stephen, he went out to see the life-boat launched and the waiting crowd on the surf-strewn shore, and presently the only survivor—the wee baby Matt. On a sudden impulse of pity Monk had the mite taken home, and on the garments he found a Prayer Book—with some papers attached to it—the reading of which was interrupted by his friend Blunt’s sudden entrance. But the latter reads them surreptitiously and pockets the book, thinking it may prove of value later on. The next day Blunt sails for Australia, but he has learnt William Jones will be pleased to bring the child up for a consideration.
     Twelve years pass and we next meet Charles Brinkley, an artist-author, travelling on business and pleasure combined in a caravan, with Tim Lennie, of Mayo, acting as driver and servant.
     Monk takes him for a wandering vagrant and orders him off, but being on the King’s highway the young man refuses to go, and sets up his easel and starts work.
     And now we see Matt, grown into a wild but pretty girl, still housed by William Jones and his old imbecile father. Struck by her ragged picturesque looks Brinkley becomes as interested in her as she in him, and learns she “had got no parents—I belong to William Jones—wasn’t born at all—I came ashore.”
     Greatly to her joy he offers to paint her picture, and she comes for her first sitting in the strangest medley of old garments ever seen, unearthed from one of William Jones’s many boxes salved from the sea, and arouses that individual’s suspicions against Brinkley.
     The latter’s love of adventure urges him to keep a watch on the wrecker, especially when Matt tells him of a mysterious cave which she has until now never been able to locate.
     The Blunt returns from Australia; as usual his luck is out, but he tries to raise money on the prayer Book from Monks and barely escapes being drugged by him; whereupon he goes to Jones, who, scenting a huge profit somewhere, buys the “trump card” and secrets it till a favourable opportunity to “make” arrives, down in the secret cave.
     How Brinkley follows him and gets the book is cleverly shown, also his astonishment at the sudden change of attitude towards him of Monk, who, Matt says, wants to marry her in spite of her dislike of him.
     “But I should like to marry you,” says artless Matt, and from then the understanding between the two young people begins to show.
     The cowardly attempt to murder Brinkley, who is found in the cave and rescued by his servant and the girl who loves him, brings matters to a climax—although the artist has to lie low and pretend the wicked have achieved their end.
     Brinkley, almost recovered from his cruel injuries, goes to London and puts the documents which prove Matt the heiress to Monkhurst, while procuring a licence Monk nearly succeeds in marrying her, but is happily checked just in the nick of time by his arrest on the way to church. And the old caravan is transformed into a “Cupid’s Coach” and is seen for the last time going over the hills on a “Honeymoon Cruise.”
     The acting throughout was excellent—wonderful realism, in very truth. Every one of the character types, the child of nature, the Irish servant, and especially the imbecile old father, were true to life—a brilliant company of players!



MATT. Ruffell’s.
     Tiger Film Co. Production, 5 reels. Release September 23rd. Trade Show (Private Theatre), March 26th-28th.

     Robert Buchanan’s novels were probably as much read as any. “Matt” was certainly popular and enjoyed considerable popularity. It makes a good cine-drama with its straightforward, easily followed story. The producer takes no flights of fancy. The outdoor photography is not quite equal to that of the interiors, which is good. The performers’ names are not given either in the synopsis or on the screen. The success of this photo-play depends solely on the popularity of the author. To those who know not Robert Buchanan the title conveys nothing.



Western Mail (10 September, 1918 - p.2)


The Lancashire Evening Post (5 November, 1918 - p.4)

     THE PALLADIUM.—“Matt,” the principal film screened in the early part of the week is an adaptation of Robert Buchanan’s work, which tells a full-blooded story of the old wreckers of Cornwall and Devon. Beside so much that is neurotic in film production as well as in stage plays, it is healthy if conventional in  type, and while the acting is excellent the setting has the picturesqueness that is impossible of reproduction except by photograph, and that is characteristic of the Raffles reels. Of the modern type, strong in contrast is the second subject “The Female of the Species,” which represents a struggle between two women for the soul of a man, a struggle which shows that there is a streak of good even in the base.



Liverpool Echo (3 December, 1918 - p.3)

     The MAJESTIC has Mary Miles Minter in “Peggy Leads the Way,” and it is a most enjoyable photo-play. So, also, is an adaptation of Robert Buchanan’s novel, “Matt.” Chaplin is added.


[From the Derby Daily Telegraph (14 December, 1918 - p.4).]


Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser (29 January, 1919 - p.4)

     EXCHANGE ELECTRIC THEATRE.—The star picture for the first half of this week is a Ruffell’s five reel exclusive, “Matt,” a charming Devonshire idyll, taken from the well-known book by Robert Buchanan. It is a delightfully fresh and unconventional story set amidst the beautiful scenery of sunny Devon, showing glimpses of Babbicombe Bay, Cockington Forge, and Ansty’s Cove. Crammed full of incident, acted with wonderful realism, with exquisite scenery, and views of the rugged Devon coast, the whole, combined with perfect photography, makes this a charming and delightful picture which all should see and enjoy. Other pictures include a two reel “Lonesome Luke” comedy, “Luke the Terrible Tec.” On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the principal film will be “A Coronet of Shame,” a film adaptation from the novel by that popular author, Charles Garvice. An interesting story of love and adventure, this screen version of what is perhaps the most widely read of all this author’s works is admirably portrayed, and follows closely the original plot with its many exciting scenes and dramatic situations, the South African episode being particularly thrilling. Other pictures of interest and comedy will also be shown.

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A Robert Buchanan Filmography - continued








The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law


The Critical Response
Harriett Jay


Site Diary
Site Search