Barriers Burned Away

Barriers Burned Away is a 1925 American silent historical drama film directed by W.S. Van Dyke and starring Mabel Ballin, Eric Mayne, and Frank Mayo.[1] It is set at the time of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

Barriers Burned Away
Barriers Burned Away (1925) - 2.jpg
Trade advertisement
Directed byW.S. Van Dyke
Written byLeah Baird
Based onBarriers Burned Away
by Edward Payson Roe
Produced byArthur F. Beck
StarringMabel Ballin
Eric Mayne
Frank Mayo
CinematographyAndré Barlatier
Encore Pictures
Distributed byPathé Exchange
Release date
  • January 4, 1925 (1925-01-04)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The film is loosely adapted from the 1872 novel of the same name by Edward Payson Roe.


Advertising from November 30, 1924 The Film Daily

As described in a review in a film magazine,[2] Wayne Morgan (Mayo), an artist, learns from his mother that a valuable painting has been stolen. In order to track it down, he takes a job as a porter in the Randolph Art Shop. He eventually discovers the picture has been copied and denounces the copy as lacking inspiration, claiming the original. Mellon (Morey), who stole it, is sent to prison and Wayne gets his position as store manager. Christine Randolph (Ballin), painter of the copy, whom Wayne falls in love with, then tells him it was all a plot to get even with him. The great Chicago fire breaks out, due to Mrs. Leary’s (Craig) cow kicking over a lantern, setting fire to the barn. The whole city is destroyed, and Wayne rescues Christine who declares her real love for him.


Actors Characters
Mabel Ballin Christine Randolph
Eric Mayne Mark Randolph
Frank Mayo Wayne Morgan
Wanda Hawley Molly Winthrop
Wally Van Gale Winthrop
Arline Pretty Mildred McCormick
Lawson Butt Earl of Tarnsey
Tom Santschi Hon. Bill Cronk
Harry T. Morey Howard Mellon
Jim Mason Slim Edwards
J.P. Lockney Patrick Leary
Mrs. Charles Craig Mrs. Leary
William V. Mong Peg-Leg Sullivan
Pat Harmon Halstead Street Terror
Frankie Mann Kitty


A print of Barriers Burned Away is located in the Cineteca Italiana in Milan.[3]


  1. ^ Munden p. 40
  2. ^ Sewell, Charles S. (December 27, 1924). "Barriers Burned Away; Adaptation of Novel Built Around Great Chicago Fire Proves Unusually Good Entertainment". The Moving Picture World. New York City: Chalmers Publishing Co. 71 (8): 831, 882.
  3. ^ Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database: Barriers Burned Away


  • Munden, Kenneth White. The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1. University of California Press, 1997.

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