Out of the Storm (1920 film)

Out of the Storm is a lost[1] 1920 American silent drama film directed by William Parke, and starring Barbara Castleton, John Bowers, and Sidney Ainsworth. It is an adaptation of Gertrude Atherton's 1910 novel Tower of Ivory.[2]

Out of the Storm
Out of the Storm (1920) 1.jpg
A scene from the film
Directed byWilliam Parke
Written byJ.E. Nash
Based onTower of Ivory
by Gertrude Atherton
StarringBarbara Castleton
John Bowers
Sidney Ainsworth
CinematographyAndré Barlatier
Edited byFrank E. Hull
Eminent Authors Pictures
Distributed byGoldwyn Pictures Corporation
Release date
June 1920
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Newspaper advertisement


As described in a film magazine,[3] Margaret Hill (Castleton), a singer in a disreputable cafe, attracts the attention of Al Levering (Ainsworth), and he offers to have her voice cultivated. At the end of several years Levering is arrested for embezzlement, and confesses that he stole to give Margaret her chance. While he is serving his sentence Margaret finishes her musical education and tours England, where she meets John Ordham (Bowers), who saved her from drowning in a shipwreck while en route to Europe. Levering escapes from jail and goes to London to claim his protege. To protect Ordham from the wrath of Levering, she tells the Englishman that Levering is her husband. Police pick up the trail of the ex-convict and while he is trying to make his escape he is killed. This leaves nothing in the way of the love between Margaret and Ordham.


Differences from the bookEdit

In the original text, Tower of Ivory (1910) by Gertrude Atherton, Margaret Hill and John Ordham would meet on a boat and fall in love. However, they become separated due to a shipwreck, and would reunite 5 years later by accident at Hill’s concert. Ordham would then approach Hill and ask for her hand in marriage. This is different from the film, in which Ordham would rescue Hill from the shipwreck, and that event would be the one that sparked their romantic relationship.[3] The director likely made this change to decrease run-time and add a suspenseful sea rescue scene, which proved to be the right idea since that scene in particular was praised by critics.

Critical ResponseEdit

Out of the Storm (1920) received generally negative feedback from the audience. As the fourth movie out of eleven adapted from a novel, original text’s author Gertrude Atherton is certainly no stranger to adaptations onto the big screen. The plot was praised for its ability to “hold one’s interest by reason of its melodramatic moments, which are punctuated by other scenes that lack reality”, but the largest disappointment was certainly the performance that lead actress Castleton failed to deliver.[3] Critics from the Exhibitors Herald described Castleton’s acting as “unnatural and stilting”, and was the “most unnatural and unempathetic of the entire cast.” They further stated that she “plays it with too much restraint”.[3] This left audiences unsatisfied, considering castleton having “a very good account of herself” in other films. One redeeming factor from critics were that the shipwreck scene was “one of the best shipwreck scenes” to be produced at that time.


  1. ^ The Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: Out of the Storm
  2. ^ Goble p.899
  3. ^ a b c d "Reviews: Out of the Storm". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 10 (22): 70. May 29, 1920.


  • Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter, 1999.

External linksEdit