Salomy Jane (1914 film)

Salomy Jane is a 1914 American Western feature film based on Bret Harte's 1898 novella of the same name.[1] It is the only known surviving complete work of silent film era actress Beatriz Michelena and the California Motion Picture Corporation.

Salomy Jane
Salomy Jane (1914) - 11.jpg
"Tell us just one fairy tale, S'lomy"
Directed byWilliam Nigh
Lucius Henderson
Produced byAlexander E. Beyfuss
Written byPaul Armstrong (play & screenplay)
Bret Harte (novella)
StarringBeatriz Michelena
House Peters
CinematographyArthur A. Cadwell
Arthur Powelson
Distributed byAlco Film Corporation
Release date
  • November 2, 1914 (1914-11-02)
Running time
approximately one hour (six reels)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
House Peters lifts Beatriz Michelena onto his horse


In rough-and-tumble Gold Rush-era California, a woman (Salomy Jane) is saved from a ruffian (Red Pete) by a heroic stranger (Jack Dart), and he is saved from a lynching after being falsely accused of a crime.


  • Beatriz Michelena – Salomy Jane
  • House Peters – Jack Dart, The Man
  • William Pike – Red Pete
  • Clara Beyers – Mrs. Heath (as Clara Byers)
  • Lorraine Levy – Anna May
  • Loretta Ephran – Mary Ann
  • Walter Williams – Willie Smith
  • Demetrios Mitsoras – Gallagher
  • Andrew Robson – Yuba Bill
  • Matt B. Snyder – Madison Clay
  • Harold B. Meade – Baldwin
  • Clarence Arper – Colonel Starbottle
  • Harold Entwistle – Larabee
  • Fred Snook – Seth Low
  • Ernest Joy – Marbury
  • William Nigh – Rufe Waters
  • Jack Holt – Cowboy in saloon playing solitaire, stuntman (uncredited)


Salomy Jane was California Motion Picture Corporation's debut[2] feature as well as screen appearance by stage actress and singer Beatriz Michelena. George E. Middleton saw in his Latina wife a competitor to Mary Pickford as a premier screen star, each production intended to be Michelena's vehicle to success. Despite being well received by the public it did not return a profit for the national distributor, Alco Films. The subsequent productions being commercial failures did not preclude Michelena demanding star-treatment perquisites that proved too much for the studio.

After the bankruptcy of California Motion Pictures, the couple bought it back and formed Beatriz Michelena Features,[3] producing Just Squaw (1919) and The Flame of Hellgate (1920).[4][5] Middleton and Michelena divorced in the 1920s.[6]

Salomy Jane includes a scene in which actor Jack Holt rides a horse to the edge of a steep embankment then jumps off tumbling more than a hundred feet down into the Russian River. The stunt netted him a bit part as a saloon patron. This role was long cited as his debut appearance in film but he had been taking bit parts during the preceding year.[7]


All California Motion Picture Corporation and Beatrice Michelena Studio films were believed lost due to a 1931 studio fire in San Rafael, California caused by a child's firecracker prank that destroyed the vault in which the films were stored. However, a Salomy Jane (1914) print was found in Australia in 1996, and has been preserved by the Library of Congress. New 35mm prints began limited circulation in 2008.[8] The restoration was part of a DVD released (2011) by the National Film Preservation Foundation in the anthology Treasures 5: The West 1898–1938.


The film was remade as Salomy Jane (1923) starring Jacqueline Logan by Famous Players-Lasky and released by Paramount Pictures,[9] and remade again as the sound film Wild Girl (1932) by Fox Film Corporation.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Harte, Bret (April 14, 1910). Salomy Jane. Houghton Mifflin – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ ; viewed December 28, 2001
  3. ^ Beatriz Michelena Features. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 21, 2012
  4. ^ Just Squaw. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 21, 2012
  5. ^ The Flame of Hellgate. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 21, 2012
  6. ^ "Pacific Sun. Arts and Entertainment. September 26, 2008. Jason Walsh. Film: Salomy's last dance: A flashback to Marin's century-old quest for cinematic superstardom". Archived from the original on July 19, 2011.
  7. ^ "Movie Reviews". April 12, 2019 – via
  8. ^ "California Film Institute. Smith Rafael Film Center. Salomy Jane: Introduced by historians David Kiehn and William Sagar, Piano Accompaniment by Bruce Loeb". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011.
  9. ^ Internet Movie Database. Salomy Jane (1923 film)
  10. ^ "Wild Girl" – via

External linksEdit