Wild Honey (1922 film)

Wild Honey is a 1922 American silent romantic adventure film directed by Wesley Ruggles. Produced and distributed by the Universal Film Manufacturing Company, the film is based on a book of the same title by Cynthia Stockley and stars Priscilla Dean,[2] and features Noah Beery, Sr. and Wallace Beery in supporting roles. It is notable for the first use of a traveling matte special effect.

Wild Honey
Wild Honey lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed byWesley Ruggles
Produced byCarl Laemmle
Written byLucien Hubbard (scenario)
Based onWild Honey: Stories of South Africa
by Cynthia Stockley
Starring
CinematographyHarry Thorpe
Distributed byUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Release date
  • February 27, 1922 (1922-02-27) (New York)[1]
Running time
71 minute
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

It is not known whether the film currently survives.[3][4]

SynopsisEdit

Despite her father's debt to him, Lady Vivienne (Priscilla Dean) refuses to marry the wealthy but villainous Henry Porthen (Noah Beery). Porthen devises a plot to lure Vivienne to his country home using her weak-willed friend, Freddy (Lloyd Whitlock). In the course of events, Vivienne faints, Porthen is killed by his secretary Joan (Helen Raymond), and Freddy runs away for fear that he will be blamed.

Three years later, Vivienne travels to Transvaal to investigate some problem property she owns. She is rescued from bandits by homesteader Kerry Burgess (Robert Ellis) and the two fall in love. More intrigue brought about by Vivienne's rejection of another suitor, Wolf Montague (Landers Stevens), leads to the sabotage of a dam and a destructive flood. Vivienne tries to warn the settlers in the flood's path and is herself swept up in it. Burgess rescues her again and they are united.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

 
Robert Ellis, Priscilla Dean, and Wallace Beery

Cynthia Stockley's novel Wild Honey was purchased by Universal in 1921 with Priscilla Dean already in mind.[5] Brothers Wallace and Noah Beery appeared for the first time in the same feature film.[6]

This was the first film in which a traveling matte process (called the "Williams process" after its inventor) was used. The action of the players was filmed against a black screen, and a scene in miniature of a bursting dam and consequent flood was filmed separately, then the two were combined by the process.[7]

ReleaseEdit

Wild Honey opened in New York at the Central Theatre on February 27, 1922.[1]

Reviews were mostly negative, but many critics singled out the flood scene as impressive and some regarded it as worth the price of admission.[8] The Variety review expressed the opinion that the movie was cheaply made and that, except for the flood scene, the production suffered as a result.[1] Reviewing the film for Life, Robert E. Sherwood called it "a pitifully weak piece of work".[9] The capsule review in Photoplay labeled it "as dull an evening's entertainment as you can find anywhere".[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Wild Honey". Variety. LXVI (2): 41. March 3, 1922. Retrieved March 20, 2015 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Wild Honey". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved March 18, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Bennett, Carl (ed.). "Wild Honey". Progressive Silent Film List. Retrieved March 18, 2015 – via SilentEra.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Wild Honey/Wesley Ruggles". American Silent Feature Film Survival Database. The Library of Congress. Retrieved March 18, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Schader, Fred (July 29, 1921). "Wild Honey". Coast Film Notes. Variety. LXIII (10): 29. Retrieved March 20, 2015 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "'Wild Honey', Soon to be shown at Superba". Silverscreen. 1 (1): 13. March 23, 1922. Retrieved March 20, 2015 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ York, Cal (April 1926). "How They Do It!". Photoplay. XXIX (5): 28–31, 114–115. Retrieved March 18, 2015 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Newspaper Opinions, 'Wild Honey' Universal". The Film Daily. XIX (59): 6. March 3, 1922. Retrieved March 20, 2015 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Sherwood, Robert E. (April 13, 1922). "Wild Honey". The Silent Drama. Life. 79 (2058): 22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Wild Honey – Universal". Photoplay. XXI (6): 62. May 1922. Retrieved March 20, 2015 – via Internet Archive. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit