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Beulah

(Synopsis drawn from Balboa Films 204):

Six reel drama. Balboa Amusement Producing Co., released by Alliance Films Corp., May 1915. Producer: H M. Horkheimer. Director: Bertram Bracken. Assistant Director: Alden Willey. Scenario: Will M. Ritchey. Cast:  Henry B. Walthall (Dr. Guy Hartwell), Joyce Moore (Beulah Benton), Mae Prestell, Clifford Gray, Marguerite Nichols, Elsie Allen, Gypsy Abbott, Corinne Grant, Leopold Medan, Mollie McConnell, Henry Stanley, Gordon Sackville, Hazel Henderson, Sylvia Ashton, Charles Dudley, Margaret Mulvane (The American Film Institute Catalog 65).

Commentary: Based on Augusta Evans’ Southern novel adapted for the screen by Will M. Ritchey. It was an expensive film, costing $85,000 with a large cast of forty players, considered a sequel to the successful St. Elmo (Variety, May, 14, 1915, p. 20).

Summary: The story was about an orphan girl named Beulah who was adopted by Dr. Guy Hartwell, a wealthy Southern physician. The doctor was somewhat sour on all women, having been betrayed by the woman he married. In time, the wounds heal with the love of the little orphan. He falls in love with Beulah and proposes to her when she returns from school. She has fallen in love with a younger man, and Dr. Hartwell wishes her happiness. The doctor leaves Beulah behind and travels north, returning to the Southern town when he reads of an epidemic killng many. Beulah is one of the few who survives, and together they try to save as many townsfolk as they can. Beulah discovers that she does love the doctor and a happy ending results from the tragedy (Variety 20).

Review: According to Variety, the only two actors who did a good performance were the two main characters, Walthall and Moore. In fact, the audience laughed at what should have been the most dramatic scenes.