4 January 2011 | wes-connors
After writer Hall Caine's feature-length "The Christian" (1914) went on to become what many considered the "Best Picture" of 1914, the Famous Players Film Company smartly presented the author's follow-up religious drama "The Eternal City" as a follow-up feature. The film is probably lost forever, but the novel is available for free reading, online. If it's anything like the book, this would be quite an interesting looking film - especially since it was filmed in Italy, to give you a sense of the titular location.
Interestingly, the studio went to the stage to find most of its cast; leading players Pauline Frederick (as Donna Roma) and Thomas Holding (as David Rossi) were not then familiar in photoplays. Of the group, Ms. Frederick found immediate fame. In a 1916 "Motion Picture Magazine" poll, her performance was voted the #48 all-time "Screen Masterpiece of Acting".
The publication's March 1915 issue proclaimed the, "remarkable production of 'The Eternal City' illustrated forcibly the old adage that to film, nothing is impossible. With Pauline Frederick as Donna Roma, the spectacle stands out as incontestably the best thing yet done by an American firm." Ms. Frederick immediately became a very popular actress, transitioning to character roles by arrival of sound. Mr. Holding was re-teamed with her by popular demand, and had some notable 1920s supporting roles.
***** The Eternal City (12/27/14) Edwin S. Porter, Hugh Ford ~ Pauline Frederick, Thomas Holding, Frank Losee, Kittens Reichert