Author Topic: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction  (Read 7067 times)

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tandtb

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I was just reading a wonderful book by Gibbes and in it he mentions on numerous enteries into his journal that Pathe France ( a 9.5 mm camera and projector manufacturing company in France ) gave Alexei a projector along with 3 rolls of film.  It also mentions that he would view different episodes of " THE MYSTERIOUS HAND OF NEW YORK ".  I personally collect old film projectors and have some Pathe units and film here, but have been unable to find out any info on " The Mysterious Hand " excpet for a google which shows this as a title of a film on 3 reels Directed by Ford. Does anyone know of this film ??

Also I read that Gebbs did not know of the affliction affecting Alexei, but what indeed was told to him as the boy was constantly ill and also had to be carried a great deal.

Thanks for any responses  ( apparently as newbe I have already 6 books in the past 2 weeks more than I have ever read in 30 years so I guess i am hooked on the Romaovs )


helenazar

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2007, 02:22:18 PM »
Does anyone know of this film ??

It's a 1914 film directed by Francis Ford, obviously silent, that's all I know... I think it's some sort of a mystery type film. Also known as "My Lady Raffles".

tandtb

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2007, 07:07:44 PM »
Thanks Helen

Alexander_IV

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yup, The Mysterious Hand is one of the episodes of the 'My Lady Raffles' series.
Here's the imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298455/
Not much on there though, but some of the actors are listed.
I found an immense database of silent movies but nothing there that's not on imdb.
http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/indexes/M.html

JBenjamin82

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2008, 06:57:52 AM »
I'm not so sure that The Mysterious Hand Alexei watched was the Francis Ford version. According to imdb.com, Ford's Mysterious Hand (1914) was a short Western. In Trewin's The House of Special Purpose, Gibbes' diary mentions a serial called The Mysterious Hand of New York; there's also a footnote shortly after stating that the Pathe Company presented Alexei with a movie projector and reels of film. This leads me to believe that Alexei may have watched Les Mysteres de New York (also known as The Exploits of Elaine), which was put out by Pathe. You can read more about this serial here, here, and here. Also, you can read the story here and can view clips of it here.

Alexander_IV

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2008, 06:56:11 PM »
Ah, this one seems more plausible indeed :)
And the first chapter is called 'the Clutching Hand'. That might explain Gibbes adding 'hand' in the title.

helenazar

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2008, 09:33:24 AM »
Yes, indeed it sound like that may be the right movie! What is the plot of this one, does anyone know?

Alexander_IV

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 01:54:46 AM »
From Wiki: It tells the story of a young woman named Elaine who, with the help of a detective, tries to find the man, known only as "The Clutching Hand", who murdered her father.

Here you can read the entire story: http://www.infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/etext04/eelai10.htm

JBenjamin82

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Re: Alexei watching movies on Pathe projector/Gebbs not knowing his afliction
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2008, 04:53:57 AM »
I haven't read the story yet, but I do know the identity of the "mysterious hand." It seems like a good whodunit story, sort of like a turn of the century Law & Order;) One thing has me a little confused, though. In a letter to Alix dated 7 December 1916, Nicky wrote that "the cynema [sic] was most interesting last evening; we at last know who that "mysterious hand" is! Her cousin & bridegroom would you believe?" The killer in Les Mysteres des New York was close to the protagonist, but I don't think he was her cousin or bridegroom. Gibbes wrote that the killer also left behind a "mystic ring." From what I've read of the story, I don't recall a mystic ring being left behind, though there was a character who wore rings, I think. All the same, I'm still leaning towards Les Mysteres des New York being the movie Alexei watched. It was a hugely popular movie, for one, and it was put out by Pathé. The title fits, as does the subject matter, and I've also read that Pearl White, the woman who played Elaine, was one of Nicholas' favorite actresses. For example, this website wrote that "with the unprecedented success of Pauline, Pathé put their new star into three more serials in 1915, changing her character's name to Elaine and her leading man to Creighton Hale. In The Exploits of Elaine (14 chapters) Pearl was menaced by a villain called "The Clutching Hand"; in The New Exploits of Elaine (10 chapters) she battled evil Chinese opium dealers, and in The Romance of Elaine (12 chapters) she joined the war effort against Germany. That war plot was on-target, as action-filled serials were very popular with troops at the front. Because Pathé had a strong overseas distribution unit, Pearl's films were seen in countries other companies could only dream about. By 1916, Pearl White had huge followings in Japan, Russia, where Czar Nicholas II was an admirer, and France, where Jean Cocteau also fell under her spell."