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Vintage original 9 x 12 in. US souvenir book from the teens pacifist allegorical silent film war drama, CIVILIZATION, released in 1916 by Triangle Distributing Corp. and directed by Reginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince, and Raymond B. West.


This souvenir book was printed for the film's original 1916 US theatrical release by Triangle Distributing Corp. It consists of 28 pages with black-and-white photographs through; a two-page photographic spread; a reproduction of the "Peace Song From 'Civilization'"; and a reproduction of a letter from "A Plain British Soldier" to the film's producer, Thomas H. Ince. The front cover features beautiful artwork in pastel colors that is embossed and creates a textured surface. It is complete with the orignal string cord binding in overall fine- condition. The bottom 4 in. of the front cover has separated but the cover is still intact; there are scattered light water stains and small chips and tears on the front cover; all of the interior page are in fine+ condition with small diagonal crease on the tip of each top corner; and the back cover exhibits some tiny chips, a tear, nicks, and discoloration.


The cast includes Howard Hickman, Enid Markey, Lola May, Kate Bruce, J. Frank Burke, Claire Du Brey, George Fisher, Charles K. French, Thomas H. Ince, Herschel Mayall, Fanny Midgley, J. Barney Sherry, Jerome Storm, and Ethel Ullman.


*"Civilization was a big budget spectacle from Thomas H. Ince. It was in production for nearly a year and advertised to have cost $1,000,000 to make but actually cost only $100,000 and returned $800,000. The film's screenwriter, C. Gardner Sullivan, said he received the inspiration for the film on Easter Sunday morning in 1915. He wrote an outline on a single piece of typewriter paper, originally calling it, "The Mothers of Men." Sullivan showed the outline to Ince, and Ince decided it was worth investing a million dollars.


The premiere was held at the Majestic Theatre in Los Angeles on April 17, 1916. In April 1916, the Los Angeles Times wrote: "The next large feature looming on the horizon is the Ince photoplay, 'Civilization' ... It was nearly a year in the making , and is the most pretentious of the Ince features. Many hundreds of persons took part, and it is said that the film contains some of the most beautiful photography ever shown on the screen." At the time of its release, it was described as "the ultimate achievement of the Ince studios."


The film included large scale battle scenes, scenes of naval battles, trench warfare, aerial battles, and the resulting devastation. Ships from the United States Navy were utilized in the scenes depicting sea battles. Advertising for the film (pictured at right) boasted of the extravagant expense incurred in presenting the spectacle: Actual Sinking of an Ocean Liner; Two Battleships Sunk by United States Navy; $18,000 Used for Ammunition in One Battle; 40,000 People Employed; 10,000 Horses in Thrilling Cavalry Charges; 40 Aeroplanes in Great Air Battle; Every Death-dealing Device Known to Modern War in Operation; One Year in the Making; Cost $1,000,000.00; Entire Cities Built and Destroyed."


Actor George Fisher was given the daunting role of playing "The Christ" in Civilization. At the time of the film's release, Fisher told the Los Angeles Times that, to get in the proper mood for the role, "he lived the life of a recluse, spending his time in study and meditation." He expressed his hope that the film's message would be heard: "I can say in truth that the playing of this part has affected my whole life and the impressions will never leave me. I have tried earnestly and sincerely, with a deep prayer in my heart, to bring a message to the world, one which will reach, perhaps, millions. Now my only wish is that whoever may witness the performances of 'Civilization' will realize only the truth and beauty of the message."

*(source: Wikipedia)



CIVILIZATION (1916) US Souvenir Book

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