Vintage original 8 x 10 in. single-weight glossy photograph from the 1920s British silent film war drama, DAWN, released in 1928 by Woolf & Freedman Film Service and directed by Herbert Wilcox.The image depicts Nurse Edith Cavell (Sybil Thorndike) comforting a wounded soldier during WWI. It is in fine condition.
*"Dawn is a 1928 British silent war film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Sybil Thorndike, Gordon Craig, and Marie Ault. It was produced by Wilcox for his British & Dominions Film Corporation. The film was made at Cricklewood Studios with sets designed by Clifford Pember.Based on a play by Reginald Berkeley, this film tells the story of World War I martyr Edith Cavell. Sybil Thorndike stars as Cavell, a nurse who risked her own life by rescuing British Prisoners of War from the Germans. When Cavell was captured and sentenced to be executed, it sparked international outrage, even from neutral nations.
Herbert Wilcox had just made Mumsie (1927), starring Pauline Frederick. Wilcox wanted to make another film with Frederick and suggested Noël Coward's The Vortex but Frederick disliked the role. Wilcox then saw the statue of Edith Cavell in London and decided to make a film of her life.
Frederick was enthusiastic at first but dropped out. Some claimed it was because there was an outcry at the thought of an American playing Cavell. Wilcox claims Frederick was scared off after the German ambassador said that Germany would boycott her films. She was replaced with Sybil Thorndike. Filming proved difficult.
One of the most controversial British films of the 1920s, Dawn was censored because of what objectors considered its brutal depiction of warfare and anti-German sentiment. Pressure was exerted by both the German Ambassador and the British Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain to prevent the film being passed for exhibition. Edith Cavell's sister criticised the film saying it would promote hate. However, George Bernard Shaw praised the film. When eventually released, the film was a big success. Wilcox returned to the subject in 1939 with Nurse Edith Cavell starring Anna Neagle."
*"The former US ambassador to Germany, James W. Gerard, and several American German societies sought an injunction banning the film on the grounds that it would endanger US-German relations. They successfully pressured the Loew's movie chain to ban the film from all its theaters, saying it would "not meet with popular approval."
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