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Vintage original 11 x 14 in. US lobby card from the silent film western comedy IT'S A BEAR, released in 1919 by the Triangle Distributing Corp. and directed by Lawrence C. Windom.


Based upon a story by Nina Wilcox Putnam, the cast includes Taylor Holmes, Vivian Reed, Howard Davies, Edna Phillips, Bessie the Bear.


The image features a medium shot of Orlando Winthrop (Taylor Holmes), "a man from the city," wearing a western-style hat over his dress suit as he holds a glass of whiskey at a bar while six cowboys watch him, some with amazement! As noted at the top, this film was a "Triangle Special" produced by Harry Aitken's Triangle Film Corporation. It is in unrestored very good condition with a light vertical crease down the entire width of the card to the right of center.


*"This was the first starring vehicle for Triangle Film Corp. in which Taylor Holmes appeared. The upcoming comedy was announced in the 28 Feb 1919 Variety. Lead actor Holmes later revealed in the Sep 1919 Film Fun that the titular bear, billed as “Bessie,” was a wild male bear that had become fairly easy to control with the help of jellybeans. The 15 Mar 1919 Moving Picture Worldnoted that the film was produced at Triangle Studios in Culver City, CA, adding that it included “many scenes of the rugged western country.”


There is a question whether this was a film, mentioned in the 12 October 1918 Motion Picture News, originally titled Success, referred to as Holmes' "second feature for Triangle." It was adapted from a story called "When the Highbrows Joined the Outfit." The director was Lawrence C. Windom, and the writers were Nina Wilcox Putnam and Norman Jacobsen. "The final scenes were taken on a big Southern California sheep ranch."


It’s a Bear was released on 16 Mar 1919, and opened that same day at the Liberty Theatre in Anaconda, MT. A Brooklyn, NY, opening followed on 20 Mar 1919 at Loew’s Broadway Theatre. Demand for the film was reportedly high in the Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, metropolitan areas, as stated in the 5 Apr 1919 Motion Picture News. According to the Apr 1919 Reel and Slide, the National Board of Review recommended the removal of all scenes that depicted women smoking, along with those that featured gambling and the consumption of alcohol. According to the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Treasures from the Film Archives database, there is no known extant print of this film, as of 30 Oct 2020.

*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)



IT'S A BEAR (1919) US Lobby Card 01

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