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Vintage original 11x14 in. US lobby card from the teens Irish American oil-themed silent film comedy/drama, REAL FOLKS, released in 1918 by Triangle Distributing Corp. and directed by Walter Edwards.


The image features an exterior shot of handsome Jimmie Dugan (Francis McDonald) sitting on a large rock as a friend plays an accordion. It is unrestored in fine- condition.


*"Real Folks, a story by Kate Corbaley, a Los Angeles mother of four children, won the first prize ($1,000) in a Photoplay contest that attracted 7,000 entries, according to the December 1917 and January and February 1918 issues of the publication. The magazine's editor, Jack Cunningham, wrote in the magazine's February issue that the story had "screen personality....Its people live before us as the girl next door or the boy down street might live in any American village." He added that Real Folks did present "some difficulty in construction when the time came to 'put it in continuity' for the director. In spite of its delightful characterizations and the true atmosphere which surrounds it, the story was not what might be termed plastic for the scenario constructionist.


For example, there were gaps of time which had to be shortened." The contest's second-place winner, Betty Takes a Hand, was also made into a Triangle picture, with Cunnigham's scenario. The 1 December 1917 Moving Picture World announced that director Jack Conway would soon start filming Real Folks at Triangle's Culver City studios. That same week's Motion Picture News added that the "screen adaptation was prepared by Catherine Carr." However, neither Conway nor Carr was involved in the production. The 5 January 1918 Motion Picture News announced that director Walter Edwards "has started work on Real Folks." Two weeks later, the 19 January 1918 Motography mentioned that Real Folks was "completed in the last week."


The film required an oil gusher, so director Walter Edwards "resolved to wait until the desired opportunity should arrive," according to the 16 February 1918 Motography. "He learned that the Murphy Oil Company was boring a well in the La Habra fields of Southern California [south of Los Angeles] and the company officials agreed to notify the Triangle studio when the well was ready to be brought in." Not long afterward, Edwards received a telegram: "Ready For You to Shoot." He rushed his players to La Habra, "and a scene of tense realism was caught by the camera as the oil came from the gusher." The 114-feet derrick was the tallest in the oil field. "Every detail of the work before the oil shot into the air, twenty feet higher than the top of the derrick, was pictured. The workmen were photographed in the act of swabbing the well, getting the first 'headers' which contained mud and water, then forcing out the gas which belched forth at a pressure of 580 pounds to the square inch, to be followed a moment later by the oil."


Reviewer Edward Weitzel, in the 16 February 1918 Moving Picture World, wrote that Real Folks "is full of homely humor and is a pleasant reminder of the kind of drama made popular by a long line of Irish comedians of the spoken stage." However, despite Photoplay's investment in the picture, its reviewer in the May 1918 issue panned Real Folks, calling Cunningham's scenario "dull and prosy," and Edwards' direction insufficient. "The characters move in snail-like procession, heavy-footed and somnolent. Even the photographer seemed asleep." The overall effect of the picture was "dismal." The April 1918 Photoplay ran a photo-illustrated, short-story adaptation of Real Folks. The National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) included this film on its list of Lost U.S. Silent Feature Films as of February 2021."

*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)



REAL FOLKS (1918) US Lobby Card 01

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