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Vintage original 9 x 12.25 in. US sheet music from the teens Chinese-themed silent film drama, THE RED LANTERN, released in 1919 by Metro Pictures Corporation and directed by Albert Capellani.


Published in 1919 by McCarthy & Fisher Inc. (NY), the song is entitled The Red Lantern (Shine On Red Lantern), by Fred Fisher. The front cover features a color-tinted photographic image of the film's star, Alla Nazimova as "Mahlee," and the interior features 2 pages of music. It is in overall good condition.


*"The Red Lantern, filmed during the 1918 flu pandemic, was the screen debut of Anna May Wong, who played a lantern bearer. To meet the casting requirements which required 300 extras for the film, the Chinese American extras were paid $7.50 per day, which was $1.50 more than the other extras."
*(source: Wikipedia)


*"The scenario was based on the 1911 novel, "The Red Lantern: Being the Story of the Goddess of the Red Lantern Light," by Edith Wherry. Principal photography began in Sept. 1918, with producer and star Alla Nazimova (billed only as "Nazimova") leading twenty-five cast and crew members on a location shoot at a lighthouse on the Massachusetts coast, as reported in the Sept. 14, 1918 Wid’s Daily. Among the group were Henry Kolker, Robert E. Stevens, Charles Bryant, Eugene Morin, Henry Harmon, Nancy Palmer, and Tom Blake. Participants were required to “give very certain proof of their loyalty” before joining the expedition, as the location was to be kept secret. A news item in the Oct. 19, 1918 Motion Picture News stated that the recently-completed California Theatre had already committed to opening the film in Los Angeles.

Also joining the production were actress Mai Wells; Jack Abbe as the “Dowager Empress”; Nazimova’s screen double, Maree Beaudet; James B. Leong, who appeared in four separate roles; and technical director James Wang. The Nov. 2, 1918 Moving Picture World reported that director Albert Capellani planned to resume production in Los Angeles. Weeks later, the Dec. 21, 1918 issue revealed that Capellani had taken-up residence in the city’s Chinatown district to become acquainted with the customs of the community’s immigrant population. That same day, Motion Picture News noted that filming had begun on Dec. 9, 1918 at Metro Studios in Hollywood. The article also revealed that Capellani and screenwriter June Mathis had continued working on the scenario during their train ride from New York to California. The Mar. 1919 Motion Picture commented that the production featured “a Russian star, a French director, an American scenario writer, an Italian camera man and a Chinese story,” suggesting that Metro Studios resembled the fabled “Tower of Babel.”

According to the Jan. 25, 1919 Motion Picture News, the newly-constructed studio was completed in time for Nazimova’s arrival and was equipped with a 300 kilowatt generator supplied by Westinghouse Electric Corporation. C. P. Butler was credited as engineer in charge of production, and Walter Grams as electrician. Sets for the picture included an Asian street scene with a marketplace;; a handmade, twenty-two-foot-tall statue of a goddess, modeled after a “rare Chinese antique” obtained by Capellani; and an eight-room mission school. Art director Henri Menessier reportedly designed the sets based on research gathered from libraries in New York City and Los Angeles. The Mar. 1919 Motion Picture Classic later estimated the cost of the street scene at $18,000. An article in the Mar. 22, 1919 Moving Picture World offered details of the night parade sequence, which included approximately 800 Chinese background actors, gathered from all over California. The heavily-lighted scene featured Nazimova as the Goddess of the Red Lantern, carried through the streets on a litter while admirers bowed before her. The shot was enhanced through double exposure to emphasize the 500 Chinese lanterns hanging from surrounding facades. Cameraman Eugene Gaudio photographed the litter from an automobile driving alongside at the same speed.

The close of production was announced in the Feb. 22, 1919 Motion Picture News. Capellani returned to New York City thirteen days earlier, having fulfilled his contractual obligation to Metro. However, the Apr. 19, 1919 Exhibitors Herald and Motography later claimed that the director had been fired for using 100,000 feet of film to complete the seven-reel picture. The Red Lantern was released during the week of May 4, 1919, with concurrent openings at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City and the Ziegfeld Theatre in Chicago, IL. A Los Angeles opening followed at the California Theatre on 20 May 1919."
*(source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films)



THE RED LANTERN (1919) US Sheet Music 01

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