John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection

Madigan McGillicuddy; Clay Stalls
William H. Hannon Library
Loyola Marymount University
One LMU Drive, MS 8200
Los Angeles, CA 90045-8200
Phone: (310) 338-5710
Fax: (310) 338-5895
Email: spec.coll@lmu.edu
URL: http://library.lmu.edu/
© 2013
Loyola Marymount University. All rights reserved.

John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection

Collection number: 061

William H. Hannon Library

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Madigan McGillicuddy; Clay Stalls
Date Completed:
2003; 2013
Encoded by:
Clay Stalls
© 2013 Loyola Marymount University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection
Dates: 1900-1927
Collection number: 061
Collection Size: 1 archival document box .5 linear feet
Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
Abstract: The John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection consists of film stills and photographs related to movies that this cinematographer shot in the 1910s and 1920s.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

Publication Rights

Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection, 061, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

Acquisition Information

Source of acquistion unknown. Accession number: 2003.22

Processing Information

Madigan McGillicuddy originally processed this collection in 2003. Clay Stalls revised the collection guide in 2013, and then encoded it in EAD for inclusion in the Online Archive of California.

Biography

Cinematographer John W. Boyle (1891-1959) worked on over 150 American motion pictures in the first half of the twentieth century. He began shooting films by 1915 and worked closely with director J. Gordon Edwards and consequently with such actresses as Theda Bara, her favorite director. He also filmed shorts for Mack Sennett (1880-1960), the famous director of comedy.
Accomplished in his profession, Boyle served as secretary of the American Society of Cinematographers and later as its president, from 1928 to 1929. He discussed the art of cinematography in such journals as the Journal of the Society of Film Engineers; see his 1942 article on black and white cinematography in volume 39, pp. 83-96, of that journal. Boyle improved cinematography by devising a dual, mounted camera for shooting both close-up and long shots for panoramas (see the American Cinematographer, March 1926; accessed from this URL, 31 May 2013: http://archive.org/stream/amemato06asch/amemato06asch_djvu.txt  ).
His last films were "The Courage of Black Beauty" and "The Restless Breed," both released in 1957. Married to Lillian Prowell (1892-1956), John W. Boyle died in 1959 and is buried, suitably enough, in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
John,

"Sheba" will always be grateful.

Betty Blythe.

Queen of Sheba 1922

Collection Description

This collection consists of film stills and photographs, most of which are related to the films that the well-known cinematographer John W. Boyle (1891-1959) shot. Boyle was very active during the silent era and shot a number of films important for that period of film history. In this collection these include "Salome" and other Theda Bara films now lost, but the stills preserved in this collection, although perhaps not unique, are in many cases rare and provide important documentation for her work. In addition, a number of photographs record cast and crew at work on the set during the silent era. For these reasons, the John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection contains important photographic evidence for the history of silent film in Hollywood.
Most of the photographs in the collection concern films that Boyle was shooting. For example, Folder 10 contains eight of his personal photographs of the filming of "The Fall of A Nation" that Boyle annotated on the back; he also helped shoot the film, now lost. From another film, there is also a run of photographs of a cast and crew at a desert location, perhaps Yucaipa Valley, which Boyle most likely took and which were probably related to the filming of "Lone Star Ranger" (1919).
Noteworthy in this collection are the stills from the movies of Theda Bara, perhaps the first sex symbol of American cinema. The majority of her films have been lost, and the stills of her films in this collection such as "Salome," "The Light," and "A Woman There Was" provide rare documentation of her now lost film work.
Director J. Gordon Edwards (1867-1925) shot a number of Bara films, and worked with Boyle on them as well as other films. There are several photographs of the two men at work on the set; see Folder 49, for example, where Boyle and Edwards are together on a shooting scaffold for "Salome." In addition, other photographs exist of Edwards on location in such films as "The Lone Star Ranger."
The collection also houses film stills and photographs of William Farnum (1876-1953) in "If I Were King" (1920) and "Lone Star Ranger," and, perhaps, "The Last of the Duanes."
Many of the photographs contain the still codes for a film, usually written in a corner. These have been noted in the box and folder list. They proved critical in identifying many of the films from which the stills came. Identification of the stills or photographs was also based on comparing the details of known stills with those of other stills or photographs. Jeff Thompson, the archivist for the photograph collection at Twentieth-Century Fox, provided gracious advice in identifying the stills. The members of the website "Nitrateville"  were also very gracious in offering help that proved crucial in identifying the films recorded in the stills and photographs of this collection.
In folders 46 and 67 through 69 are mounted photographs of persons and a city scene from New Orleans, Louisiana. The former may be family members, since Boyle, a Southerner born in Memphis, Tennessee, had a brother (William) who lived in New Orleans.
All photographs and film stills are in black and white and 8x10. Still codes have been recorded in the box and folder list. Titles of films are in quotation marks.

Arrangement

The John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection is arranged by item, either photograph or film still. There are no series.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Boyle, John W., 1891-1959
Stills (Motion pictures)
Bara, Theda, 1885-1955
Edwards, J. Gordon, 1867-1925
Farnum, William, 1876-1953
Nilsson, Anna Q., 1888-1974
Silent films -- United States -- Photographs
Roscoe, Albert, 1887-1933
Bara, Theda, 1885-1955 -- Performances -- Photographs
Lone Star Ranger (Motion Picture) If I Were King (Motion Picture) Salome (Motion Picture) The Light (Motion Picture) The Fall of a Nation (Motion Picture) The Last of the Duanes (Motion Picture)
Fox Film Corporation
Camera, early photography & moving pictures


Box and Folder List

Box 1, Folder 1

John W. Boyle with Anna Q. Nilsson, explaining his dual camera device for panoramic shots (2 photographs); John W. Boyle with Silvano Balboni, explaning the same. Boyle with camera. Photograph of camera alone. From the set of "Her Second Chance." 1926

Box 1, Folder 2

The Grand Canyon. undated

Box 1, Folder 3

"Her Second Chance": John W. Boyle (on scaffold labelled "First National") preparing to shoot scene in stands of racetrack scene from scaffold. 1926

Box 1, Folder 4

Crew shooting unidentified film at beach (2 photographs). undated

Box 1, Folder 5

John W. Boyle on set, perhaps that of "If I Were King." perhaps 1920

Box 1, Folder 6

"Hatta Marri": Cast and crew, including Marjorie Kane (in wedding dress, left, second row), Bobby Dunn (also in wedding dress, second row, left), Harry Gribbon (second row, right, in overcoat), and Dorothy Granger (second from left, sitting). 1932

Box 1, Folder 7

"The She Devil": Theda Bara and Albert Roscoe (still). 1918

Box 1, Folder 8

Autographed photograph of Tom Mix. undated

Box 1, Folder 9

Two autographed photographs of Betty Blythe, personally inscribed to John W. Boyle. 1922

Box 1, Folder 10

"The Fall of A Nation": Eight 3x5 personal black and white photographs of John W. Boyle. Annotations on back of the photographs by John W. Boyle describing film. 1916

Box 1, Folder 11

"A Woman There Was": Film crew working on set and shooting scene. 8 photographs 1919

Box 1, Folder 12

"A Woman There Was": Film crew working on set. 2 photographs. Cf. folder 11. 1919

Box 1, Folder 13

"A Woman There Was": Theda Bara (in costume, center); Lori Bara (center); John W. Boyle (far right); others unidentified. On break or at lunch. 4 photographs. 1919

Box 1, Folder 14

"A Woman There Was": Theda Bara (in costume) and Lori Bara, at lunch or break. 1919

Box 1, Folder 15

"A Woman There Was": Still of Theda Bara drinking from coconut. 1919

Box 1, Folder 16

"A Woman There Was": Still or lobby card of Theda Bara at entrance to hut. 1919

Box 1, Folder 17

"A Woman There Was": Still of Theda Bara and perhaps Claude Payton, Robert Elliott, and John Ardizoni. 1919

Box 1, Folder 18

"If I Were King": Still (still code: E-37-21) of either William Farnum or Walter Law. 1920

Box 1, Folder 19

"If I Were King": Two stills of scene of hanging. 1920

Box 1, Folder 20

"If I Were King": Still (still code E37-119) of William Farnum and unidentified actor. 1920

Box 1, Folder 21

"If I Were King": Still of William Farnum (still code E37-136). 1920

Box 1, Folder 22

"Match Play": Andy Clyde in car; Marjorie Beebe (holding giant golf club). "Mack Sennett Talkie" production sign. circa 1930

Box 1, Folder 23-24

Two 4x5 photographs of William Farnum in unidentified film. undated

Box 1, Folder 25

Cast and crew group photograph with William Farnum, Louise Lovely, and J. Gordon Edwards. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 1919

Box 1, Folder 26

"Lone Star Ranger": Cast and crew on lunch break, including John W. Boyle, Louise Lovely, William Farnum and director J. Gordon Edwards (still code: E-34-8). 1919

Box 1, Folder 27

Cast and crew under shelter, with John W. Boyle, Louise Lovely, William Farnum and director J. Gordon Edwards. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 2 photographs. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 28

Director J. Gordon Edwards and crew and actor on set. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 2 4x5 photographs. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 29

"The Last of the Duanes": 4x5 photograph of scene with William Farnum and unidentified actor. 1919

Box 1, Folder 30

Williams Farnum (with cigar in mouth) watching cameramen shooting scene. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 31

John W. Boyle shooting scene, and J. Gordon Edwards directing same. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 32

William Farnum sitting on horse, talking to unidentified actor. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 33

William Farnum riding on horseback in "Lone Star Ranger" (?). 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 34

William Farnum riding on horseback in "Last of the Duanes"(?). 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 35

Unidentified rider on horse (William Farnum in either "Last of the Duanes" or "Lone Star Ranger"?). 4x5 photograph; two copies. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 36

Mule team pulling car out of rut. Caption: "Yucaipa Valley Death March 10-18." (From "Lone Star Ranger" or "Last of the Duanes"?) 3.5x 4.5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 37

Shack in rocky hills. Director J. Gordon Edwards (left, with hat, silhouette). 3.5x5.5 photograph undated

Box 1, Folder 38

John W. Boyle, Director J. Gordon Edwards, and unidentified actors at shack. 2x3 photograph. Cf. photograph in Folder 37 undated

Box 1, Folder 39

"Last of the Duanes": William Farnum. 4x5 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 40

William Farnum, John W. Boyle, and Director J. Gordon Edwards discussing scene. Perhaps from "The Last of the Duanes." 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 41

William Farnum in scene with unidentified actor, perhaps Charles Clary ("Lone Star Ranger"?). 4x5 photograph. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 42

Cowboy climbing cliff in scene from unidentified movie. 4x5 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 43

Director J. Gordon Edwards on horseback. 2x3 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 44

"The Light": Still of Theda Bara (still code: E-30-19). 1919

Box 1, Folder 45

"The Light": Still of Theda Bara in dinner scene with unidentified actors (still code: E-30-20). 1919

Box 1, Folder 46

Downtown New Orleans(?). circa 1900

Box 1, Folder 47

Director J. Gordon Edwards with wife(?). Still code: E-30-33. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 48

Squadron of World War I French fighter planes on airfield. undated

Box 1, Folder 49

"Salome": J. Gordon Edwards and John W. Boyle on shooting scaffold. 1918

Box 1, Folder 50

"Heart and Soul": Theda Bara (photographic postcard). 1917

Box 1, Folder 51

Two unidentified women and one man in horse and buggy. 5x7 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 52

Unidentified man in Ford Model-T. 5x 7 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 53

Unidentified man in desert. 3x5 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 54

Group photograph of unidentifed persons. 2x3 photograph. probably 1910s

Box 1, Folder 55

J. Gordon Edwards in director's chair, on set. 3x4 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 56

J. Gordon Edwards with two unidentified men and one women. 2x3 photograph. probably 1910s

Box 1, Folder 57

John W. Boyle with three unidentified men, posing in car. 2 photographic postcards. circa 1920

Box 1, Folder 58

"Lone Star Ranger": Contact sheet with Louise Lovelady, William Farnum, and other actors, including Charles Clary(?). 1919

Box 1, Folder 59

"Lone Star Ranger": Contact sheet with William Farnum, young boy. 1919

Box 1, Folder 60

John W. Boyle(?) at the "Desert Inn." 3x5 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 61

William Farnum with unidentified woman on horseback. ( From "Lone Star Ranger"?) Photographic postcard. probably 1919

Box 1, Folder 62

Two men with burros. 2x3 photograph. circa 1920s

Box 1, Folder 63

Actors in blackface. 5x7 photograph. undated

Box 1, Folder 64

"Salome": Theda Bara in harem scene (still code: 25-10). 2x3 photograph. 1918

Box 1, Folder 65

"Salome": Bazaar scene (still code: 25-81). 2x3 photograph. 1918

Box 1, Folder 66

"Salome": Theda Bara and Albert Roscoe (still code: 25-78). 2x3 photograph. 1918

Box 1, Folder 67

Mounted photograph of woman. New Orleans stamped on the back. undated

Box 1, Folder 68

Mounted photograph of woman made by Rinehart Studio of Omaha, Nebraska. undated

Box 1, Folder 69

Mounted photograph of woman made by G. Moses and Son of New Orleans, Louisiana. undated

Box 1, Folder 70

Telegram from "Bowes" to John W. Boyle at Hotel Daniela Venezia (perhaps the Hotel Daniela Venezia, Venice, Italy). Telegram perhaps from Edward Bowes related to the filming of "Ben Hur." 1923

Box 1, Folder 71

Camera of John W. Boyle, Fox Studio. undated