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M arceau Literally -Thk ' ' I- ; ,1
I I fHAT truth is stranger than fiction
is an old adage; and many novelists
complain that they cannot tiut
certain actual happenings in their stories
hecause no one would helieve them Such
a charge has never been laid up to date
against motion picture scenarios. Motion
pictures have their blood curdling situa
tions and their hair raising adventures.
They have shipwrecks and locomotive col
lisions, blowing up of mines and falling of
three-mile high aeroplanes. They havo
kidnappings and murders, but none of them
has presented quite the situation to be out
lined on this page and which will, never
theless, never be seen In films at least,
sot In Its original form.
And a New York Judge considering the
matter, said: "I believe that the defend
ant did try to make love to the young lady
woo mattes una cumyuuuk. i uenevo
further that having been repulsed he de
liberately persecuted her, leaving her at
last suspended in air by an Invisible wire
at peril of her life. I hold him guilty of
disorderly conduct and Impose a fine "
Hidden in the judge's statement is the
Whole scenario as the motion picture
people call It with the nucleus of it
In those few words, "at last suspendsd in
air by an invisible wire at peril of her life.'
The ftars in this film drama which will
j never be seen on the films, were, first, a
pretty little blonde girl of the Nell Brlnkley
I type named Emily Marceau. She it is who
hung on the invi?lble wire. The second
star is Mr. Smythe Addison, a director,
whom Bhe charged with being responsible
lor hanging her at the end of the wiro and
whom the Judge fined.
I The scene was a studio wherein was be
ing presented a three-reel photodrama at
the order of the United States Govern
ment. The picture wa6 to be used for prop
aganda purposes, with the aim of enlight
ening tho public on several national prob
lems, of which the main one is the re
establishment of fair prices for necessi
ties. Miss Marceau was engaged to represent
the symbolic character "Fair Prices " In
passing it would seem that with the pres
ent high cost of living It was an Inspiration
that strung her up on high. Scenario men
thought so, too, and the big 6cene, the cli
max of the play, showed unhappy "Fair
D Prices" suspended in mid air. while tho
I flames of greed leaped tip from a pit be-
I neath her, "threatening to devour her." In
fact, a melodramatic situation of the old
Fourteenth Street Theatre or Academy of
Music kind, where it would have called
forth hisses for the villain from the gallery
and tears for the unhappy heroine tears
j ns real as most people shed to-day at con-
1 temptation of almost all prices.
Miss Marceau's complaint specified
that when the whistle blew at noon
Mr. Addison, Instead of letting her
drop to the floor, took a turn of the
Invisible wiro and left her up above the
place where tho devouring flames had
already leaped up with considerable dam
! age to one very fine dress of hers which
had adorned a dummy used to try out the
That Mr. Addison's alleged action was
an echo of a labor situation in the plav
and the prompt dropping of tools, and so
on, when the bell sounds or the whistle
blows, Miss Marceau indignantly denied.
She said it would not have taken any
longer for Mr. Addison to have let her drop
to her feet than it did for him to let her
j "Your Honor." said Miss Marceau to
Judge Levine, In the court room where Mr.
Addison had been commanded to appear to
I answer her complaint, "he tried to make
love tc me long before this incident, and
when I refused him he called me harsh
I names and began a series of persecutions
I of me. There was no one present to tnke
j my part, ho I took It myself I slapped his
J face seeral times, hard "
"Did you at the time of the alleged an
noyance make any outcry?" asked the
"I did not," said the pretty plaintiff, "be
fl causo 1 did not want to make a scene."
"And then?" asked the Judge.
"He scolded because I was late, though
he knew I was arranging about the dress
which I i-'hould wear. He said mean, sar
castle things meaner in the way he said
them lhan in the words he used. 1 bore
all as well ss I could 1 Ignored these
Irritations. 1 knew my work was to finish
that picture. I knew that was his
j work, too. I wanted it to bo a good
picture, and he did too. Besides he had
"Finally we came to the big scene Thai
j was taken last. 1 was to be hoisted fron
below tho floor and raised to a distance of
ten feet above the floor on an invisible
wire. yThe boards in the floor were loos
ened and taken out. 1 wore a corset of
steel and leather beneath my dress The
wire was hooked upon my corset at tho
belt. By this means I was to bo raised.
"Over on tho left, underneath the floor,
was a pllo of gunpowder This was set off
and through the opening in the floor
flames burst up and seemed to surround
mo It was a dangerous scene The man
agement knew It. A dummy was clothed in
a dress that I was to wear and was sns
pended from the hook The gunpowder
exploded and the dummy and the dress
were burned. After that, of course, 1 was
nervous about the scene.
"Mr Addison knew I was nervous, and
ho played upon that fear On thin day,
eleven days after I had repulsed him, he
told me to dress for tho flame scene He
said to tho man handling the wire. 'Hoist
her!" I was drawn up for ten feet, then
lowered to within two feet of the floor.
Addison stood looking at me. He put on
"'Now,' he said! 'I will go to lunch
eon,' And he went out leaving me hang
ing there alone!
"At first I thought he was Joking, that"
he would return to me I called. No one
answered. I called again, and still nu
answer. And then I knew that it was no (
joke. And instantly I was In an agony of i
. tear. The picture of the dOmm; being i
licked up by flames rose before me What
If that gunpowder should bo ignited? 1 I
knew that when a man's love Is turned to t
hate that he will perpetrate any revenge
he can safely do. The whistle had blown.
He had gone to luncheon So had the i
other employes. 1 burst into tears. 1
hung there, I J J'SXJ, ' (J
she saw UJ iJ ... ' S .
vrreamed Two. three, four times 1 uttered
vlld screams Minutes went by live miu
ltes. ten, fifteen.
"I heard the sound of running steps in
:he next room. I screamed again. 'What's
he matter. Miss Marceau?' 1 heard some
Dno say behind me
"It was Joe, the handy man about the
Joe saw Miss Marceau there. Did he
(C) 1920 International Feature Service Inc.
rush to her rescue immediately? He did
not. He paused to think over the situa
tion, and asked: "What is the matter, Miss
Only In a motion picture studio could
anyone, hastening in response to cries for
help, behold a pretty pclrl hung up in air
like an angel in distress and weeping her
fee out. and calmiy ask. "What Is the
Great Britain Rirhts Rucrred.
So this did not seem very strange to
Miss Marceau Sho knew the studios. And
so ehe turned off her tears and explained.
"For the sake ot all you hold dear, Joe,"
she told the Judge she said the words
no doubt a reflection of some other scene
where they were also apropos; "For
the sake of all you hold dear, cut me
down' 1 am afraid." she went on, explain
ing just why she wanted to bo cut down,
Miss Marceau in the Dress That
Was Burned on the Dummy.
so that Joo would have no doubts "The l :
gunpowder, there, it might go off at any H
"Joo looked at me." testl- . ijffii;.''?
fled Miss Marceau, thus show- fc&f -
Ing again the really astonish 'S
K Ing amount of deliberation ltf
thai is cultivated by all who
3R have anything to do with tho
films "He thought about It
.IBy for at least a minute. It
RjHkjj&XS? seemed a very long time to
me and then he said: 'All
right, Miss Marceau, I'll IKllffivj
chance it. Ho cut tho wire. 1 dropped MH '
to tho floor!"
And at ihir. point Judge Levine told Mr.
Addison to take the stand. In a manner 9uk&4'
that seemed composed he told his story. BHflltt.
Miss Marceau had been late several times. SiiljlfsV
He had reprimanded her. She had re- KMoJ
ported him to the management. He had
denied her report. She had told a de-
liberate lie. he said Ho had not offered iftf "
his love Absolutely not. L '
"Why did you leave her strung up""'
asked tho Judge. lijNcl'V n
"I wanted her to get used to the wire. s tuiB
She could get down if ehe liked," answered tBKwi
At this point in the testimony the Dis
trict Attorney asked Miss Marceau to flii fi '
stand beside him and fare the witness tfRfr '
Miss Marceau looked fixedly at Mr. Addf- t'i :
son. Mr Addison looked at the District
Nothing happened 'MciL ' '
The description of the scene In the ward
obe woman's room followed. The war- I
ing pair mot. Both were angry "You Btf,
little Fast Side bum," Mr Addison shouted, i ' i;
according to tho evidence. Whereupon. j ; i
according to Actor Jordan, who was pass- fj
ing the door. Miss Marceau lifted tho too
of her black satin slipper and deliberately
kleked her late superior. LE
Mr. Addison testified to the kick and the
pain Inflicted. A physician BWore that Mr.
Addison had com.- to him for medical ser
! a following that kick According to
Mr AddNon and his medical adviser, a '-fiBB
mule could not have been more effective Kf
But Miss Marceau and tho wardrobe
woman testified that there had been no
kick. The much persecuted heroine had '
slapped the director vigorously In the face iflL ''dBP
Arthur Zelner, who had written tho - JS. Lj
Government pictures and was supervising '
their Mining, testified sho had on a prv
ous occasion done the same thing to Mr
Addison in his presence. On that point
there was absolute unanimity Miffi Mar- E3t
ceau and the wardrobe woman told thi Bl
Judge that the stage director had struck IW
"The poor child fell to the floor She
could revive6 her" d"" btefre 1
a?!!:!.' h,t hMr Tour Honor. a"er iiio mi 3
hadji eked me." said the sorely wounded 2SS5l
"I believe that on August luth vou tried HT&Ss
to make ove to the cempUinawand that
afterwards you indulged In a iarlu !!)
persecutions of her," aI(, "I
fjnd you guilty and fine vou ISO " ' -
Thus ended the story of the He'eeto.i L :
Director, or The Girl on the Mr" l&.'J'