Sleeping Fires (1917)

John Sainpolis (John St. Polis), Pauline Frederick and Joseph Smiley in SLEEPING FIRES (1917)

John Sainpolis, Pauline Frederick, and Joseph Smiley. The woman on the stairs is unidentified, but could be Helen Dahl.

John Sainpolis (John St. Polis) in SLEEPING FIRES (1917)

Helen Dahl (?) and John Sainpolis.


This evening a powerful drama entitled "Sleeping Fires," featuring Pauline Frederick, is to be shown at the Paramount Theatre. It is described as one of the most remarkable dramas in which this talented artist has appeared. The story is: one of a man, Edwin Bryce, who, in love with his secretary, Helen King, is desirous of obtaining a divorce from his wife (Pauline Frederick). Knowing that divorce is contrary to his wife's religion, the knavish husband uses their little son as a lever, promising him: to her only in the event of a dissolution of the marriage. Later on the husband is accidentally shot, and his wife is accused of the crime. Matters look black for her, various persons conspiring for her conviction. Fate moves in the dark, and at a critical moment a most unexpected witness, in the wife's favour crops up, and the story, a charming one, ends happily.

-- The Evening Post, Sept. 29, 1917, Wellington, New Zealand


A Story of Universal Appeal Dealing with Greatest of Human Emotions

PAULINE FREDERICK in "Sleeping Fires," the headline attraction at the Gaiety Theatre for the first half of the week, is a story of universal appeal, dealing with the greatest of human emotions, a mother's love. Miss Frederick takes the part of Zelma Bryce, a women whose religion, prevents her from accepting a divore (sic) and whose intense devotion and affection for her little son, known in the picture as "The Little Fellow," cause her to display the claws of the primitive tiger-woman, when attached through her child. Her unprincipled husband, Edward Bryce, is in love with his young secretary, Helen King, and is willing to sacrifice all to marry her. They plan to influence Mrs. Bryce through "the little fellow," and a relentless nurse is hired to guard him, and keep him away from his mother. The latter, desperate, strives to forget, and take up social settlement work, meeting in this way a young lawyer who gains her confidence. Mrs. Bryce steals the child from the husband, being unable to wait for the decision of the court. In a quarrel which ensues, the husband is accidentaly (sic) shot. The young wife is accused of the crime. Gray defends her in a long trial, during which the mother thinks many times, that she has reached the limits of endurance. It finally results in the verdict, "Not guilty," and the innocent mother is at length free to take up the threads of her broken life again with Gray and "the little fellow," who has also suffered during the long separation.

-- The Evening Tribune, June 24, 1917, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

with Pauline Frederick, Thomas Meighan. Directed by Hugh Ford. Famous Players/Paramount.

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Last Modified February 1, 2012