The Years of the Locust (1916)
Arrived In Time
"The Years of the Locust."
Fannie Ward shines as always in "The Years of the Locust," the Lasky release of November 16. Like the preceding release of this company for the same week, there is an atmosphere of South Africa, and much attention has been given to the staging of the scenes laid in that far-off country. The script was adapted by Harvey F. Thew, a recent acquisition of the Lasky scenario department, from the tale of Albert Payson Terhune. Mr. Thew gives us an interesting and smoothly told story. There was a cutting-room slip noted in the print shown to the reviewers, but undoubtedly this was corrected befor the exhibition copies were shipped.
Miss Ward portrays the role of a woman who marries not only a man she does not love, but fails to marry one for whom she has a reciprocated affection. Roth, the husband, is a swindler. He escapes the hand of the law and is reported drowned. Lorraine marries Mead and with him goes to South Africa. There she is found by the husband, who after black-mailing her is killed when he attempts highway robbery of the husband conveying a big diamond to Kimberly. That's the shell of the story, but in its working out there is much of serious drama. Miss Ward's interpretation is marked by a fine perception of the possibilities of the situations both gray and of lighter hue.
Walter Long is Roth, the well-dressed husband whose innate brutality comes to the surface with undeviating regularity. Jack Dean is Mead, the second husband. Charles Ogle is Mead's mine manager. This short case is a good one.
-- Moving Picture World, December 2, 1916, p. 1343
"YEARS OF THE LOCUST" WILL SHOW FANNIE WARD IN AMAZING NUMBER OF GOWNS
When "Years of the Locust," a Lasky-Paramount picture now in the course of production, is released, Fannie Ward, its star, will be seen in an astounding collection of gowns -- worn one at a time, howeer, The story for this picture was written by Albert Payson Terhune. Mr. Terune was not aware that Miss Ward was to be the star when he evolved the plot and wrote into the script the series of gowns to be worn by the lead, but as it happens the popular Lasky star did not have to perchase any addition to her wardrobe.
Mentioned in the scenario are morning negligees, four street costumes, afternoon gowns, opera cloaks, furs for driving and motoring, girlish frocks, riding habits and all the hats, parasols and shoes to accompany them.
-- Motion Picture News, November 18, 1916, p. 3168
"YEARS OF THE LOCUST"
Lasky. Five Reels.
Released Nov. 20 by Paramount
Story -- Modern problem play. Better part of action takes place in South Africa. Written by Albert Payson Terhune. Adaptation of the book by Harvey Thew. Directed by George Melford.
Action -- Good dramatic situations.
Suspense -- Strong.
Continuity -- Even.
Detail -- Right.
Atmosphere -- Very Good.
Photography -- Highly artistic.
Adventure figures largely in this tale of love and intrigue. Built on the always handy eternal triangle theme the plot is not exceedingly original. The treatment, however, is excellent and atones, in a measure, for the conventionality of the story. The beautiful photography and light effects identified with past Lask pictures is markedly in evidence likewise in this one. Fannie Ward starred gives a decidedly clever performance and Jack Dean is convincing in the leading male role. "The Years of the Locust" was fortunate in having had a camera man on the job with the right idea of scene values.
Box Office Value.
Two days. Advertise the tiele of the play. Suitable for high class audiences.
-- New York Clipper, December 6, 1916, p. 34
"THE YEARS OF THE LOCUST" (Lasky).
Unlike the fool and his money, Fannie ward and her gowns are not easily parted. The Lasky star is famous for her wardrobe and she takes a personal pride in never being found unequipped for any emergency that might arise. It is her boast that she can dress for any part that a director calls upon her to play, without delaying the picture beyond the time necessary to fasten a few hooks and eyes.
When Albert Payson Terhune's story, "The Years of the Locust," was chosen by the Lasky Company as a starring vehicle for Miss Ward, it seemed as though she would find that she had boasted in vain, for the script of this Paramount picture called for almost every imaginable type of gown. One by one Miss Ward checked them off as she perused this script, until she had the following list: Morning negligees, four street costumes, afternoon gowns, tea gowns, hall gowns, opera cloaks, furs for driving and motoring, girlish frocks, riding habits and all the hats, parasols and shoes that must accompany them.
The picture is, however, in no sense a fashion article. "The Years of the Locust," was written by Mr. Terhune with no thought of Miss Ward in mind. But he drew a picture of a girl who is a society favorite -- the wife of a diamond king -- and the scenes shift from one continent to the other with such rapidity that a tremendous amount of changes in costumes are necessary. Furthermore, this girl goes through many vicissitudes of life for each of which she must be correctly dressed in order to make them all effective.
One of the most remarkable single ornamentations which Miss Ward wears in this picture is a wedding veil which she work when she was married several years ago to Joe Lewis, a South African diamond king. It was formerly owned by the Archduchess Isabella of Austria. This is the first time that it has been worn in a motion picture.
-- Moving Picture World, November 11, 1916, p. 880
with Fannie Ward, Walter Long and Jack Dean. Directed by George Melford. Lasky/Paramount.
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Last Modified July 13, 2019