The Traveling Salesman (1916)

Russell Bassett, Frank McIntyre and Doris Kenyon in THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN (1916)

136-4 Russell Bassett, Frank McIntyre, Doris Kenyon, unknown

Frank McIntyre and Doris Kenyon in THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN (1916)

136-17 Doris Kenyon, unknown, Frank McIntyre

Frank McIntyre in THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN (1916)

136-19 Unknown, Frank McIntyre

Russell Bassett and Frank McIntyre in THE TRAVELING SALESMAN (1916)

136-24 Russell Bassett (left), Harry S. Northrup (on table), Frank McIntyre (in hat)

Frank McIntyre in THE TRAVELING SALESMAN (1916)

136-25 Frank McIntyre, Harry S. Northrup

Frank McIntyre in THE TRAVELING SALESMAN (1916)

136-28 Frank McIntyre (center)

Frank McIntyre, Julia Stewart and Doris Kenyan in THE TRAVELING SALESMAN (1916)

136-31 Frank McIntyre, Julia Stewart, Doris Kenyon

Julia Stewart and Frank McIntyre in THE TRAVELING SALESMAN (1916)

136-39 unknowns, Julia Stewart, and Frank McIntyre

Note: All of these stills were sepia toned and a few were over-exposed so that they do not scan very clearly.

“The Traveling Salesman”

Famous Players Presents Frank McIntyre in an Amusing Adaptation of His Stage Play

Reviewed by George Blaisdell.

THERE is an entertaining mixture of comedy and drama in “The Traveling Salesman,” the Famous Players release of December 18. Frank McIntyre interprets the title role in the adaptation of his old-time stage success. As Bob Blake, the big drummer, quick to fall in love “on sight.,” and to quote, or misquote, Shakespeare for justification in that step, he makes a hit. He has the characteristics, the pep, we ascribe to the traveling man - human, likable. There may be those who will frown upon his tendency to uncover liquor in seemingly arid spots: upon the enjoyment he extracts from a pack of cards when he meets up with his own fellows, and then again there will be many more who in spirit will sit in with him and participate in the fun.

Opposite Mr. McIntyre is Doris Kenyon as Beth Elliott, the young ticket agent in the railroad station whose home is about to be sold for unpaid taxes, and who falls in love with the “fat man.” Miss Kenyon has charm and ability in portrayal. Harry Northrup, second to none as a screen “heavy,” is Franklin Royce, the instrument of Drury, the moneyed man of the York State village, who seeks to buy in Beth’s land in order to turn it over to the railroad and “clean up.” Russell Bassett is Drury. Julia Stuart is Mrs. Babbitt, the energetic and talkative friend of Beth.

The story is staged in a desolate, snow-covered country. Directory Al Kaufman was fortunate in being able to secure the first fall of the winter to add to the picturesqueness of the subject. Many of the stage lines have been employed for the titles, and these add to the comedy element. The dramatic phase of the picture is reserved for the closing scenes, and here there is real suspense.

“The Traveling Salesman” is a good subject.

-- The Moving Picture World, December 30, 1916, pp. 1971-1972

McIntyre in “The Traveling Salesman”

Noted Comedian in Repeat His Stage Success Before Famous Players Camera for Paramount Program

BY AN arrangement effected this week, Frank McIntyre, the celebrated comedian, will make his debut on the screen under the auspices of the Famous Players Film Company, in a picturization of his greatest stage success, “The Traveling Salesman,” by James Forbes.

This typical American comedy created a mirth-sensation during its engagement at the Liberty theater, New York, a few years ago, when under the management of the late Henry B. Harris, Mr. McIntyre’s inimitable interpretation of the funny drummer was received as one of the most humorous character creations ever contributed to the stage.

“The Traveling Salesman” was considered to possess unusual screen material by man of the larger feature producing companies, who have made frequent and flattering offers to M. McIntyre to enact this characterization before the camera. His consent to make his photoplay debut with the company through which so many of his contemporary stage stars have been introduced to the motion picture public, is therefore in the nature of a managerial triumph.

Mr. McIntyre has had an interesting stage history, having traversed all the theatrical paths that lead to stardom, including stock and one night stand engagements in the earlier years of his career. After his success in “The Traveling Salesman” he toured the country with it, repeating his metropolitan hit in all the cities, towns, and hamlets in which he had formerly appeared under far more trying circumstances as a struggling artist. Among the play in which has won personal triumphs are “Captain Malley,” “A Poor Man,” “My Wife’s Husband,” “Major Andre”, and “The Hat Salesman.”

The plot, in brief, has to do with the romance which develops from the first meeting of the traveling salesman and the girlish telegraph operator at Grand Crossing. The girl has some property that two schemers plan to get away from her by bidding for it when it is up for sale for taxes. The traveling salesman learns of the plot, foils it and finally wins out after undergoing all the conditions of misery because the girl mistrusts him and b in her enemies.

This photoplay comedy will appear on the Paramount Program during the next few weeks.

-- Moving Picture World, November 4, 1916, page 711

“The Traveling Salesman”
(Famous Players—Paramount—Five Reels)


FRANK McINTYRE and “The Traveling Salesman” are inseparably associated on the speaking stage, and now we have this well known comedy drama transferred to the silent screen. That is has lost much of the character which Mr. McIntyre’s personality gave it when you could see him in the flesh, goes without saying. The trivial mannerisms that will set an audience into fits of laughter when enacted by a living character on the stage, where they can laugh both at and with him, unusually fall flat when pictured. And so the cumulative force of a continuous rapid fire of bright lines and comical actions can not be had in the pictured comedy. Many humorous bits are registered in the first two reels of this play, but the real interest only begins when the serious dramatic theme is introduced and the matching of wits to see who will win the girl get well under way. From this point the complications of plot unreel, including a race against time to the court house to save the girl’s inheritance from the clutches of the village skinflint.

To say that Mr. McIntyre and Doris Kenyon did not make a pleasing play of a plot that is certainly not burdened with excels weight, would not be doing justice to the stars, who carry an otherwise ordinary picture through five reels that will entertain but not cause any extra enthusiasm. This picture is up to the average of five-reel comedy dramas so far created, but not a picture that will pull extra dollars into the house except where those who know Frank McIntyre’s fame come to see his debut in pictures.

It is, by the way, a Christmas picture, as those familiar with the story will know, the action happening on Christmas Day, when the traveling salesman gets carried by his regular stop and falls in love at first sight with the lady station agent at the small town beyond. Snow scenes abound. Excellent photography and a number of trick fade-ins as a means of conveying the thoughts of the actors, as for example in the poler game the vision of home and loved ones on the cards of each of the players, add very greatly to the enjoyableness of the play.

-- Motion Picture News, December 30, 1916, page 4232

The Traveling Salesman, with Frank McIntyre (Paramoung) – “Good. High class comedy. Sure to please any audience and change grouches to grins.” – Walton McNeel, Crystal Theater, Burlington, Wisconson.

-- Motography, August 18, 1917, pages 330-331

THE TRAVELING SALESMAN (Famous Players – Five Parts – Dec. 18) – The cast: Bob Blake (Frank McIntyre); Beth Elliott (Doris Kenyon); Franklin Royce (Harry Northrup); Mrs. Babbitt (Julia Stuart). Martin Drury (Russell Bassett); Julius, The Porter (Harry Blakemore); Watts (James O’Neill).

Because a Pullman porter fails to eject him from his berth in the morning, Bob Blake, a traveling salesman, is carried past his station on Christmas morning, and finds himself in Grand Cross. The most interesting sight in that town is the pretty face that smiles at Blake through the window of the telegraph office at the station. Blake is rotund, jovial and trustworthy in appearance, and it is not long before he melts the natural reserve of Beth Elliott.

During the course of an impromptu luncheon in the station, Blake learns that Beth’s old home is to be sold for taxes on the following day. He later gathers the information from Beth’s friend – Mrs. Babbitt, that the girl has been allowing a Mrs. Stratton to live in the house without paying her any rent ever since the woman had her little store sold over her head by Martin Drury, the local capitalist.

By this time Blake has become deeply interested in Beth and through the medium of a poker game and many applications of “Scotch tea,” learns that Royce, a henchman of Drury’s, is going to buy in the Elliott place because Drury has a tip that the railroad is going to want the property and that it can be sold for a high price. His antagonism to Royce is heightened by a spice of jealousy – for Royce makes love to Beth openly.

Discovering that Royce is to start to drive for the county seat very early in the morning, Blake has one of his friends put him to had, and then gets into the rig in his place. Royce, awakening from the effects of too much “tea”, makes a violent dash for the livery stable and finds a small car there which he appropriates and starts in pursuit of Blake. There is a wild race in which the car is overturned and Blake succeeds in reaching the court house in time to pay up the taxes in Beth’s name.

Beaten at this game, Royce returns at once and tells Beth that her drummer friend has attempted to steal her property from her, and then persuades her to sell the property to him for $5,000. The girl accepts the check and then Blake dashes in to explain the whole affair, and tears up the check. But Royce has one more trump card – he gets Beth out to the Elliott place alone, and locking the doors, declares that he will not let her go until she accepts the check. After a desperate struggle and Royce, Blake succeeds in freeing the girl and all ends happily.

-- Moving Picture World

with Frank McIntyre, Doris Kenyon. Directed by Joseph Kaufman. Famous Players/Paramount.

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Last Modified October 31, 2016