|Born||Florence Lois Weber
June 13, 1879
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||November 13, 1939
|Occupation||Actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Phillips Smalley (1904–1922)
Harry Gantz (1926–1935)
|Awards||Hollywood Walk of Fame – Motion Picture
6518 Hollywood Blvd
Lois Weber (June 13, 1879 – November 13, 1939) was an American silent film actress, screenwriter, producer, and director, who is considered "the most important female director the American film industry has known", and "one of the most important and prolific film directors in the era of silent films". Film historian Anthony Slide asserts that: "Along with D.W. Griffith, Lois Weber was the American cinema's first genuine auteur, a filmmaker involved in all aspects of production and one who utilized the motion picture to put across her own ideas and philosophies."
Weber produced an oeuvre comparable to Griffith in both quantity and quality, and brought to the screen her concerns for humanity and social justice in an estimated 200 to 400 films, of which as few as twenty have been preserved, and has been credited by IMDb with directing 135 films, writing 114, and acting in 100. Weber was "one of the first directors to come to the attention of the censors in Hollywood's early years".
Weber has been credited as pioneering the use of the split screen technique to show simultaneous action in her 1913 film Suspense. In collaboration with her first husband, Phillips Smalley, in 1913 Weber was "one of the first directors to experiment with sound", making the first sound films in the United States, and was also the first American woman to direct a full-length feature film when she directed The Merchant of Venice in 1914, and in 1917 the first woman director to own her own film studio. During the war years, Weber "achieved tremendous success by combining a canny commercial sense with a rare vision of cinema as a moral tool". At her zenith, "few men, before or since, have retained such absolute control over the films they have directed – and certainly no women directors have achieved the all-embracing, powerful status once held by Lois Weber." By 1920, Weber was considered the "premier woman director of the screen and author and producer of the biggest money making features in the history of the film business".
Among Weber's notable films are: the controversial Hypocrites, which featured the first full-frontal female nude scene in 1915; the 1916 film Where Are My Children?, which discussed abortion and birth control, and was added to the National Film Registry in 1993; her adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes novel for the first ever, Tarzan of the Apes film in 1918; and what is often considered her masterpiece, The Blot in 1921. Weber is credited with discovering, mentoring, or making stars of several women actors, including Mary MacLaren, Mildred Harris, Claire Windsor, Esther Ralston, Billie Dove, Ella Hall, Cleo Ridgely, and Anita Stewart, and discovered and inspired screenwriter Frances Marion. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, on February 8, 1960, Weber was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Theater career
- 3 Film career
- 4 Later years and death
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Further reading
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Florence Lois Weber was born on June 13, 1879 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (since 1907 Pittsburgh's Northside neighborhood), the second of three children of Mary Matilda "Tillie" Snaman (born Mathilda Schneeman in March 1854 in Reserve Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; died 1935 in Miami, Florida) and George Weber (born June 1855; died about 1910), an upholster and decorator, who had spent several years in missionary street work, and the younger sister of Elizabeth "Bessie" Snaman Weber Jay (born April 9, 1877 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; died February 26, 1966 in Florida) and older sister of Ethel Weber Howland (born July 3, 1887 in Pennsylvania), who later appeared in two of Florence's films in 1916, and married assistant director Louis A. "Lou" Howland. The Webers were a devout middle class Christian family of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.
Weber was considered a child prodigy, and an excellent pianist. As a girl, music was her passion, and her most treasured possession was a baby grand piano. Weber left home and lived in poverty while working as a street-corner evangelist and social activist for two years with the evangelical Church Army Workers, an organization similar to the Salvation Army, preaching and singing hymns on street-corners and singing and playing the organ in rescue missions in red-light districts in Pittsburgh and New York, until the Church Army Workers disbanded in 1900.
In June 1900, Weber was almost 21 and was living with her parents and two sisters at 1717 Fremont Street, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where she was a music student. By April 1903, Weber was performing as a soprano singer and pianist. She toured the United States as a concert pianist with renowned harpist Mrs Apt Thomas until her final performance in Charleston, South Carolina a year later. After an unfortunate incident when a piano key broke during a recital, Weber retired from the concert stage, having lost her nerve to play in public. Weber describes the incident that precipitated her retirement: "Just as I started to play a black key came off in my hand. I kept forgetting that the key was not there, and reaching for it. The incident broke my nerve. I could not finish and I never appeared on the concert stage again. It is my belief that when that key came off in my hand, a certain phase of my development came to an end."
Frustrated by the futility of one-on-one conversions, and following the advice of an uncle in Chicago, Weber decided to take up acting about 1904, and moved to New York City, where she took some singing lessons. Weber later explained her motivation: "As I was convinced the theatrical profession needed a missionary, he suggested that the best way to reach them was to become one of them so I went on the stage filled with a great desire to convert my fellowman".
For five years Weber was a repertory and stock actress. After short stint as a soubrette in the farce comedy "Zig-Zag" for a Chicago-based touring company, Weber resigned as it "proved too superficial for her altruistic aims". In 1904, Weber joined the road company of "Why Girls Leave Home", where she became "a musical comedy prima donna and melodrama heroine". Weber received "promising reviews" for her performance, for example, The Boston Globe wrote of her in September 1904 that she "sang two very pretty songs very effectively and won considerable applause".
The troupe's leading man and manager was Wendell Phillips Smalley (August 7, 1865 in Brooklyn, New York – May 2, 1939 in Los Angeles), a grandson of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the elder son of New York Tribune war and foreign correspondent George Washburn Smalley (born June 2, 1833 in Franklin, Massachusetts; died April 4, 1916 in London, England) and Phoebe Garnaut Phillips (born April 1841 in Massachusetts; died February 1923 in New York City), the adopted daughter of abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Smalley, who had attended Balliol College, Oxford and was a graduate of Harvard University and had been a lawyer in New York for seven years, and had been a stage actor who made his professional stage debut in August 1901 in Manhattan, and had appeared since in productions of Harrison Grey Fiske and Mrs Fiske, and Raymond Hitchcock. After a brief acquaintance, just before her 25th birthday, Weber and Smalley, aged 38, married on April 29, 1904 in Chicago, Illinois.
After initially touring separately from her husband, and then accompanying him on his tours, about 1906 Weber left her career in the theater and became a homemaker in New York. During this period Weber wrote freelance moving picture scenarios.
In 1908, Weber was hired by American Gaumont Chronophones, which produced phonoscènes, initially as a singer of songs recorded for the chronophone. Both Herbert Blaché and his wife, Alice Guy, later claimed to have given Weber her start in the movie industry.
At the end of the 1908 theatrical season, Smalley joined Weber at Gaumont. Soon Weber was writing scripts, and in 1908 Weber began directing English language phonoscènes at the Gaumont Studio in Flushing, New York. About 1908, Weber starred in a film she had written called Hypocrites, which was directed by Blaché.
In 1910, Weber and Smalley decided to pursue a career in the infant motion picture industry. For the next five years, they worked and were credited as The Smalleys (but where typically Weber received sole writing credit) on dozens of shorts and features for small production companies like Gaumont, the New York Motion Picture Co., Reliance Studio, the Rex Motion Picture Company, and Bosworth, where Weber wrote scenarios and subtitles, acted, directed, designed sets and costumes, edited films, and even developed negatives. Weber took two years off her birth date when she signed her first movie contract.
Weber and Smalley had a daughter, Phoebe, named after Smalley's mother, who was born on October 29, 1910, but died in infancy.
Rex Motion Picture Company
By 1911, Weber and Smalley were working for William Swanson's Rex Motion Picture Company, which was based at 573–579 11th Avenue, New York City. While at Rex, Weber gained her reputation as "a serious social uplifter and as the leading partner in the Weber-Smalley unit." In 1911, Weber acted in and directed her first silent short film, A Heroine of '76, sharing the directorial duties with Smalley and Edwin S. Porter. At the time of Rex's merger with five other studios to form the Universal Film Manufacturing Company on April 30, 1912, Weber and Smalley were the "prima facie heads of Rex", and had relocated to Los Angeles.
Rex continued as a subsidiary of Universal, with Weber and Smalley running it, making one two-reel film each week, until they left Rex in September 1912. Carl Laemmle startled the film industry with his use of and advocacy for women directors and producers, including Weber, Ida May Park and Cleo Madison. In the autumn of 1913, shortly after the incorporation of Universal City, Weber was elected its first mayor in a close contest that required a recount, and Laura Oakley as police chief. At the time, Universal's publicity department claimed Universal City was "the only municipality in the world that possesses an entire outfit of women officials".
In March 1913, Weber starred in the first English language version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, which was produced for the New York Motional Picture Co., directed by Smalley, from an adaptation by Weber, and starred Wallace Reid as Dorian Gray.
In 1913, Weber and Smalley collaborated in directing a ten-minute thriller, Suspense, based on the play Au Telephone by André de Lorde, which had been filmed in 1908 as Heard over the 'Phone by Edwin S. Porter. Adapted by Weber, it used multiple images and mirror shots to tell of a woman (Weber) threatened by a burglar (Douglas Gerrard). Weber has been credited as pioneering the use of the split screen technique to show simultaneous action in this film, but the "oft-mentioned triptych shots had already been used in the Danish 'The White Slave Trade' films (Den hvide slavehandel) (1910), also for telephone conversations." According to Tom Gunning, "No film made before WWI shows a stronger command of film style than Suspense [which] outdoes even Griffith for emotionally involved filmmaking". Suspense was released on July 6, 1913.
In late 1913, Weber and Smalley made The Jews' Christmas, a three-reel silent film that dramatizes the conflict between traditional Jewish values and American customs and values, illustrating the challenges of cultural assimilation, especially the generational conflict over interfaith marriage and the second generation's abandonment of the faith and customs of their ancestors. In "the earliest portrayal of a rabbi in an American film", The Jews' Christmas told the story of an orthodox rabbi (Smalley) who ostracizes his daughter (Weber) for marrying a gentile, but is reconciled twelve years later on Christmas Eve when he meets an impoverished small child, who turns out to be his granddaughter. Endeavoring to combat racial discrimination and antisemitism, the film aims to show that love is stronger than any religious ties, and that "the tie of blood overbears the pride and prejudice of religion". In its assertion of "Melting-pot idealism" by its approval of intermarriage between people of different religions, the film was considered controversial at the time of its release. on December 18, 1913.
In 1914, a year in which she directed 27 movies, Weber became "one of the first directors to come to the attention of the censors". That year, Weber co-directed an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice with Smalley, who also played Shylock. making her the first American woman to direct a feature-length film in the United States, and the first person who "directed the first feature-length Shakespearean comedy". In February 1914, Universal released the four-reel Rex silent film which was also adapted by Weber and Smalley, and was also produced, directed, and starred Weber as Portia, and Smalley as Shylock. The film also featured Douglas Gerrard, Rupert Julian, and Jeanie MacPherson, who would play a major role in cinema as Cecil B. DeMille's favorite screenwriter. A "prominent rabbi in Chicago strongly objected on the grounds that the play 'more than any other book, more than any other influence in the history of the world, is responsible for the world-wide prejudice against the Jews'", but the film was praised at the time as "a supreme adaptation of Shakespeare". Robert Hamilton Ball considered the film "careful, respectful, dignified, but lacking in passion and poetry", which he attributes to the difficulty it had satisfying the censor, and because the film was a special release rather than a release on the regular programme, exhibitors had to pay extra for it, which may have contributed to its swift demise. The Merchant of Venice is now considered a lost film.
One film that illustrates the paradoxical nature of Weber's role and films was her 1914 film The Spider and Her Web, where she advocates both modesty and maternalism. In this film, Weber plays "The Spider", a vamp living the "ultra-modern high life" who seduces and ruins intellectual men until frightened into adopting an orphan baby, which results in the salvation of the lead character through motherhood.
As Universal was reluctant to make feature length films, in the summer of 1914 Weber was persuaded to move to the Bosworth company by Julia Crawford Ivers, the first woman general manager of a film studio, to take over the production duties from Hobart Bosworth on a $50,000 a year contract, making her "the best known, most respected and highest-paid" of the dozen or so women directors in Hollywood at that time. In 1914 Bertha Smith estimated Weber's audience at five to six million a week. In fact, by 1915 Weber was as famous as D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. de Mille. While at Bosworth, Weber and Smalley made six features and one short, The Traitor.
"Energized by evangelistic zeal and social conscience", from early in her career Weber saw movies as "a vehicle for evangelism", and "an opportunity to preach to the masses", and to encourage her audience to be involved in progressive causes. In a 1914 interview Weber declared: "In moving pictures I have found my life's work. I find at once an outlet for my emotions and my ideals. I can preach to my heart's content, and with the opportunity to write the play, act the leading role, and direct the entire production, if my message fails to reach someone, I can blame only myself." As many of Weber's films focused on a moral topic, she "was often mistaken as a Christian fundamentalist, but she was more of a libertarian, opposing censorship and the death penalty and championing birth control. The need for a strong, loving and nurturing home was clearly promoted as well and if there was a single maxim that underlay each film it was that selfishness and egocentricity erode the individual and community". Although not a practicing Christian Scientist, Weber attended the Christian Science church regularly, according to Adela Rogers St. Johns, and in at least two of her films Jewel (1915) and its remake, A Chapter in Her Life (1923), Christian Science plays a prominent role. Weber's impeccable reputation and "impressive middle-class credentials" allowed her considerable artistic freedom in her presentation of controversial issues.
During 1914, Weber made her first major feature, a controversial version of Hypocrites, a four-reel allegorical drama shot at Universal City that she wrote, directed, produced and starred in, addressing social themes and moral lessons considered daring for the time. Hypocrites included the first film full-frontal female nudity, inspired by Jules Joseph Lefebvre's 1870 allegorical painting La Vérité, with truth portrayed in the ghostly figure of the Naked Truth, literally shown by an unidentified nude woman (Margaret Edwards) who revealed hypocritical desires for money, sex, and power. Although the nudity was tastefully done (it was passed by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures after a two-month delay), it was still banned in Ohio; caused riots in New York; and James Michael Curley, the mayor of Boston, demanded that every frame displaying the naked figure of Truth be hand-painted to clothe the then unidentified actress. Hypocrites was released finally by Bosworth on January 15, 1915, and premiered at Manhattan's prestigious Longacre Theatre, and was "celebrated as a cultural, artistic, and moral landmark for the film industry", and "praised for its use of multiple exposures and complex film editing". While its negative cost was $18,000, it earned $119,000 in sales in the United States alone and made Weber "a household name". In a 1917 interview, Weber denied the film was indecent and defended the film: "Hypocrites is not a slap at any church or creed – it is a slap at hypocrites, and its effectiveness is shown by the outcry amongst those it hits hardest, to have the film stopped".
In April 1915, Weber and Smalley left Bosworth when the founder left the company due to ill health. After being promised they could make feature length films by Carl Laemmle, they returned to Universal Pictures. Weber's first movie for Universal was Scandal, in which both Weber and Smalley starred, that featured the consequences of gossip mongering.
In 1916, Weber directed 10 feature-length films for release by Universal, nine of which she also wrote, and she also became Universal Studios' highest-paid director, earning $5,000 a week, and "enjoyed complete freedom in overseeing most stages of the film-making process – choice of stories and actors, writing of scripts (which she invariably did herself), as well as direction". Universal head Carl Laemmle, "who was known more for his frugality and cunning business sense than philanthropy", said of Weber: "I would trust Miss Weber with any sum of money that she needed to make any picture that she wanted to make. I would be sure that she would bring it back." In 1916, Weber explained her philosophy of directing films: "I’ll never be convinced that the general public does not want serious entertainment rather than frivolous", and "A real director should be absolute. He (or she in this case) alone knows the effects he wants to produce, and he alone should have authority in the arrangement, cutting, titling or anything else that may seem necessary to do to the finished product. What other artist has his work interfered with by someone else?... We ought to realize that the work of a picture director, worthy of a name, is creative".
In February 1916, Weber and Smalley were transferred to Universal's Bluebird Photoplays brand, where they made a dozen features, including The Dumb Girl of Portici (also known as Pavlowa), adapted by Weber from Daniel Auber's 1828 opera La muette de Portici, Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova's only screen appearance, which was directed to Pavlova's satisfaction by Weber. The film also starred Rupert Julian as Masaniello. Released to popular acclaim, it premiered on April 3, 1916 at the Globe Theatre in Manhattan.
Hoping to "become the editorial page of the studio", and to "provoke a middle-class sense of responsibility for those less fortunate than themselves, and to stimulate moral reforms", Weber specialized in making films that stressed both high quality and moral rectitude, including films of the "burning social and moral issues of the day", among them such controversial themes as abortion, eugenics, and birth control in Where Are My Children? (1916), influenced by the trial of Charles Stielow, an innocent man who was almost executed, opposition to capital punishment based on circumstantial evidence in The People vs. John Doe; and alcoholism and opium addiction in Hop, the Devil's Brew, which were all successful at the box office, but, while embraced by reformers in the film industry, "drew the ire of the conservatives". Despite the predominance of strong women in her films, in 1916 Weber refused to have any association with the women's suffrage movement, possibly because of fears of a backlash from industry leaders.
In Where Are My Children? (working title: The Illborn), which was released on April 16, 1916, Weber advocates social purity, birth control, and eugenics to prevent the "deterioration of the race" and the "proliferation of the lower classes", and makes "an indirect case for birth control or perhaps even for legalized, and safe, abortions". The film starred Tyrone Power, Sr. and his then wife Helen Riaume, and future star Mary MacLaren made her debut. It also makes use of several trick photography scenes, with an emphasis on multiple exposures to convey information or emotions visually. As a recurring motif, every time a character becomes pregnant, a child's face is double exposed over their shoulder. In March 1916, the National Board of Review expressed disapproval of the film for showings to mixed audiences, but later approved it for adult showings. It was banned in Pennsylvania on the grounds that it "tended to debase or corrupt morals", but Universal won a case in Brooklyn, New York in 1916 to show the film after the district attorney filed suit against the theater manager and the Universal exchange president. Controversy, the threat of censorship, and the banning of Where Are My Children? in some locations helped fuel the box office success of the film, estimated to have grossed in excess of $3 million, in an era where ticket prices were less than 50c each, and "rocketed Weber's name to larger audiences, bigger box-office returns, and an even higher annual income". The film spread Weber's fame internationally. For example, Kevin Brownlow indicates that this film attracted 30,000 in Preston, Lancashire, 40,000 in Bradford, Yorkshire, and 100,000 in two weeks in Sydney. In 2000, the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center copyrighted a preservation print reconstructed from several incomplete prints.
Shoes, a "sociological" film released in June 1916 that Weber directed for the Bluebird Photoplays, was based on the 1912 novel A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil by noted social reformer Jane Addams and depicts the struggles of working class women for consumer goods and upward mobility and their dubious sexual activities, including prostitution. Starring Mary Maclaren as Eva Meyer, a poverty-stricken shopgirl who supports her family of five, who needs to replace her only pair of shoes, and is so desperate that she sells her virginity for a new pair, it proved to be the most booked Bluebird production of 1916. A version restored digitally from three extant fragments by EYE Film Institute Netherlands, made its debut in North America in July 2011.
After another significant censorship battle, and a vigorous publicity campaign by Universal, on May 13, 1917, Universal released The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, "one of the most forceful films ever made in support of legalizing birth control", a follow-up to the previous year's top money-maker for Universal, Where Are My Children? Directed by Weber and Smalley based on their original script, it starred Smalley and Weber, in her last screen appearance, as a doctor's wife arrested and imprisoned for illegally disseminating family planning information. Influenced by the recent trial and imprisonment of pioneer birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, the film drew explicitly on her headline-generating activism. The film was released only weeks after Sanger's own film, Birth Control, was banned under a 1915 ruling of the United States Supreme Court that films "did not constitute free speech", and the ruling of the New York Court of Appeals that a film on family planning may be censored "in the interest of morality, decency, and public safety and welfare". Sensitive to the opinions of local communities, and hoping to avoid powerful censorship boards in the northeast and midwest, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was distributed primarily in the southern and western regions of the United States, with the result that it did not attain the record-breaking attendance set by Where Are My Children? the previous year. When The Hand That Rocks the Cradle opened at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles in June 1917, Weber appeared on stage, bitterly denouncing attempts to alter or suppress her film. While The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is now lost, the surviving script and accompanying marketing materials make it clear that Weber mounted an unstinting argument in favor of "voluntary motherhood".
Lois Weber Productions
In June 1917 Weber became the first woman director to establish and run her own movie studio when she formed her own production company, Lois Weber Productions, with the financial assistance of Universal. She leased a self-contained estate, and had offices, dressing rooms, scenic and property rooms, and a 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) shooting stage constructed. Smalley was made studio manager, and the Smalleys made their home on the studio lot at 1550 N. Sierra Bonita Avenue.
According to film historian Shelley Stamp, while Weber and Smalley were often co-credited as directors, it was "the wife who clearly had the artistic vision to drive the business partnership forward". By this time, Weber's "idealized collaborative marriage" with Smalley had begun to show signs of deterioration, which was accelerated by the increased focus of critics and journalists on Weber as the dominant filmmaker, at the expense of Smalley, after 1916, and Weber increasingly took credit for her contributions after 1917. However, as early as 1913, some saw Weber as the "fertile brain" in the partnership, with Smalley seen as an indolent womanizer "who chased every woman on the lot", which resulted in arguments and shouting matches.
Weber consciously resisted the industry's movement toward assembly line-style studio filmmaking. "By concentrating on only one production at a time, and mobilizing her entire work force around that effort, Weber aimed for quality filmmaking rather than efficient bookkeeping." Weber's independence allowed her to shoot her films in sequence, as she preferred (rather than out of order to suit production schedules). William D. Routt indicates that "Lois Weber Productions were a good investment, cost-effective. The company made movies cheaply: in later years at least shooting on location even for interiors, using a small cast, working fast. Its somewhat sensational topics and titles guaranteed at least a modest box office return, and at times may have done much better than that."
Karen Ward Mahar attributes the success of Weber's films of the 1910s to their representation of "the generational conflict of the era" between the traditional view of women and that of the freedoms of the emerging "New Woman and the emergent consumer culture". Mahar argues that "Weber's life was an expression of this generational divide: she was a stage performer and a Church Army Worker, a filmmaker and a middle-class matron, a childless advocate of birth control who 'radiates domesticity'". While Weber was clearly a New Woman by virtue of her career, she was also publicly identified as the wife and collaborator of her first husband. Shelley Stamp argues that Weber's "image was instrumental in defining both her particular place in film-making practices, and women's roles within early Hollywood generally", and that her "wifely, bourgeois persona, relatively conservative and staid, mirrored the film industry's idealized conception of its new customers: white, married, middle-class women perceived to be arbiters of taste in their communities". While Weber's beliefs reflected modern values, as did her career as a filmmaker that was atypical for women of her era, she had "internalized much of what the Victorians deemed proper behavior for women", and there are "strong elements of the Victorian code of womanhood in her films". The Smalleys exemplified and promoted the Victorian ideal of marriage as companionship and a partnership.
In 1917, Weber was the only woman granted membership in the Motion Picture Directors Association, and from 1917 Weber was active in supporting the newly established Hollywood Studio Club, a residence for struggling would-be starlets. After the United States entered World War I, Weber served on the board of the Motion Picture War Service Association, headed by D. W. Griffith and including Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Cecil B. DeMille, and William Desmond Taylor. The Association raised funds for the construction of a thousand-bed hospital.
In 1918, the Fox Film Corporation hired Weber to direct Queen of the Seas,in which Annette Kellerman swam and dove naked. However, she was replaced eventually by John G. Adolfi. In September 1918, Weber broke her left arm in two places when she fell in Barker Brothers, a downtown Los Angeles store, forcing her to be hospitalized in the California Hospital. Weber's arm was still causing her trouble seven months later.
Anita Stewart Productions
Despite continuing to work at Universal, and renting out her studio to other independent producers, including Marshall Neilan, Weber found it difficult to pay the bills and to find the capital to finance her own productions. By December 1918, Weber had left Universal, and signed a contract with Louis B. Mayer to direct Anita Stewart for $3,500 a week. In a letter to Weber, Mayer proclaimed: "My unchanging policy will be great star, great director, great play, great cast. You are authorized to get these without stint or limit. Spare nothing, neither expense, time, or effort. Results only are what I'm after." Weber made two films with Stewart as the lead: A Midnight Romance and Mary Regan, both released in 1919 to mixed reviews.
Needing finances, in July 1919 Weber signed a contract with Famous Players-Lasky to direct five films to be distributed through Paramount-Artcraft for $50,000 each, plus one-third of the profits, and guaranteed first-run bookings in Paramount theaters. By January 1920, Smalley and Weber purchased a two-level home at 1917 N. Ivar Avenue, Hollywood, later the home of Preston Sturges in the 1940s. In October 1920, Weber purchased the studio facilities at 4634 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, near Sunset Boulevard, which she had been leasing for the previous three years.
By February 1921, Weber was at the zenith of her career, and regarded "as fearless in the production of her pictures as she once was in her struggle for a living, and her indubitable position is that of one of the best directors of the screen", One newspaper wrote, "Lois Weber is not only the foremost woman director-she's the whole works", and attributed her success to having "a feminine touch lacking in most man-made films". In an effort to protect the American film industry, by 1921 Weber advocated the prohibition of the importation of all European films into the United States. In May 1921, Weber anticipated the possibility of both color and "three-dimensional films".
Following "the cinematic rumination on modern marriage begun by Cecil B. DeMille", and like other post-war filmmakers, Weber turned her attention toward marriage and domestic life to honor her deal with Famous Players-Lasky with such melodramas as To Please One Woman, What's Worth While? Too Wise Wives, and What Do Men Want? However, as the United States entered the Jazz Age in the 1920s, Weber, came to be seen as passé, in part because of her "propensity for didacticism", but also because her "values became increasingly archaic; her moralising, propagandistic tone was unsuited to the era of the 'flapper' girl and a hedonism that seemed all the more urgent". Additionally, by this time her "morally upright films bored modern audiences", her crusading was unwanted, and her views were considered "quaint". Her fall from favor was also due to her inability or unwillingness to adapt to changing audience tastes, and "her refusal to feature big-name stars or to glamorize consumerist excess in her films."
After an advance screening in February 1921, Paramount executives decided not to distribute the fourth film in their arrangement with Weber, What Do Men Want? a domestic melodrama about a philandering husband and a faithful wife (Claire Windsor), and to cancel their arrangement with Weber to distribute her films.
After making 13 films, by April 1921, Lois Weber Productions collapsed, and Weber was forced to release all her contracted staff, with the exception of two novice actors. While she would direct a few other movies, effectively her career as a Hollywood director was over.
F.B. Warren Corporation
After reading the articles "Impoverished College Teaching" and "Boycotting the Ministry" in the April 30, 1921 issue of Literary Digest about the underpayment of educators and clergy, Weber, with scenarist Marion Orth, crafted a melodramatic narrative to bring the issue to life in The Blot. Starring Claire Windsor and Louis Calhern, The Blot, was her masterpiece, her most successful film from this period, and probably Weber's best-known film today. The film "rejects the values of capitalist America that measures the value of people in wealth and property" by depicting the compromises and choices impoverished women are forced to make to achieve social mobility and financial security. It also "condemns capitalistic materialism and linked consumerism with sexual exploitation", and addresses class, money, and ethnicity, "Weber's basically Christian ethos shines clearly through this plot: the text disapproves of both the new consumerist immigrant class, and the old aristocratic one". Despite xenophobic assumptions, Weber advocates learning, asceticism, and service to the needy. According to film historian Kevin Brownlow, in The Blot "Weber's technique is reminiscent of William deMille's with its quietness, in its use of detail, and its emphasis on naturalism. Weber used the same method of direction, too, filming in continuity." To tell with maximum realism this story of a college professor's family – hardworking but with only a meagre income – Weber filmed in real houses, using a special lighting rig, and gave supporting roles to non-actors. To emphasize this film was a woman-centered narrative, in a "radical departure from Hollywood practice", Weber used point-of-view cutting from the perspective of the professor's wife. Weber also used extreme close-ups and an ambiguous ending, that Richard Combs describes The Blot as "so un-Griffithian as to seem almost modernistically open-ended", while others see it as almost surreal, declaring it "the Los Olvidados of the literally down at heel middle class".
Due to the collapse of her distribution deal with Paramount, Weber was forced to distribute The Blot through the F.B. Warren Corporation, a newly formed small independent company that would also distribute a film each by Canadian women producers Nell Shipman and May Tully (born 1884 in Nanaimo, British Columbia; died March 9, 1924 in New York City) later in 1921. The Blot was released on September 4, 1921, but was not well-received critically and did little box office, and vanished after its run. After The Blot, Weber's films did not make money at the box office. For decades, The Blot was considered a lost film, until it was rediscovered by the American Film Institute in 1975, and was reconstituted and restored by Robert Gitt of the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1986 from an incomplete negative and an incomplete print. The Blot was then produced for video by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill of Photoplay Productions, and released on home video and DVD.
As part of the deal to distribute The Blot, F.B. Warren also released What Do Men Want? After the film's premiere at Manhattan's Lyric Theatre on November 13, 1921, The New York Times, while praising Weber for her casting and the technical aspects of the film, and also the performance of Claire Windsor, dismissed the film as a "simplified sermon" that provided "pat answers" which ignored "the real facts of life", which it considers "incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial".
Soon after the New York city premiere of The Blot, and in an attempt to salvage their troubled marriage, Weber and Smalley sailed for Europe, with Weber's sister Ethel and her husband, Louis A. Howland (born February 3, 1886 in Chicago, Illinois; died August 9, 1931 in Hollywood), on the RMS Aquitania on September 13, 1921, intending to tour Europe and Egypt. They ultimately traveled for six months through Europe, Egypt, China, and India. In late December 1921, they were in Rome, with plans to travel to the Orient.
Weber and Smalley returned to the United States on April 7, 1922. On June 24, 1922, Weber obtained a divorce secretly from Smalley, who was described as both alcoholic and abusive, but kept him as a friend and companion. Their divorce was made public on January 12, 1923 by the Los Angeles Examiner.
Upon her return to Hollywood, Weber found an "'industry in transition', evident in the fact that Erich von Stroheim was out of favor, D. W. Griffith was gradually more marginalized, and Rex Ingram, like von Stroheim, could not adapt to production changes demanded by the consolidated studios." As Shelley Stamp explains: "In an age of studio conglomeration and vertical integration, few independents could survive, a reality that hit women particularly hard: both Alice Guy Blaché and Nell Shipman closed their production companies during this period as well. Will Hays, newly installed at the MPPDA, was also beginning to assert greater control over studio releases."
In November 1922, Weber returned to Universal, where she directed A Chapter in Her Life, based on the 1903 novel Jewel: A Chapter in her Life by Clara Louise Burnham, and a remake of a 1915 film called Jewel, which she had directed previously with Smalley. A Chapter in Her Life was part of "a slate of literary adaptations Universal released that year, headlined by Lon Chaney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and marketed under the tag line "Great Pictures made from Great Books with Great Exploitation Tieups." The film starring Claude Gillingwater was released on September 17, 1923. However, according to Stamp: "Without a chain of theaters under its control, like emerging studio giants MGM and Paramount, Universal now occupied a significantly different market position than it had during the height of Weber’s career there in the mid- 1910s. With the bulk of urban, first-run theaters closed to Universal, the studio now relied on independent theaters mainly located in small towns and rural areas. Nor was the studio home to the female directing talent it had once been—Weber was now on her own." Consequently, Universal's trade ads made a clear pitch to small-town exhibitors, offering them "quality" pictures at reasonable prices, providing access to first-run pictures many studios reserved for their large urban venues. A Chapter in Her Life is available on home video and DVD from Nostalgia.
While Weber was praised for her direction in A Chapter in Her Life, "critics felt the film's subject matter—a young girl whose love and faith transform the troubled adults in her life – was ultimately out of step with the times. Film Daily dubbed the material 'old fashioned', with other critics objecting to the film's 'Pollyanna' themes." Weber subsequently left Universal, vowing not to produce any films for a while, intending to write plays and a novel instead. She traveled to Europe again and spent time at the Colorado summer home of her friend, novelist Margaretta Tuttle, who had written the novel Feet of Clay, that was later made into a 1924 film by Cecil B. deMille, saying she would remain on vacation until the censors "came to their senses".
At the time, Weber complained of both the control exerted by consolidated studios, as well as the ever more strenuous censorship of the Hays Code: "I have received many offers, but in each case I'm hampered with too many conditions. ... The producers select the stories, select the cast, tell you how much you can pay for a picture and how long you can have to make it in. All this could be borne. But when they tell you that they also will cut your picture, that is too much."
The trade journal Film Mercury declared that "it would be interesting to know why [Weber] has made no films in the past year or so," noting that "it is almost a crime for such wonderful director material to be lying idle while third-raters flood the screen with junk." After suffering a nervous collapse in 1923, Weber made no movies until 1925. During this period, when Weber ostensibly "retired from public life", it was rumored that Weber had attempted suicide and had entered a mental facility to treat her mental depression.
By the end of January 1925, Weber announced her engagement to Captain Harry Gantz (born in Deadwood, South Dakota on September 4, 1887; died August 11, 1949 in Cairns, Queensland, Australia), a retired army officer who had served as a second lieutenant in the Philippine Constabulary from 1907 to 1911, then as a second lieutenant in company C of the 23rd Infantry from 1912 to 1915. In October 1914, Weber transferred from the 23rd Infantry to the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, and became a pioneer aviator during the Pancho Villa Expedition, making him an early bird of aviation. On September 1, 1915, Gantz married Beatrice Wooster Miller. At the time of his engagement to Weber, Gantz was a wealthy orange rancher and the owner of the 140 acre El Dorado Ranch, in Fullerton, California. Gantz is credited with bringing Weber "out of a retirement which was more nearly a despondent withdrawal from public life". However, Anthony Slide indicates that Gantz was "something of an opportunist, who persuaded Weber to marry him — and co-incidentally let him manage her considerable fortune."
In January 1925, Weber returned once again to Universal, hired by Carl Laemmle to take charge of all story development for a $5 million production initiative based around the adaptation of popular novels. Universal released one major big budget film each year, including The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925), both starring Lon Chaney, Sr.. After two unsuccessful previews, in 1925 Weber and Maurice Pivar were assigned to edit The Phantom of the Opera before its ultimate release in September 1925. Another of the novels Universal decided to film was Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin", for which Weber completed an adaptation for a film to be directed in 1926 by Harry A. Pollard, who had starred as Uncle Tom in a 1913 version, and was by 1923 Universal's leading director, with nine consecutive hits.
In 1926, Weber signed a new distribution deal with Universal, making her "one of the highest paid women in the business". One of her first "comeback" movies was The Marriage Clause, which Weber adapted from the short story "Technic" by Dana Burnet in The Saturday Evening Post of May 16, 1925. It starred Francis X. Bushman and brought contract player Billie Dove to international prominence. It was released on September 12, 1926.
By June 1926, Weber was signed to direct Sensation Seekers, a romantic drama based on Ernest Pascal's novel Egypt, that also starred Billie Dove. However, just before her wedding, Weber replaced Pollard as director of Uncle Tom's Cabin, as he had been hospitalized in Manhattan with blood poisoning and a shattered jaw caused by the "maltreatment" of a tooth infection by a New York dentist. Weber ceased work on Sensation Seekers and was willing to interrupt her honeymoon to travel to Louisiana to direct the location scenes for Uncle Tom's Cabin.
On June 15, the Los Angeles Times reported Gantz had obtained a license to marry Weber. On June 30, 1926, a justice of the peace married the couple in a ceremony at Enchanted Hill, the home of screenwriter Frances Marion in Santa Ana, California. At their wedding, Weber reduced her age by nine years to 38 to match her new husband. In 1927, Smalley married music teacher Phyllis Lorraine Ephlin (born June 18, 1898 in Michigan, USA; died January 3, 1965 in California).
After five months during which his life was in serious jeopardy, and six jaw operations, Pollard emerged from hospital, "disfigured for life, but undaunted, ready once more to resume his megaphone", Weber was no longer required for Uncle Tom's Cabin. Weber returned to direct Sensation Seekers, which was released on March 20, 1927.
In November 1926, Weber joined United Artists to direct a comedy film called Topsy and Eva based on a popular play of that name written by Catherine Chisholm Cushing and featuring the Duncan Sisters in blackface. Weber, who had adapted from the novel of Harriet Beecher Stowe when she was attached to the Universal version of Uncle Tom's Cabin, attempted to make another serious adaptation, but the studio decided that it should be a comedy rather than a drama. After some shooting by Weber, she thought some of the scenes to be shot were insulting to African Americans, including such "racist humor as a stork dropping a black baby into a trash can". Topsy and Eva was re-assigned to Del Lord to direct, with some additional scenes by D.W. Griffith.
By 1927, Weber advised young women to avoid filmmaking careers. In 1927 De Mille Pictures signed Weber to direct her final silent movie, The Angel of Broadway, which featured Leatrice Joy, and released on October 3, 1927. However, the advent of sound technology and the demise of silent movies, coupled with some negative reviews and poor box office receipts, ended her comeback in 1927. For example, Variety believed The Angel of Broadway its sentimentality would appeal to the masses, but not to sophisticated urban audiences: "For New York this title is a dud, but in the hinterland it may well be esteemed box office. Pathe has, in fact, a very good commercial property for the territory west of Hoboken."
By February 1927, Weber owned and operated Lois Weber's Garden Village at 4633 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. In the late 1920s, Weber and Gantz sub-divided the El Rancho Ranch, creating the upscale "Brookdale Heights", now at West Brookfield Place, Fullerton, with the 300–400 residential lots advertised for $1,500 to $3,000 each, and houses priced at $8,000 to $9,000 each. On another part of their acreage, the Gantzes built a Spanish-style residence with a tower retreat for Weber at 225 W. Union Street.
When Weber was asked in April 1928 when she might direct again, she replied, "When I find a producer who thinks I have intelligence enough to be let alone and go ahead with my own unit." Five years elapsed before Weber got the opportunity again.
While Weber and Gantz appeared to be enjoying domestic harmony in March 1930, soon after Weber was separated from Gantz and was living with her mother and nephew in Los Angeles. In 1931, Gantz sold the El Dorado ranch to C. Stanley Chapman, the son of Charles C. Chapman. By 1932, Weber was still separated from Gantz and was managing an apartment building in Fullerton, California.
Through the intervention of Frances Marion, by early June 1932 Weber was hired by United Artists as a script doctor, to work on Cynara with Marion. In February 1933, Universal signed Weber to scout for new talent and to direct screen tests. Within weeks, Weber had interviewed 250 girls and young women from dramatic schools.
In 1933, Universal offered Weber another directing contract, assigning her to Edna Ferber's Glamour, but she was removed from the project abruptly and it was transferred to a reluctant William Wyler.
Weber and Gantz spent five weeks on location in Kauai, Hawaii from August 24, 1933, as she had been hired by the Seven Seas Corporation to direct Virginia Cherrill, then the fiancée of Cary Grant, and Mona Maris in Cane Fire, a tale of racial prejudice and miscegenation on an Hawaiian sugar plantation. Made on a low budget on the plantations of the Kekaha Sugar Company and the Waimea Sugar Company and at Alexander McBryde's Lawai Kai estate, it was the first film shot on the island of Kauai, and was released as White Heat by the Pinnacle Production Company on June 15, 1934, to limited "commercial and critical success", with Weber quoted as saying at the time that the film "was not a hit but will not lose any money". White Heat proved to be her final film, and her only talkie. It was first shown on television on Friday, June 21, 1940 on NBC's station W2XBS, but is now considered a lost film.
Later years and death
In November 1939, Weber was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in critical condition, suffering from a stomach ailment that had afflicted her for years. Almost two weeks later, Weber died penniless on Monday, November 13, 1939, of a bleeding ulcer, with her younger sister Ethel Howland and friends Frances Marion and Veda Terry at her bedside. Her death was largely overlooked, with her Variety obituary only two brief paragraphs long, and a brief mention in the Los Angeles Examiner. Gossip columnist Hedda Hopper contributed a more substantial tribute in The Los Angeles Times.
On Friday, November 17, 1939, more than 300 attended Weber's funeral, which was paid for by Frances Marion. After the funeral, Weber was cremated at the Los Angeles Crematory and the location of her remains are unknown.
Weber wrote a memoir, The End of the Circle, which was to have been published shortly before her death, but ultimately was not, despite the efforts of her sister, Ethel Howland, and was later stolen in the 1970s. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, on February 8, 1960, Weber was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6518 Hollywood Blvd.
- A Heroine of '76 (1911)
- The Heiress (1911) [Act]
- The Realization (1911)
- On the Brink (1911) [Act]
- Fate (1911)
- A Breach of Faith (1911)
- The Martyr (1911)
- Angels Unaware (1912)
- Fine Feathers (1912)
- The Bargain (1912)
- The Final Pardon (1912)
- Eyes That See Not (1912)
- The Price of Peace (1912)
- The Power of Thought (1912)
- The Greater Love (1912)
- The Troubadour's Triumph (1912) [Dir]
- The Greater Christian (1912)
- An Old Fashioned Girl (1912)
- A Japanese Idyll (1912) [Act] [Dir]
- Faraway Fields (1912)
- Fine Feathers (1912) [Act] [Dir]
- Leaves in the Storm (1912)
- The Jew's Christmas (1913) [Act] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- Suspense (1913)
- The Eyes of God (1913)
- His Brand (1913)
- The Female of the Species (1913) [Act] [Dir]
- How Men Propose (1913) [Dir] [Prod]
- The Merchant of Venice (1914) [Act. as Portia] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- A Fool and His Money (1914) [Act] [Dir]
- Behind the Veil (1914) [Act] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- False Colors (1914) [Act] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- Traitor (1914)
- Like Most Wives (1914)
- The Leper's Coat (1914)
- The Career of Waterloo Peterson (1914)
- Sunshine Molly (1915) [Act] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- Scandal (1915) [Act] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- It's No Laughing Matter (1915) [Dir] [Scr]
- Hypocrites (1915) [Dir] [Scr]
- A Cigarette, That's All (1915) [Scr]
- Jewel (1915)
- Where Are My Children? (1916) [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- Wanted: A Home (1916) [Dir]
- Shoes (1916) [Dir] [Scr]
- Saving the Family Name (1916) [Act] [Dir]
- The People Vs. John Doe (1916) [Act] [Dir]
- John Needham's Double (1916) [Dir]
- Idle Wives (1916) [Dir] [Scr]
- Hop – The Devil's Brew (1916) [Act] [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley] [Scr]
- The Flirt (1916) [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley]
- The Eye of God (1916) [Act] [Dir]
- The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) [Co-Dir. with Phillips Smalley]
- Discontent (1916) [Dir] [Prod] (extant; Library of Congress)
- The French Downstairs (1916)
- Alone in the World (1916)
- The Rock of Riches (1916)
- The Price of a Good Time (1917) [Dir]
- The Mysterious Mrs. Musslewhite (aka The Mysterious Mrs. M., 1917) [Act] [Dir]
- Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1917) [Act] [Dir] [Prod]
- For Husbands Only (1917) [Dir] [Prod]
- Even As You and I (1917) [Dir]
- The Man Who Dared God (1917)
- There's No Place Like Home (1917)
- Tarzan of the Apes (1918) [Scr]
- Scandal Mongers (1918) [Act] [Dir]
- The Forbidden Box (1918) [Dir]
- The Doctor and the Woman (1918) [Dir]
- Borrowed Clothes (1918) [Dir]
- When a Girl Loves (1919) [Dir]
- A Midnight Romance (1919) [Dir] [Scr]
- Mary Regan (1919) [Dir]
- Home (1919) [Dir]
- To Please One Woman (1920) [Dir] [Scr] [Co-Story]
- Forbidden (1920) [Dir]
- What's Worth While? (1921) [Dir] [Prod]
- What Do Men Want? (1921) [Dir] [Scr] [Prod]
- Too Wise Wives (1921) [Dir] [Writer] [Story] [Prod]
- The Blot (1921) [Dir] [Scr] [Prod]
- A Chapter in Her Life (1923) [Dir] [Scr]
- The Marriage Clause (1926) [Dir] [Scr]
- Sensation Seekers (1927) [Dir] [Scr]
- The Angel of Broadway (1927) [Dir]
- White Heat (1934) [Dir]
- Acker, Ally. Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema 1896–Present. New York, 1991.
- Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey. Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary. Westport, CT; London, 1995.
- Koszarski, Richard. Hollywood Directors: 1914–1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.
- Lowe, Denise. An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American films, 1895–1930. Routledge, 2005.
- Norden, Martin F. The Birth Control Films of Margaret Sanger and Lois Weber. (forthcoming).
- Pendergast, Tom and Sara Pendergast, eds. International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Vol. 2: Directors. Detroit, MI: 2000.
- Stamp, Shelley. "'Exit Flapper, Enter Woman,' or Lois Weber in Jazz Age Hollywood". Framework (Fall 2010).
- Tibbetts, John C. and James M. Welsh. The Encyclopedia of Filmmakers. Vol. Two. New York, NY: 2002.
- Unterburger, Amy L., ed. Women Filmmakers & Their Films. Detroit, MI; New York; and London, 1998.
- Anthony Slide, Lois Weber Film Collection
- "Lois Weber (1881–1939)", Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages (2007), Dictionary of Women Worldwide.
- "Lois Weber, or the exigency of writing"
- Anthony Slide, The Silent Feminists, 29.
- Jennifer Parchesky, "Lois Weber's 'The Blot': Rewriting Melodrama, Reproducing the Middle Class", Cinema Journal 39:1 (Autumn, 1999):23.
- Her first husband, Phillips Smalley indicates they collaborated on 350 films. See Terry Ramsaye, ed., "Phillips Smalley", Motion Picture Almanac, Vol. 38 (Quigley Publications, 1929):56.
- Linda Seger, When Women Call the Shots: The Developing Power and Influence of Women in Television and Film (iUniverse, 2003):8.
- One source estimates that fewer than fifty of Weber's films survive. See Annette Kuhn and Susannah Radstone, The Women's Companion to International Film (University of California Press, 1994):418.
- Lois Weber filmography
- Aubrey Malone, Censoring Hollywood: Sex and Violence in Film and on the Cutting Room Floor (McFarland, 2011):7.
- Julie Talen, "'24': Split Screen’s Big Comeback" Salon.com (May 15, 2002).
- Women Behind the Camera: Women as Directors
- Louella O. Brown, "Pathe, F.B.O., Radio Victor Merge Stirs Movieland", Rochester Evening Journal and the Post Express (December 27, 1928):22.
- Lisa Singh, The Silenced Woman of Silent Films: Why Lois Weber Has Not Been Rediscovered
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):149.
- Richard Koszarski, An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915–1928 (University of California Press, 1994):223.
- Anthony Slide, in Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, "Early Women Filmakers as Social Arbiters", Troping the Body: Gender, Etiquette, and Performance (SIU Press, 2000):110.
- Charlie Keil and Shelley Stamp, American Cinema's Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices (University of California Press, 2004):338.
- Terry Ramsaye, ed., Motion Picture Almanac, Vol. 38 (Quigley Publications, 1929):34.
- Esther Ralston, "How I Broke into the Movies", St. Joseph Gazette (November 30, 1930):7A.
- Vicki Callahan, Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History (Wayne State University Press, 2010):131.
- Harrison Carroll, "The Flim Shop", Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, PA: February 4, 1933):4.
- "Lois Weber, Director of Moving Pictures; Helped Anita Stewart and Other Stars to Win Success",The New York Times (November 14, 1939):23:2.
- United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_1355; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 17.
- Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1086; Family History Film: 1255086; Page: 339B; Enumeration District: 13; Image: 0686
- Most sources indicate erroneously that Weber was born in 1881. E.g. Eugene Michael Vazzana, Silent Film Necrology: Births and Deaths of Over 9000 Performers, Directors, Producers, and Other Filmmakers of the Silent Era, Through 1993 (McFarland, 1995):350. Other sources indicate 1882, e.g. "Lois Weber", Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip C. Dimare (ABC-CLIO, 2011):850. One source even indicates she was born in 1886. See American Women: The Official Who's Who Among the Women of the Nation, Vol. 3., ed. Durward Howes (Richard Blank Pub. Co., 1939):319.
- Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Reserve, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1066; Page: 1014; Image: 175; Family History Library Film: 805066.
- Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877–1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877–1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.
- "Lois Weber", Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia (January 1, 2002):Lois Weber.
- Lois Weber, writing exigence
- Elizabeth Snaman Weber
- "Y-Singers Give Second Concert", Miami News-Metropolis (February 22, 1924):11.
- Ancestry.com. Florida Death Index, 1877–1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
- Tenth census of the state of Florida, 1935; (Microfilm series S 5, 30 reels); Record Group 001021; State Library and Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida.
- Ethel Weber
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):89.
- Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez, California and Californians, Vol. 4, ed. Rockwell Dennis Hunt (The Lewis publishing company, 1930):176.
- Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995):365.
- Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present, ed. Robert McHenry (Courier Dover Publications, 1980):432.
- Carolyn Lowrey, The First One Hundred Noted Men and Women of the Screen (Moffat, Yard and company, 1920):190.
- Daniel Eagan, America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010):50.
- Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Allegheny Ward 2, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_1355; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 17.
- "Society", The Fort Wayne Daily News (Fort Wayne, IN: April 25, 1903):6.
- New Observations, Vols. 18–21 (New Observations Publications Inc.):2.
- Sir Henry Joseph Wood, My Life of Music (Ayer Publishing, 1946):74, 113.
- "Gives Up Piano To Become Movie Star", Berkeley Daily Gazette (December 9, 1927):2.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):35.
- Lois Weber, in Elizabeth Peltret, "On the Lot with Lois Weber" Photoplay (October 1917).
- "Lois Weber, Director, Owes Career to Broken Piano Key", Hartford Courant (October 17, 1926).
- Lois Weber, in Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):36.
- Louise Heck-Rabi, Women Filmmakers: A Critical Reception (Scarecrow Press, 1984):54.
- Gerald Bordman and Richard Norton, American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle, 4th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2010):109, 115.
- "A Perpetual Leading Lady", Sunset 32 (Passenger Dept., Southern Pacific Co., 1914):634.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):90.
- Boston Globe (September 27, 1904), in Louise Heck-Rabi, Women Filmmakers: A Critical Reception (Scarecrow Press, 1984):54.
- George Washburn Smalley, from Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, ed. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. 6 vols. (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887–1889).
- Terry L. Jones, Historical Dictionary of the Civil War, 2 vols. (Scarecrow Press, 2002):1303.
- Joseph James Mathews, George W. Smalley, Forty Years a Foreign Correspondent (North Carolina Press, 1973):77.
- Smalley was married December 25, 1862, to Phoebe Garnaut. They had five children: Eleanor; Phillips, who studied law at Harvard from 1887 to 1889; Evelyn (born April 1869); Ida (born November 1873); and Emerson. See Obituary Record of the Graduates of the Undergraduate Schools, Deceased 1860–70—1950/51, Vol 11: 1915–1920. (New Haven, CT: Yale University, August 1920):17; and Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls. Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York City; Roll: T623_1114; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 743.
- Anthony Slide, Early Women Directors (Da Capo Press, 1984):36.
- Oscar Sherwin, Prophet of Liberty: The Life and Times of Wendell Phillips (New York: Brookman Associates, 1958):305.
- "Theatrical Gossip", The New York Times (August 24, 1901).
- Internet Broadway Database: Phillips Smalley
- Ancestry.com. Motion Picture Studio Directories, 1919 and 1921 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Original data: Motion Picture Studio Directories, 1919 and 1921. Motion Picture News Inc. Print Publication, 2 vols.. Sacramento, California: California State Library, California History Section. Source Citation: Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual, 1921, Page 275.
- Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871–1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. "Marriage Records, 1871–present." Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois. FHL Film Number: 1030368.
- "Lois Weber", Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip C. Dimare (ABC-CLIO, 2011):850.
- Alison McMahan, Alice Guy Blaché: Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002):71.
- Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press, 2002):46.
- Alice Guy, The Memoirs of Alice Guy Blaché, trans. Roberta Blaché, and ed. Anthony Slide. @nd ed. (Scarecrow Press, 1996):79.
- Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press, 2002):46, 48.
- Alison McMahan, Alice Guy Blaché: Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002):xx, xxvi.
- Motion Picture Studio Directory (1919):204.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):112.
- Durward Howes, ed., "Weber, Lois", in American Women: The Official Who's Who Among the Women of the Nation, Vol. 2 (Richard Blank Pub. Co., 1937).
- Moving Picture World 8:6 (February 11, 1911):283.
- Full Credits of A Heroine of '76
- Anthony Slide, Lois Weber: The Director who Lost Her Way in History (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996):46.;"Lois Weber, or the Exigency of Writing", Part Three"
- Charles Musser, Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company (University of California):465.
- John Drinkwater, The Life and Adventures of Carl Laemmle (Ayer Publishing, 1978):195.
- Anthony Slide, Early Women Directors (Da Capo Press, 1984):38.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):188.
- Mark Garrett Cooper, Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood (University of Illinois Press, 2010):54.
- American Women: The Official Who's Who Among the Women of the Nation, Vol. 2, ed. Durward Howes (Richard Blank Pub. Co., 1937):241.
- Vicki Callahan, Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History (Wayne State University Press, 2010):132.
- Gertrude Price, "Only Movie Players Live in this Town", Toldeo News-Bee (January 6, 1914):13.
- E. J. Fleming, Wallace Reid: The Life and Death of a Hollywood Idol (McFarland, 2007):57.
- Charles Musser, Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company (University of California Press, 1991):424.
- Steven Higgins, Still Moving: The Film and Media Collections of The Museum of Modern Art (The Museum of Modern Art, 2006):47.
- Tom Gunning, Melodrama, West and East
- Miriam Hansen, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Harvard University Press, 1994):71.
- Miriam Hansen, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Harvard University Press, 1994):71–72.
- Ann Catherine Paietta, Saints, Clergy, and Other Religious Figures on Film and Television, 1895–2003 (McFarland & Co., 2005):78.
- Robert Hamilton Ball, Shakespeare on Silent Film: A Strange Eventful History, Volume 1968, Part 2 (Allen & Unwin, 1968):206.
- Lester D. Friedman, Hollywood's Image of the Jew (Ungar, 1982):25.
- George Blaisdell, in Patricia Erens, The Jew in American Cinema (Indiana University Press, 1988):46. See George Blaisdell, review of "The Jew's Christmas", Motion Picture Weekly (December 5, 1913):1132.
- Lester D. Friedman, Unspeakable Images: Ethnicity and the American Cinema (University of Illinois Press, 1991):
- Patricia Erens, The Jew in American Cinema (Indiana University Press, 1988):47.
- "The Story of the 'Jew's Christmas'" Universal Weekly (December 13, 1913):13, 16.
- Lois Weber
- Barbara Hodgdon and W. B. Worthen, A Companion to Shakespeare and Performance (John Wiley and Sons, 2008):589.
- Biography for Lois Weber
- "Merchant of Venice", The Marion Daily Star (Marion, OH: December 6, 1913):5.
- The Merchant of Venice
- Robert Hamilton Ball, Shakespeare on Silent Film: A Strange Eventful History, Volume 1968, Part 2 (Allen & Unwin, 1968):208.
- "'Merchant of Venice' Is Supreme Adaptation of Shakespeare," Universal Weekly (February 14, 1914):5.
- British Universities Film and Video Council, The Merchant of Venice
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):90–91.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):92.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):36, 193.
- Michael Quinn, "Bosworth, Hobart", Encyclopedia of Early Cinema, ed. Richard Abel (Taylor & Francis, 2005):114.
- Thomas Slater, "Transcending Boundaries: Lois Weber and the Discourse Over Women's Roles in the Teens and Twenties", Quarterly Review of Film and Video 18:3 (2001):257.
- Mark Garrett Cooper, Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood (University of Illinois Press, 2010):132.
- Eric Mazur, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Film (ABC-CLIO, 2011):396.
- Daniel Eagan, America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010):51.
- Lois Weber, in Richard Koszarski, An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915–1928 (University of California Press, 1994):223.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):39.
- cf. "Women, Religion, and American Film", Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America, Vol. 1, eds. Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Marie Cantlon (Indiana University Press, 2006):1011.
- Anthony Slide, Early Women Directors (Da Capo Press, 1984):34,41.
- Anthony Slide, "Christianity Hollywood Style: Reverend Neal Dodd", Silent Topics: Essays on Undocumented Areas of Silent Film (Scarecrow Press, 2005):31.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):140.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):963-94.
- Initially the actress portraying "Naked Truth" is unidentified. Anthony Slide indicates "Naked Truth" bears a physical resemblance to Weber herself, leading some to speculate that it was in fact Weber who appears as "Naked Truth". However, contemporary sources indicate it was Margaret Edwards. For example, Ruth Waterbury, Photoplay: The Aristocrat of Motion Picture Magazines, Vol. 8 (Photoplay Magazine Publishing Company, 1915):105 and "Coming", The Daily Republican (Cape Girardeau, MO: August 9, 1915):4; For a summary of the discussion, see Anthony Slide, Early Women Directors (Da Capo Press, 1984):38, and Louise Heck-Rabi, Women Filmmakers: A Critical Reception (Scarecrow Press, 1984):56.
- Margaret Sinclair Edwards (born 1877 in New York City; died January 14, 1929 in New York City), known on the stage as "Daisy Sinclair" in theatrical companies of Edward Harrigan, Alice Nielson, Eddie Foy, and Gus Edwards. She died aged 51. Her husband John Edwards was then an invalid. See "Daisy Sinclair, Actress", The New York Times (January 15, 1929). She had appeared as Marguerite Edwards in A Physical Culture Romance in 1914, and in Weber's Sunshine Molly in 1915. See Margaret Edwards' filmography at IMDb. She was described as "the girl with perfect ribs". See "Girl with Perfect Ribs", The Toledo News-Bee (July 1, 1916):8. See also "Daisy Sinclair (Mrs. Margaret Edwards)", Variety (January 16, 1929). She is buried at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York with her husband actor John Edwards, born as John Marnell (May 22, 1868 in Natick, Massachusetts; died October 16, 1929 in New York City). See "John Edwards", Variety (October 23, 1929):AS 355; "John Edwards, Actor", The New York Times (October 17, 1929); Eugene Michael Vazzana, Silent Film Necrology, 2nd ed. (McFarland, 2001):153; and "John Edwards (IX)" and Margaret (Daisy) Sinclair Edwards, and "He Said He Could Act (1914)".
- The History of Sex in Cinema
- "Hypocrites", Variety (November 7, 1914).
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):96.
- Gerald Leinwand, Mackerels in the Moonlight: Four Corrupt American Mayors (McFarland, 2004):209–210.
- "No Naked 'Truth'; Boston's Mayor Insists Upon Draping Truth in Bosworth's 'Hypocrites'", New York Dramatic Mirror (April 14, 1915):24:4.
- "Women, Religion, and American Film", Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America, Vol. 1, eds. Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Marie Cantlon (Indiana University Press, 2006):1011.
- "Timeline of Greatest Film Milestones and Turning Points in Film History: The Year 1915"
- Lois Weber, "HYPOCRITES", Marlborough Express (Marlborough, New Zealand: June 18, 1917):8.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):41.
- "Smalleys Back with Universal", Moving Picture World (USA) (April 3, 1915):76.
- Annette Kuhn, Cinema, Censorship, and Sexuality, 1909–1925 (Taylor & Francis, 1988):28.
- Carl Laemmle, in Bret Wood, 'The Blot".
- Lois Weber (1916), quoted in Anthony Slide, Silent Feminists, 38, Women Filmakers 2
- "Eye of God (1916)". New York Times.
- "Anna Pavlowa in Film", The New York Times (June 9, 1915).
- Robert S. Birchard, Early Universal City (Arcadia Publishing, 2009):73.
- The Dumb Girl of Portici
- "Notes Written on the Screen", The New York Times (April 2, 1916).
- E. Ann Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama (Routledge, 1992):97.
- Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press, 2002):271–284.
- Larry Langman, American Film Cycles: The Silent Era (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998):93.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):7.
- Ally Acker, "Women behind the Camera: Feminists or Filmmakers?", Agenda 14 (1992):42.
- E. Ann Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama (Routledge, 1992):133.
- "Where Are My Children? Notes"
- "Lois Weber", Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip C. Dimare (ABC-CLIO, 2011):850.
- Annette Kuhn, Cinema, Censorship, and Sexuality, 1909–1925 (Taylor & Francis, 1988):32.
- Kevin Brownlow, Behind the Mask of Innocence (Knopf, 1990):55.
- "Where Are My Children? Alternate Versions"
- Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press, 2002):167, 169.
- Mark Garrett Cooper, Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood (University of Illinois Press, 2010):134.
- Larry Lee Holland, "Mary MacLaren and Katherine MacDonald", Films in Review 36 (National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, 1985):227.
- Annike Kross, "Restoration and Screening of 'Shoes' (USA, Lois Weber, 1916)".
- "The 16th Annual SF Silent Film Festival: Day 4", YAM (July 16, 2011).
- Shelley Stamp, "Lois Weber and 'The Hand That Rocks the Cradle'" August 6, 2010.
- Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press, 2002):270, 284, 286.
- Kay Sloan, "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle: An Introduction", Film History 1:4 (1987):341.
- "Lois Weber Starts Production", Moving Picture World (USA) (June 30, 1917):2106.
- "Lois Weber Starts Production", Motion Picture World (June 30, 1917):2106.
- "News of Lois Weber Productions", Lois Weber Bulletin 1(June 1917):RIC.
- Bret Wood, "The Blot"
- Motion Picture Studio Directory (1919):202.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):141.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):91.
- William D. Routt, "Lois Weber on Writing", Lois Weber, or the Exigency of Writing, (March 1, 2001).
- Shelley Stamp, "Presenting the Smalleys, 'Collaborators in Authorship and Direction'", Film History 18:2 (2006):119.
- Lisa L. Rudman, "Marriage: The Ideal and the Reel: Or, the Cinematic Marriage Manual", Film History 1:4 (1987):327.
- Charlie Keil and Shelley Stamp, American Cinema's Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices (University of California Press, 2004):345.
- E. J. Fleming, Wallace Reid: The Life and Death of a Hollywood Idol (McFarland, 2007):126–127.
- Kay Saunders, Notorious Australian Women (HarperCollins Australia, 2011).
- "Lois Weber Hospitalized", The Los Angeles Camera (September 22, 1918).
- "Lois Weber Breaks Arm by Fall in Downtown Store: Husband of Film Director Arrives From East and Hears of Accident", Los Angeles Examiner (September 18, 1918):
- "Lois Weber Breaks Arm", Moving Picture World (USA) (October 12, 1918):207.
- "Broken Arm Causing Trouble", Moving Picture World (USA) (February 8, 1919):754; "Lois Weber's Arm", Moving Picture World (USA) (April 12, 1919):218.
- "Lois Weber to Direct Anita Stewart", Moving Picture World (USA) (December 7, 1918):1056.
- Charles Higham, Merchant of Dreams: Louis B. Mayer, M.G.M., and the Secret Hollywood (Laurel, 1994):46–47.
- Louis B. Mayer to Lois Weber, in Mark A. Vieira, Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince (University of California Press, 2010):18.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):143.
- "In the News Net" The New York Times (July 27, 1919).
- "Lois Weber Signs with Famous Players-Lasky", Moving Picture World (USA) (August 2, 1919):644.
- Autumn Stephens, Drama Queens: Wild Women of the Silver Screen (Conari Press, 1998):190.
- Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819–839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City). Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 63, Los Angeles; Roll: T625_106; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 162; Image: 681.
- "Film Folk Purchase Homes", Moving Picture World (USA) (May 14, 1921):179.
- "Preston Sturges", Life (June 7, 1946):90.
- "Lois Weber Buys Studio She Has Leased for Past Three Years", Moving Picture World (USA) (October 2, 1920):635.
- Ancestry.com. Motion Picture Studio Directories, 1919 and 1921 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Original data: Motion Picture Studio Directories, 1919 and 1921. Motion Picture News Inc. Print Publication, 2 vols.. Sacramento, California: California State Library, California History Section. Source Citation: Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual, 1921, Page 277.
- William Allen Johnston, Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual (1921):395.
- Annette Kuhn and Susannah Radstone, The Women's Companion to International Film (University of California Press, 1994):418.
- "Lois Weber is "The Whole Works" in Filmdom", Iowa City Press-Citizen (Iowa City, IA: February 7, 1921):6.
- Carl Sandburg, The Movies Are: Carl Sandburg's Film Reviews and Essays, 1920–1928, ed. Arnie Bernstein (Lake Claremont Press, 2000):83.
- Lois Weber, "Three-Dimensional Films", The Washington Post (Washington, DC: May 15, 1921):63.
- Lucy Fischer, American Cinema of the 1920s: Themes and Variations (Rutgers University Press, 2009):48.
- Lea Jacobs, The Decline of Sentiment: American Film in the 1920s (University of California Press, 2008):84.
- E. Ann Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama (Routledge, 1992):138.
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):149.
- Lucy Fischer, American Cinema of the 1920s: Themes and Variations (Rutgers University Press, 2009):60.
- Lois Weber Productions
- "Food For Film Fans", Providence News (Providence, RI: April 4, 1921):11.
- Bret Wood, "The Blot".
- Kenneth White Munden, ed., The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1: Feature Films, 1921 – 1930 (University of California Press, 1997):70.
- Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, "Early Women Filmakers as Social Arbiters", Troping the Body: Gender, Etiquette, and Performance (SIU Press, 2000):111.
- Patricia Mellencamp, A Fine Romance--: Five Ages of Film Feminism (Temple University Press, 1995):213.
- E. Ann Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation: The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama (Routledge, 1992):136.
- Kevin Brownlow, Behind the Mask of Innocence (Knopf, 1990):292.
- The Blot
- Patricia Mellencamp, A Fine Romance--: Five Ages of Film Feminism (Temple University Press, 1995):214.
- Kenneth White Munden, ed., The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1: Feature Films, 1921 – 1930 (University of California Press, 1997):879.
- What Do Men Want?
- "The Screen", The New York Times (November 14, 1921).
- Vicki Callahan, Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History (Wayne State University Press, 2010):149.
- Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; ARC Identifier 583830 / MLR Number A1 534; NARA Series: M1490; Roll #1702.
- Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795–1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; ARC Identifier 583830 / MLR Number A1 534; NARA Series: M1490; Roll #1707.
- "Lois Weber Has Sailed for Long Tour of World", Moving Picture World (USA) (October 1, 1921):535; "Lois Weber Sails for Europe; Plans Production of Big Films", Moving Picture World (USA) (October 8, 1921):676.
- Shelley Stamp, "Lois Weber in Jazz Age Hollywood", Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 52.
- Chicago Daily Tribune (December 31, 1921):10.
- Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820–1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Source Citation: Year: 1922; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: T715_3098; Line: 9; Page Number: 13.
- "Actress Secretly Divorced", Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, NV: January 12, 1923):10.
- Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, eds. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer (Harvard University Press, 1974):555.
- Kevin Brownlow, Behind the Mask of Innocence (Knopf, 1990):xxiii.
- Shelley Stamp, "'Exit Flapper, Enter Woman', or Lois Weber in Jazz Age Hollywood", Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 52.
- Vicki Callahan, Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History (Wayne State University Press, 2010):134.
- Kenneth White Munden, ed., The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1: Feature Films, 1921 – 1930 (University of California Press, 1997):117.
- A Chapter in Her Life
- "Silent Films on Video A-C".
- Grace Kingsley, "Flashes: She Rebels. Lois Weber Says Too Many Film Restrictions", Los Angeles Times (July 7, 1923):I7.
- Lois Weber, in Shelley Stamp, "'Exit Flapper, Enter Woman', or Lois Weber in Jazz Age Hollywood", Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 52.
- Film Mercury (October 2, 1925): n.p., quoted in Slide, Lois Weber, 132–133.
- Louise Heck-Rabi, Women Filmmakers: A Critical Reception (Scarecrow Press, 1984):65.
- Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Deadwood, Lawrence, South Dakota; Roll: T623_1551; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 26.
- Orange County, California Biographies 1921, County, California Biographies 1921
- Registration Year: 1949. Registration Place: Queensland. Registration Number: 002866. Page Number: 781. Source Information: Ancestry.com. Australia Death Index, 1787–1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Compiled from publicly available sources.
- "COL. HARRY GANTZ", The New York Times (August 12, 1949):17.
- Orange County, California Biographies 1921
- "Harry Gantz", Early Bird CHIRP 41 (July 31, 1949).
- Thomas William Herringshaw, Herringshaw's American Blue-book of Biography: Prominent Americans of 1926 who have Achieved Success in the Various Civil, Industrial and Commercial Line of Activity (American Blue Book Publishers, 1926):451.
- "Captain Harry Gantz has Developed an 'El Dorado' out of a Badly Treated Ranch", Los Angeles Times (January 3, 1928):D27.
- Justice Brown Detwiler, Who's Who in California (Who's Who Publishing Company, 1929):252.
- Anthony Slide, The Silent Feminists: America's First Women Directors (Scarecrow Press, 1996).
- "Lois Weber Engaged", Moving Picture World (January 31, 1925):487; "Universal Program Running High", Los Angeles Times (January 23, 1925):A9.
- David Pierce, 'Carl Laemmle's Outstanding Achievement': Harry Pollard and the Struggle to Film "Uncle Tom's Cabin", Film History 10:4 (1998):459.
- Robert S. Birchard, Early Universal City (Arcadia Publishing, 2009):111.
- Grace Kingsley, "LOIS WEBER FOR 'UNCLE TOM': Pollard Ill, Woman Director Makes Slavery Epic; Ruth Roland Comes Back to Screen; Harry Beaumont to Travel", Los Angeles Times (June 24, 1926):A8.
- "Billie Dove In "Love Mart' At The Capitol This Week", Reading Eagle (January 22, 1928):12.
- Atlanta Constitution (May 30, 1926).
- "'UNCLE TOM' AND THE JINX", The New York Times (July 24, 1927).
- Grace Kingsley, "Lois Weber for 'Uncle Tom,'" Los Angeles Daily Times (June 24, 1926):A8.
- "Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927)"
- "S. B. J.", "'Uncle Tom' Comes to the Screen", The Motion Picture Review (1927).
- Grace Kingsley, "Lois Weber for 'Uncle Tom,'" Los Angeles Daily Times (June 24, 1926):A8; "Cupid Beaten by Picture Demand," Los Angeles Times (July 2, 1926):A2; Grace Kingsley, "Lois Weber's Own Uncle Tom," Los Angeles Times (July 2, 1926):A8; "'Uncle Tom' and the Jinx," New York Times (July 24, 1927):5; and "Universal Starts Feature Productions," Los Angeles Times (July 26, 1926):A9. For a detailed account of the production, see David Pierce, "'Carl Laemmle's Outstanding Achievement': Harry Pollard and the Struggle to Film Uncle Tom's Cabin," Film History 10:4 (1998):459–76.
- "PRINCIPAL IN LATEST FILM CITY ROMANCE: LOIS WEBER TO BECOME BRIDE AGAIN: Motion-Picture Director Will Marry Retired Army Flyer in Near Future", Los Angeles Times (June 15, 1926):A1.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):193.
- Don Juan, "So This Is Hollywood", Paris and Hollywood (USA) (October 1926):18.
- "Movie Star Won by Captain Harry Gantz", Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, GA: July 2, 1926).
- Phyllis L. Smalley
- Photoplay (July 1926).
- Ancestry.com. 1920 Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Year: 1920;Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 63, Los Angeles; Roll: T625_106; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 164; Image: 782.
- Ancestry.com. California Death Index, 1940–1997. Source Citation: Place: Los Angeles; Date: 3 Jan 1965.
- Paul Thompson, "Uncle Carl Sells Uncle Tom Down the Movie River", Motion Picture Classic (September 1927).
- "Lois Weber Combines Work and Honeymoon", The Milwaukee Sentinel (July 14, 1926):4.
- Kenneth White Munden, ed., The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1: Feature Films, 1921 – 1930 (University of California Press, 1997):696.
- Topsy & Eva: The Movie
- "BIG PICTURES COMING; 'Potemkin,' Russian Film; 'Michael Strogoff and "Old Ironsides" to Open Soon", The New York Times (November 28, 1926).
- "Assign Lois Weber to Direct Duncan Girls", Moving Picture World (USA) (December 4, 1926):351.
- Full cast and crew for Topsy and Eva
- Karen Ward Mahar, Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (JHU Press, 2008):2.
- Kenneth White Munden, ed., The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Part 1: Feature Films, 1921 – 1930 (University of California Press, 1997):19.
- Kay Armatage, The Girl From God's Country: Nell Shipman and the Silent Cinema (University of Toronto Press, 2003):51–52.
- The Angel of Broadway of Broadway
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):282.
- Variety (November 2, 1927):18, in Lea Jacobs, The Decline of Sentiment: American Film in the 1920s (University of California Press, 2008):
- Los Angeles Times (February 27, 1927).
- Sherry Angel, "HOME DESIGN : A Stroll in Brookdale : Tour to Showcase 1920s–1930s Homes", (May 19, 1990).
- Grace Kingsley, "Night—with Day Trimmings", Los Angeles Times (April 1, 1928):I8.
- Grace Kingsley, "And Joy", Los Angeles Times (March 16, 1930):I4.
- Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls. Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles; Roll: 134; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 67; Image: 590.0.
- C. Stanley Chapman House,
- William M. Drew, The Last Silent Picture Show: Silent Films on American Screens in the 1930s (Scarecrow Press, 2010):93.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):282–283.
- Louella O. Parsons, "Hal Roach's Doctor Story", Rochester Evening Journal (June 3, 1932):18.
- The New York Times (February 12, 1933).
- "A Movie Talent Scout Considers The Girls Who Pass Before Her", The Sun (Baltimore, MD: February 19, 1933).
- Kay Armatage, The Girl From God's Country: Nell Shipman and the Silent Cinema (University of Toronto Press, 2003):52.
- According to Jan Herman, William Wyler: A Talent for Trouble, director Wyler was "forced into doing the picture." He "felt it was 'a real disappointment' and couldn't muster the enthusiasm to save it. He always remembered it as 'kind of a screwy picture.'"
- Ancestry.com. Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1900–1969 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving or Departing at Honolulu, Hawaii, 1900–1954. Source Citation: Repository Name:National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); NARA Series:A3422; Roll:135.
- Ancestry.com. California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882–1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008–2011. Archive information (series:roll number): m1764:47.
- Marc Eliot, Cary Grant: A Biography (Harmony Books, 2004):92.
- Peter Hyun, In the New World: The Making of a Korean American (University of Hawaii Press, 1995):136–137.
- Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995):365–366.
- White Heat
- Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995):366.
- Mrs Louis [Lois Weber], in Peter Hyun, In the New World: The Making of a Korean American (University of Hawaii Press, 1995):138.
- White Heat Trivia
- "Lois Weber", The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT: November 14, 1939).
- Hedda Hopper, "Lois Weber Critically III: Pioneer of Films, in Hospital, Fights Ravages of Stomach Ailment", Los Angeles Times (November 6, 1939):A1.
- Cari Beauchamp, Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 1998):346.
- Variety (November 15, 1939).
- The Los Angeles Examiner (November 14, 1939).
- Hedda Hopper, "Death Takes Lois Weber: Veteran Film Writer, Director, Producer and Musician Passes", Los Angeles Times (November 14, 1939):A1.
- "LOIS WEBER BURIED" (Los Angeles, CA: November 17, 1939), (AP)
- "Lois Weber Rites Set for Today", Los Angeles Times (November 17, 1939):30.
- "Weber Funeral to Be Friday: Hollywood Mourns Woman Film Director Who Died on Monday", Los Angeles Times (November 15, 1939):17.
- Edwin Schallert, “Movieland Jottings and Castings,” Los Angeles Times (August 22, 1939):13.
- Anthony Slide, Lois Weber, 151.
- "Awards for Lois Weber". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
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