Jane Murfin

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Jane Murfin
Born (1884-10-27)October 27, 1884
Quincy, Michigan, United States
Died August 10, 1955(1955-08-10) (aged 70)
California, United States
Occupation Playwright, screenwriter, producer, director

Jane Murfin (October 27, 1884 – August 10, 1955) was an American playwright and screenwriter.[1]

Born in Quincy, Michigan, Murfin began her career with the play Lilac Time, which she co-wrote with Jane Cowl. The Broadway production opened on February 6, 1917 and ran for 176 performances. Later that year the two women collaborated on Daybreak, followed by Information Please (1918) and Smilin' Through (1919), for which they used the pseudonym Allan Langdon Martin.

Murfin's screen credits include Way Back Home (1931), Our Betters (1933),[2] The Little Minister (1934), Spitfire (1934), Roberta (1935), Alice Adams (1935), The Women (1939), Pride and Prejudice (1940), and Dragon Seed (1944).

Murfin and Adela Rogers St. Johns were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story for What Price Hollywood? (1932), but lost to Frances Marion for The Champ.

Murfin was married to film director Laurence Trimble from 1915 until 1926 and actor Donald Crisp from 1932 until 1944. She is buried near Jane Cowl at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.[3]


Jane Murfin is credited with directing two films, alongside her husband Lawrence Trimble. The first of the two, Brawn of the North, starred Strongheart the Dog. Strongheart previously starred in The Silent Call, directed by Laurence Trimble. Jane Murfin and her husband were responsible for the immense popularity of Strongheart, one of the first dog actors.

Brawn of the North (1922)[edit]

Jane Murfin's first credited directorial debut was alongside her husband, Laurence Trimble, for the movie Brawn of the North, starring Strongheart the dog. This film was much anticipated, and was praised as an "honest to god money maker" before it even debuted.[4] This movie promised to bring in crowds to fill the theaters, because of the popularity of the previous movie starring Strongheart, The Silent Call. Although Jane Murfin is not credited for directing the previous movie, Trimble was.[5] Brawn of the North was a story about the woods of the north. Newspaper articles of the day described this movie as being full of themes of love, hate, courage and cowardice; moments that would make the crowd both cry and cheer.[4] This film was also advertised as being backed by the dramatics of both Jane Murfin, and husband Laurence Trimble. Brawn of the North was advertised as promising both big money in the box office, and lasting fame and recognition for the theaters that showed it.

Flapper Wives (1924)[edit]

Jane Murfin's second work as a director was an adaptation of her play, Flapper Wives, released in 1924. The film was produced by Jane Murfin and Laurence Trimble's production company, Laurence Trimble and Jane Murfin Productions.[6] This film was unique, in the fact that it was written originally to be a play, but turned into a film prior to its Broadway debut. The play was written for Jane Cowl to be the starring role, but at that time in her career her Shakespearean roles took off. Because of this, the play was postponed and it was first turned into a film.[7] The themes of this film were marriage, love, and faith, very different from Murfin's directorial debut of Brawn of the North, which focused on themes of courage, cowardice, and hate. This film asked the questions of whether marriage was still about love. Flapper Wives was about whether the women of the time had become more careless and selfish than those of the past.[7] The film focused on the issues of whether women were supposed to give up all freedom and happiness once married. These themes are portrayed through the narrative of two women, one married to a successful, rich man, the other to a hardworking mechanic. These women look for freedom outside of their homes. The disasters, consequences, and resolutions of this story unfold throughout the film.


  • Rockliffe Fellowes
  • May Allison
  • William V. Wong



  • The Women (1939)
  • Smilin Through (1953)
  • Dragon Sees (1944)
  • Cry Havoc (1943)
  • Flight For Freedom (1942)
  • Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941)
  • Pride and Prejudice (1940)
  • Northwest Passage(1939)
  • The Women (1939)
  • Stand Up and Fight (1938)
  • The Shining Hour (1937)
  • I'll Take Romance (1936)
  • That Girl from Paris (1936)
  • Come and Get It (1935)
  • Alice Adams (1935)
  • Roberta (1935)
  • Romance in Manhattan (1934)
  • The Little Minister (1934)
  • The Fountain (1934)
  • The Life of Vergie Winters (1934)
  • This Man Is Mine (1934)
  • The Crime Doctor (1934)
  • Spitfire (1933)
  • Little Women (1933)
  • After Tonight (1933)
  • Ann Vickers (1933)
  • Double Harness (1933)
  • The Silver Cord (1933)
  • Our Betters (1932)
  • Rockabye (1932)
  • Smilin' Through (1932)
  • What Price Hollywood? (1932)
  • Young Bride (1931)
  • Way Back Home (1931)
  • Friends and Lovers (1931)
  • Caught Plastered (1931)
  • Too Many Cooks (1931)
  • White Shoulders (1930)
  • The Pay-Off (1930)
  • Leathernecking (1930)
  • Lawful Larceny (1930)
  • The Runaway Bride (1929)
  • Seven Keys to Baldpate (1929)
  • Hall (s1929)
  • Half Marriage (1929)
  • Side Street (1929)
  • Street Girl (1928)
  • Lilac Time (1927)
  • The Prince of Headwaiters (1927)
  • The Notorious Lady (1926)
  • Meet the Prince (1926)
  • The Savage (1926)
  • A Slave of Fashion (1925)
  • White Fang (1924)
  • Flapper Wives (1924)
  • The Love Master (1922)
  • Brawn of the North (1922)
  • Smilin' Through (1921)
  • The Silent Call 1921)
  • Playthings of Destiny (1920)
  • The Amateur Wife (1919)
  • The Right to Lie (1919)
  • A Temperamental Wife (1919)
  • Marie, Ltd. (1918)
  • Daybreak (1918)


  • Flapper Wives (1924)
  • The Love Master (1924)
  • Brawn of the North (1922)


  • Flapper Wives (1924)
  • Brawn of the North (1922)


  1. ^ "Jane Murfin". The New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ Mordaunt Hall (February 24, 1933). "Constance Bennett, Violet Kemble-Cooper and Grant Mitchell in a Film of a Somerset Maugham Play". The New York Times. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ Jane Murfin at Find a Grave
  4. ^ a b Exhibitors Herald (Oct–Dec 1922). Accessed December 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "Motion Picture News (May–Jun 1923)." Motion Picture News (May–Jun 1923). N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
  6. ^ Exhibitor's Trade Review (Mar–May 1924). N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
  7. ^ a b The Victoria Advocate – Google News Archive Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

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