The Miracle (1912 film)
Scene from the Lyricscope play of The Miracle with Florence Winston, Ernst Matray and Ernst Benzinger
|Directed by||Michel Antoine Carré (film)
Max Reinhardt (play)
|Produced by||Joseph Menchen|
|Written by||Karl Vollmöller (play and film)|
|Music by||Engelbert Humperdinck (play and film)|
|Distributed by||Joseph Menchen (UK)|
|7,000 feet (UK)|
|Country||UK (American producer with main production office in London, French co-director, filmed in Austria, coloured in France, international cast)|
The Miracle (1912) (Germany: Das Mirakel, France: Le Miracle), is a British[n 1] silent full-colour film, using a hand-coloured process similar to Pathéchrome. Produced by Joseph Menchen and directed by Michel Carré, it is among the very first full-colour feature films to be made. It stars Maria Carmi, Ernst Matray, Florence Winston and Douglas Payne, and was filmed on location in Austria.
The Miracle was not intended to be shown as an ordinary film in the usual way, but was designed by Menchen to be shown as part of a 'Lyricscope play'. This was an unusual (if not unprecedented) spectacular theatrical presentation which - in its most elaborate and complete expression - included: the projected colour film; a full-sized symphony orchestra and chorus performing Engelbert Humperdinck's score; live sound effects such as church bells and crowd noises; stage sets around the projection screen which changed during the performance; and live (non-speaking) actors and dancers in medieval costume. The various component parts of this ideal production varied somewhat according to local conditions.
This 1912 multi-media experience was an adaptation of Max Reinhardt's wordless spectacular stage production of Karl Vollmoeller's play of the same name, which had played to huge audiences at the Olympia, London exhibition hall in 1911–1912. As some contemporary critics realised, The Miracle was not a "moving picture drama" in the normal sense of the word, but a "filmed pantomime," a celluloid record of the action of the stage production in a unique presentation.
The world première of the full-colour 'Lyricscope play' of The Miracle took place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, on 21 December 1912 and it was shown all over the country until Easter 1913, breaking many records for attendance. The colour film with its attendant show subsequently made its way around the world, being shown in the USA, Australia and Germany.
A rival, unauthorised version (Das Mirakel) directed by Mime Misu for Continental-Kunstfilm in Germany appeared in the same year with the same subject and English title ("The Miracle"), and was the subject of various copyright legal actions in the UK and the USA, resulting in seven different titles shared between the two films.
- 1 Plot outline
- 2 Cast
- 3 Literary sources
- 4 Production team
- 5 Production
- 6 Performances of The Miracle
- 7 Reception
- 8 Which Miracle?
- 9 Recordings of Humperdinck's music
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The film tells the story of a wayward nun, Megildis, who deserts her convent with a knight, influenced by the music of an evil minstrel. A statue of the Virgin Mary comes to life and takes place of Megildis, who makes her way through the world and its many vicissitudes. Later, Megildis returns to the convent with her dying infant, and is forgiven as the statue resumes its place.
Act 1 - Temptation
- Scene 1: The Nun, Sister Megildis is placed in charge of the sacred image.
- Scene 2: The healing of the lame man.
- Scene 3: The Minstrel and the music.
- Scene 4: The arrival of the Knight.
- Scene 5: The Nun must spend the night kneeling.
- Scene 6: The flight of the Nun with the Knight.
- Scene 7: The Miraculous Image comes to life.
- Episode 1: The lake of the fairies.
- Episode 2: The capture of the Robber Count, and dancing for the Nun.
- Episode 3: The mock marriage ceremony.
- Episode 4: The Nun is arrested for witchcraft
- Episode 5: The Nun is shown the ghosts of all who have lost their lives because of her.
Act 2 - Forgiveness
- Scene 1: Christmas Eve in the Convent.
- Scene 2: The image of the Virgin returns to its altar.
- Scene 3: Megildis returns to the convent with her babe, and finds it dead. The Miracle occurs.
- Scene 4: Forgiveness.
- Maria Carmi – The Madonna
- Florence Winston – The Nun, Megildis
- Ernst Matray – The Minstrel (or the Player)
- Douglas Payne – The Knight
- Ernst Benzinger – The Robber Count
- Joseph Klein – The King
- Theodore Rocholl – The King's Son
- Agathe Barcesque – The Abbess
- Marie von Radgy – The Old Sacristan
- Alfred König – The Lame Man
All the actors in the film (except Florence Winston) had just given sixteen stage performances of the play in Vienna during the two weeks immediately preceding shooting, and were well-rehearsed in their parts.
Although some advertising for the film implied that all the cast had been in the 1911-12 Olympia production, this was only true for Maria Carmi, Douglas Payne, Ernst Benzinger and Joseph Klein. Carmi was married to Karl Vollmoeller, the author of the stage play, and The Miracle was the first of her 26 films. Apart from Payne and Matray, who had made one film each, none of the cast had any experience in film acting; between them Carmi, Matray, Payne, Benzinger and Klein went on to make some 160 motion pictures Carmi, Matray, Klein and Rocholl also starred in the film of Vollmoeller's next pantomime, Eine venezianische Nacht (A night in Venice).
The miraculous legend of a wayward nun named Beatrice has been retold many times since it was first collected in the early 13th century by Caesarius of Heisterbach in his Dialogus miraculorum (1219-1223). The tale was revived by Maurice Maeterlinck in 1901 in a minor play named Soeur Beatrice (Sister Beatrice), drawing on versions by Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and on the 14th-century Dutch poem Beatrijs. Maeterlinck described his own work (and Ariane et Barbe-bleue) as "...little scenarios, short poems of the type unfortunately called 'opera-comique', destined to furnish the musicians who asked for them, a theme amenable to lyrical developments. They pretend to nothing further." According to one critic, however, Ariane et Barbe-bleue and Soeur Beatrice "are, in truth, absolutely devoid of serious effort, aesthetic, doctrinal, or moral."
Sister Beatrice was produced by Vsevolod Meyerhold at the Moscow Arts Theatre in 1906, a production which Reinhardt may possibly have been aware of. Maeterlinck's play was also produced in March 1910 at the New Theatre, New York, with Edith Wynne Matthison in the title part.
While recovering from an illness aged 18 in 1896, Karl Vollmoeller had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary which had a profound impression on him, and which later became the basis of his wordless play, The Miracle. In a later interview he recounted: "While living in Italy, I had the chance to become absorbed in Latin manuscripts which told the history of the saints of the Catholic Church. (ie Heisterbach). One of these legends inspired me to write my play known as The Miracle... I wrote this piece (play) all at the same time (in one go), before films were made. I wish to state most emphatically that my play contains a spiritual message for the whole world, not only for Christians."
In another interview in 1913, Vollmoeller said of The Miracle: "The Miracle is not a theatre play in the ordinary sense. It is intended as an appeal to religious feeling. To attempt to cater in a play of this sort exclusively to the rich or the snobbish would be a great mistake. Often the people who would appreciate a play are the people who cannot afford the price of admission. For a production like The Miracle to coach the people for whom it was primarily intended it must have a low price of admission." 
The film The Miracle seems to have been the brainchild of its producer, Joseph Menchen, a London-based American inventor, film projectionist and owner of a New York theatrical lighting business who later became a literary agent for film scripts. Reports of copyright cases in the English and US courts confirm that Menchen made the film, and a review of the film's US première in New York referred to it as "the Menchen Miracle".
Menchen obtained the sole rights and film rights from Reinhardt and from Bote & Bock (Vollmöller's and Humperdinck's publishers), and had "gone to very considerable expense" (£20,000 or $50,000) "in preparing a film of the play, which he intended to produce with Mr. Walter Hyman"[n 2] at the Covent Garden Opera House on December 21." Another name (possibly a financial backer) appearing in connection with the production is that of A. D. Rosenthal. The 'Lyricscope play' was designed to be a partial re-creation (on a slightly smaller scale) of Reinhardt's massive theatrical spectacle which had drawn such large crowds to Olympia the previous year.
Reinhardt seems to have been involved in some initial technical discussions about a film of The Miracle (according to a July 1912 article in The Cinema before the film had been made) although he seems to have had little to do with its actual making.
Although much of the 'direction' belongs essentially to Reinhardt (since the movie was intended to be a recording on film of Reinhardt's stage production), Menchen engaged the experienced French film director Michel Carré to supervise the filming. Carré had recently completed a historical film about Napoleon Bonaparte, Le Memorial de Saint-Hélène (1911). He had previously directed the first European full-length (90 minutes) film, L'enfant prodigue (1907), based on his own earlier pantomime with music (Carré 1890); and with Albert Cappellani he co-directed the popular and successful 1909 film Fleur de Pavé starring Mistinguett and Charles Prince.
According to a puff piece in a Berkshire local newspaper, Menchen and Carré had "countless experiences" in designing the film's appearance; eventually they devised a method of arranging backgrounds that would "reproduce every phrase of photographic light and shade, together with extreme depth." Before producing the film, Menchen had owned his own theatrical lighting business in Kansas City and New York, having started as a theatre electrician in Missouri aged about 18, and Carré was an experienced film-maker, having already worked on some 40 films as either (co)-director or screenwriter. Carré and Menchen apparently continued to get on well together; when Menchen opened his new Studio Menchen in the Paris suburb of Epinay-sur-Seine in 1913, Carré became its artistic director, although no films (or very few) seem to have been actually produced there.
The film was designed to be accompanied by the original score which Engelbert Humperdinck had written for Reinhardt's Olympia production exactly a year before. In much of his advertising (he was his own self-publicity agent) Menchen fairly consistently promotes the film as being "accompanied by Humperdinck's glorious music", since it carries much of the weight of both film and play. The vocal score by Gustav Schirmer (which also contains the synopsis of the play above the music) was published in Germany by Bote & Bock in 1912 as Humperdinck's Das Wunder.
According to an article in The Cinema in July 1912, the screenplay was adapted by Karl Vollmöller from his stage play which Reinhardt had produced as a result of a commission from C. B. Cochran for a spectacular pageant at Olympia in 1911. Vollmoeller saw and apparently approved of the film, saying that "it responds in every detail with my original work, with the exception of a few scenes introduced with my consent." However, in a January 1913 interview Vollmoeller appears unenthusiastic about the film's use of colour:
"...a system of colouring each film-scene must be devised independent of the film mechanism itself, as is done by the footlights and other stage lights in a theatrical production. I do not believe in the so-called natural colours for the cinema except for topical films. The reproduction of the colours of nature is not necessary, and nature in these circumstances is frequently ugly. It is here that art should enter."
The stage design and costumes at Olympia were by Ernst Stern, whose set had turned the London exhibition hall (often associated with horse shows) into a Gothic cathedral in 1911. The actors in Menchen's film wore the sumptuous costumes from the first continental performances of Reinhardt's stage show at the Vienna Rotunde; and for performances of Menchen's 'Lyricscope play', the screen was surrounded by stage scenery to make it seem as if the film were being watched through the open doors of a cathedral.
Reinhardt's original 1911 stage production of The Miracle went on tour in Europe in repertory for two and a half years and its first continental production took place in the Vienna Rotunda, between 15 September–3 October 1912. The timing of the Vienna première was something of a publicity coup for Reinhardt: the Catholic Church's 23rd International Eucharistic Congress (whose opening ceremony attended by 15,000 people took place inside the Rotunda) had finished at the end of the previous week, providing a ready-made, international, religiously-inclined audience.
Shooting of The Miracle began on location in and around the parish church of Perchtoldsdorf, near Vienna, on 6 October 1912, immediately after the stage production had ended its 3-week run at the Rotunde. The small town's population was almost outnumbered by the cast of around 800 actors, who at mealtimes ate at long tables in the street.
For some external shots of the cathedral, the ground was covered with cotton wool to simulate snow, at a cost of 5,000 crowns. Filming continued in the recently completed (1874–1906) mock-mediaeval Burg Kreuzenstein, also near Vienna, Menchen having received permission from the owner, Count Wilczek.
It was shot in black-and-white 35mm film, and one or more prints were then hand-coloured in Paris. The film was originally announced with a running time of about 2 hours (7,000 feet), although it played at 5,500 or 5,100 feet in the US and elsewhere.[n 3]
Performances of The Miracle
The film was shown around the world. Première performances (with running times, where known) took place in:
- UK: 21 December 1912Joseph Menchen. (7,000 feet) — owner of worldwide rights,
- USA: 17 February 1913Al. H. Woods, and Milton and Sargent Aborn) (5,500 feet) — owner of rights in the Americas: Miracle Company Inc. (
- Netherlands: 24 March 1913 — rights possibly owned by Anton Noggerath, Jr.
- Australia: 29 December 1913 — Australasian rights owned by Beaumont Smith
- New Zealand: April 1914 or 5,500 feet) (6,000
- Germany: 15 May 1914
- Argentina: 29 January 1916
Menchen's film was ready for hand-colouring in December 1912, and he attempted to register it in Germany, but was refused since Das Mirakel, a rival film directed by Mime Misu for the German Continental-Kunstfilm production company, was adjudged to have prior right. In London, however, the Elite Sales Agency (the UK distributors for Continental-Kunstfilm) was advertising the film with the English title, The Miracle. The advance publicity implied that it was a film of the actual Reinhardt production in Olympia. Menchen, as the sole owner of the film rights, brought a court action (18 December 1912) to prevent Misu's film from being shown. The judge couldn't rule on the copyright, but he suggested that the Continental version be renamed Sister Beatrice;  it was shown at the London Pavilion that same day with the title Sister Beatrix.
Sister Beatrix only received a few single showings in the provinces, and was utterly eclipsed by the success of Menchen's film. The Elite Sales Agency ceased trading in October 1913, citing heavy losses.
- See also § US litigation section
The world première of the 'Lyricscope play' of The Miracle in full colour took place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, on 21 December 1912, exactly a year after Max Reinhardt's theatrical spectacle opened at Olympia. The 75-strong orchestra was conducted by Friedrich Schirmer, who had conducted the orchestra at Olympia and later revised Humperdinck's score for the 1924 stage production at the Century Theatre in New York. The chorus of 60 was conducted by Edmund van der Straeten, who had also been the chorus-master at Olympia.
The Miracle ran for several weeks at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden showing three times daily (3, 6.30 and 9pm) with chorus and orchestra of 200 performers, for as little as sixpence (2½p). Towards the end of its run, the reported number of performers had grown to 200.
The innovative daylight projection screen used throughout the run at the Royal Opera House was sold by the Universal Screen and Equipment Co. of 226, Piccadilly.[n 4] Although it was the first time a film had been shown at Covent Garden, the Berlin Royal Opera had already been incorporating films into productions of Wagner operas to show otherwise impossible scenic effects.
The colour film transferred to the brand-new Picture House at no. 165, Oxford Street, London, from Friday 24 January.[n 5] Before the public opening, Menchen put on a special benefit performance of The Miracle on 22 January 1913, the anniversary of the Battle of Rorke's Drift. He donated the proceeds to the fund for a memorial to a London cabby, Private Frederick Hitch, VC, who fought at Rorke's Drift and died on 6 January.
A report of a later performance outside London describes the general effect in the auditorium:
The scenery was specially built to represent the exterior of an old cathedral at Perchtoldsdorf, so ingeniously contrived that when the great doors are opened the audience see the whole enactment of the play as if it was being carried on in the cathedral itself. The aspect of the screen as one ordinarily sees it has been entirely done away with. [i.e. the screen was surrounded with scenery, like a stage play.] 
The Miracle attracted large audiences wherever it played, breaking attendance records at Kings's Hall, Leyton (2,000 seats), King's Hall, Lewisham (2,000 seats), Curzon Hall, Birmingham (3,000 seats), Royal Electric Theatre, Coventry and the Popular Picture Palace, Gravesend[n 6] As many as 150,000 people witnessed The Miracle during a three-week run at Liverpool Olympia (3,750 seats).
Menchen's first choice for a US distributor was Henry B. Harris, the New York theatrical manager and impresario. Menchen knew Harris well, having designed the lighting for several of his shows, and the first letter of testimony at the front of Menchen's 1906 product catalogue was signed "Harry B. Harris". Harris had just lost many thousands of dollars in a failed re-creation of the Parisian Folies Bergère in New York, and had been buying rights to several London shows and arranging for the London appearance of his star Rose Stahl in a production. He may have seen Reinhardt's production during its London run at the Olympia exhibition hall from December 1911 to March 1912: at any rate he bought the rights (supposedly for £10,000) to The Miracle film, according to an interview in April 1912 with the London Standard newspaper: "I have acquired an option on the fine moving pictures of "The Miracle," which I anticipate will make a sensation on the other side.” All looked well for Harris' return to the States, but unfortunately the tickets that he and his wife had booked for their voyage back to the States had the words RMS Titanic printed on them.
Three weeks after Harris's death in the maritime disaster (although his wife survived), a news item appeared in the U.S. trade weekly Variety, claiming that the negatives of The Miracle had gone down with the Titanic; but Menchen replied the following week from London saying that no shooting had taken place. Neither film had actually been completed by the date the ship sailed on 13 April 1912.[n 7]
Menchen's second choice of distributor was the Hungarian-born archetypal showman Al Woods, who had been in Berlin in connection with the construction of Germany's first purpose-built cinema, the Ufa-Pavillon am Nollendorfplatz. Whereas Harris was in the first rank of theatre producers, Woods (while not averse to spectacle) was someone whose shows tended to invite critical scorn or even prosecution.[n 8] He had just finished building the Eltinge Theatre, having had a very successful 1911 season managing the vaudeville female impersonator Julian Eltinge in musical comedy roles on Broadway. Menchen himself had worked in vaudeville theatres like Tony Pastor's, showing early films with his Kinoptikon from 1896 to 1899.
In May 1912 Woods acquired the sole US, Canadian and all-America rights to the film of Reinhardt's Miracle for which he paid Menchen $25,000 and formed the Miracle Film Company, Inc., for the purpose of distributing it.
Woods soon found himself immersed in a series of legal challenges involving a rival German film with the same subject and English name as Menchen's. This film, Das Mirakel, produced by Continental-Kunstfilm of Berlin and directed by Mime Misu, was also billed in the UK and USA as The Miracle. The German film was completed and shown in the US before Menchen had barely finished shooting in Austria. Advertisements implied indirectly that it was a film of Reinhardt's Olympia production. The ensuing name changes for the film have led to considerable confusion about which 'Miracle' is which.
New York rehearsals
The stage director Edward P. Temple was engaged by A. H. Woods to stage a ballet of 100 dancers to accompany the film in America. Temple sailed to London on 12 December 1912 to watch the London presentation of "The Miracle". He and Menchen had worked together before at Thomson & Dundy's New York Hippodrome: e.g. in 1906 the revue A Society Circus, Act III, Scene 3, the 'Court of the Golden Fountains' was stage managed by Temple, with stereopticon machines by Menchen. Temple returned in the New Year to prepare the staging with a B&W copy of the 7,000 feet film, and began rehearsing the chorus (150 adults and 50 children), in the week of 12 January 1913. Al. Woods, who had also watched the Covent Garden production with Temple, had found some business partners to share the financial burden with: Milton and Sargent Aborn. The Aborns were producers of operetta with their Aborn Opera Company. Temple had already staged Balfe's The Bohemian Girl for the Aborns at the Majestic (later Park Theatre) in 1911.
After The Miracle had finished its Covent Garden run and transferred to the newly refurbished Picture House at 165 Oxford Street, London, Woods returned on the RMS Mauritania with the precious colour film on 6 February. An advertisement by Menchen in the UK trade press on 5 February claimed that The Miracle would be shown at the Liberty Theatre, owned by Klaw and Erlanger, although other venues were still being considered, including the 'old' Metropolitan Opera House[n 9] or the New Amsterdam Theatre (also built by Klaw and Erlanger); but by 14 February the Park Theatre had been booked - there were all kinds of consultations, all kinds of arguments, and at least one assault.
The New York première performance of the Menchen Miracle in full colour took place at the Park Theater, 5 Columbus Circle (formerly the Majestic), on 17 February 1913.[n 10] The presentation was not quite as elaborate as in Covent Garden (a procession of nuns opened the proceedings, but the critics made no mention of the dancers); Humperdinck's music was performed by a chorus of 100 and an augmented Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York conducted by its founder Modest Altschuler. Altschuler was a pupil of Gustav Holländer, who had previously conducted the orchestra in the stage performances of The Miracle at Olympia in London in 1911-12. Holländer was the director of the Berlin Stern Conservatory, where one of the professors was Humperdinck who composed the score used in the stage and film versions of The Miracle. Holländer also composed the music for Reinhardt's 1910 stage production of Vollmoeller's pantomime Sumurûn.
The show apparently ran continuously in New York at the Park Theater until at least 9 March.
The Miracle showed from 24 February 1913 for two weeks of rather light business at the Colonial Theatre, Boston, MA. The managers at the Colonial were Charles Frohman and William Harris, father of Henry B. Harris, who had taken over the affairs of his late son. The city censor objected to a number of scenes, and several hundred feet had to be cut; tickets cost up to $1.50 (higher than average), and business was very poor. The Miracle was followed by The Pink Lady, one of the previous season's greatest musical successes, with the company fresh from a triumphant run in London.
The weather around Easter-time was atrocious, with tornadoes devastating eight states (see March 1913 tornado outbreak sequence) and killing around 240 people; several further days of heavy rains in the central and eastern United States caused extensive flooding in which further countless hundreds were drowned (estimates vary from 650 to 900); in New York State, Rochester was badly hit, and Buffalo experienced winds of 90 mph (140 km/h).
- Rival film banned in Chicago
A film of The Miracle which was banned in Chicago at the end of April 1913 on account of its depiction of "murder, drunkenness and immorality" was probably the Misu version (Das Mirakel), since the states' rights were sold to a Chicago exhibitor by the New York Film Company earlier that month.[n 11] The police report refers to the film Sister Beatrix as an adaptation of Maeterlinck's play - which usually featured in the NYFC's advertisements, whereas Menchen never referred to it in his publicity - and then confusingly calls it "The Miracle".
The New York Film Company was the US distributor for the Berlin Continental-Kunstfilm production company, whose Das Mirakel had been renamed Sister Beatrix in the UK after a court decision in London. (see above) On 15 January 1913, internal dissensions within the New York Film Company led to Harry Schultz dissolving his partnership with the other two directors and continuing the business alone.  However, by 1 February 1913 the situation had been reversed; after differences between the directors had been resolved, Schultz quit the business and Danziger and Levi took control of the New York Film Company.
After the Menchen Miracle had finished showing at Covent Garden (by 31 January 1913 at the latest) the film arrived in the US and received its US première on Monday 17 February 1913, at the Park Theater, New York.
During the week of 3–9 March 1913, Al Woods went to court to prevent the New York Film Co. from continuing to lease their film of "The Miracle". Justice Lehman imposed a temporary injunction in Woods' favour on the condition that he paid a bond of $20,000.  The New York Film Co. thereafter billed the Continental film as "Sister Beatrice, previously advertised as The Miracle", and re-advertised the 'States Rights' for the film under its new title. Menchen's film showed again in Boston during the week of 5 April 1913, and Woods obtained an injunction to stop the A. A. Kellman Feature Film Co. (Kellman was the proprietor of the Park Theater, Taunton, Mass.) from showing Continental's The Miracle film under its illegal name.
However, the bond of $20,000 was not forthcoming from Woods, so Justice Lehman vacated the injunction on 6 May 1913, leaving the New York Film Co. free to sell or lease The Miracle without question. 
The Miracle opened at the Flora Theatre, 79-81 Wagenstraat, The Hague, on 24 March 1913 and played for 3 consecutive weeks.[n 12] Timed performances were advertised rather than the usual continuous show, possibly to maximise the number of available seats (800 in 1909) It sold out for the first two weeks and played to very full houses in the third week.
The Flora was originally run by F.A. Nöggerath. His son Anton Nöggerath, Jr., followed in his father' business, learning the film trade in Britain at the Warwick Trading Company from 1897 with Charles Urban and forming his own negative developing business in 1903 in Wardour Street, London. When his father died in 1908, Nöggerath returned to the Netherlands and took over the business with his mother.[n 13][n 14]
The Miracle played for two weeks from 16 May 1913 at the Bioscope Theatre, 34 Reguliersbreestraat, Amsterdam, another Noggerath establishment; at the Thalia Theatre in the Hague for a week from 25 October 1918, and at the Prinses Theater, Rotterdam, for the week starting 25 July 1919.
The Australasian rights to "The Miracle" were acquired from Joseph Menchen by Beaumont Smith during his year-long world tour of South Africa, Europe and Canada with his novelty show "Tiny Town" featuring small people. Smith went on to own or manage numerous Australian cinemas, and later directed films himself. In Australia and New Zealand (as in Britain) The Miracle was generally advertised not simply as an ordinary film in its own right, but as a 'Lyricscope play', having been designed as part of a unique evening's entertainment complete with film, sets, actors and dancers, chorus & orchestra.
The Australian première of The Miracle took place in Sydney on 29 December 1913, at T. J. West's Glaciarium, one of Australia's earliest purpose-built ice skating rinks which doubled as a cinema during the summer months.[n 15]
The sets for The Miracle were constructed by the scenic artists George Dixon (who had also worked on the original London production) and Harry Whaite. Lewis De Groen (d. 1919 aged 54) conducted a chorus of 80 singers and his augmented Vice-Regal Orchestra. De Groen had been the conductor at T. J. West's Cinematograph (i.e. cinema) since around 1900, and continued his position in West's new Glaciarium when it opened in 1907. In 1908 he was managing some 80 musicians in Australia and New Zealand, and conducting nightly at three different venues in Sydney.
The Miracle ran in Sydney for two weeks and later for three weeks at West's Melbourne cinema during April and May 1914 before transferring to Adelaide, and to Perth in June. It continued to show in Australia, including Wagga Wagga in July 1915 and Warracknabeal in May 1916.
The film, with Burke's orchestra and a chorus, played "with a degree of excellence" at the King's Theatre, Auckland in March 1914. The performances were staged by Maurice Ralph. The relatively large forces available in the city venues were somewhat reduced in the provinces: according to an advertisement in the Poverty Bay Herald in May 1914 for The Miracle at His Majesty's Theatre, Gisborne, New Zealand: "Humperdinck's glorious music will be rendered by a Grand Augmented Orchestra of 12 instrumentalists."
After the 1912 run of performances in the Vienna Rotunde (immediately followed by the film shoot), Vollmoeller's stage play continued its European tour until 1914, playing in Berlin for two weeks at the Zirkus Busch from 30 April to 13 May.[n 16] Two days later the film of The Miracle received its German première (as Das Mirakel) at the Palast am Zoo cinema (later Ufa-Palast am Zoo), Charlottenburg, Berlin on Monday, 15 May 1914.[n 17]
The cinema was owned by the millionaire Frank J. Goldsoll. Until a few months before, he had jointly owned the cinema in a partnership with Al Woods who owned the US film rights to The Miracle. Goldsoll and Woods had previously built the Ufa-Pavillon am Nollendorfplatz, Berlin's first purpose-built, free-standing cinema, in 1913. They both joined Goldwyn Pictures Corporation in 1919, Goldsoll becoming its president until its merger to form MGM.
The 18 year-old Paul Hindemith went to see Reinhardt's original stage production when it arrived on tour in Frankfurt am Main in December 1913. In a letter he clearly conveys the almost overwhelming effect of the massive, pageant-like show in the Festhalle. It seems (from Hindemith's description of the "real thing") that Menchen had largely succeeded in recreating a similar atmosphere in his full-colour 'Lyricscope' screenings of the film:
28 December 1913Yesterday I went to a performance of Vollmoeller's "Miracle", which Max Reinhardt is presenting in the Festhalle. If you ever get a chance to see it, do not miss it! One can hardly believe it is possible to keep control of such immense masses of players. I was completely bowled over and would never have believed that it was possible that anything so brilliant and grandiose could be done on a stage, or rather in an arena. The whole gigantic Festhalle has been transformed into a colossal church. All the lamps have become church lanterns and all the windows church windows. Church bells ring out at the start, and the whole hall becomes black as night. Then the sound of the organ and nuns singing. Stupendous lighting effects, a procession lasting 3/4 of an hour, wonderful music, and a rich display of people, costumes, and scenery! And how well the actors act! I came out of the hall reeling, and only this morning returned to my senses. It sweeps one right off one's feet, and one forgets one is in the theatre. I shall go again, come what may, even if I have to pay 20 marks for it.[n 18] On 1 January we are having Parsifal here. I'll see if I can find a sympathetic soul to buy me a ticket.[n 19]
The New York American voiced the fears of the Royal Opera House's traditional upper-class opera-goers: "The movies have invaded that sedate institution and stronghold of classic music, the Covent Garden Theatre. [...] It is true that the fashionable opera season does not begin until May, but the idea obtains among the conservative patrons of the house that the new departure comes shiveringly near being a desecration." 
In London, however, the normally conservative Athenaeum waxed almost lyrical about the new film:
The producers of 'The Miracle', adapted as a Lyricscope play in colours, at Covent Garden, have furnished us with another instance of the satisfactory use to which the comparatively new invention has recently been put. Those who were unfortunate enough not to see the representation at Olympia may now get an excellent conception of that wonderful production[...] After being afflicted so often by the gesticulations of animated bifurcated radishes, it is indeed a pleasure to view the grace of real actors and actresses. The timing of the chorus with the pictorial representation is capable of amendment. Full justice is done by the orchestra to Prof. Humperdinck's music.
Stephen W. Bush, reviewing "Reinhardt's Miracle" in The Moving Picture World after its US première, had some observant criticisms among the plaudits:
When the Nun danced before the Robber Baron the voices behind the screen sounded more like an animated quarrel in an East Side saloon than the rumblings of a licentious mob. Numerous other defects could be pointed out such as the wearing of high heels by one of the leading and sacred characters of the piece, the persistence with which the knight wore his full armor even while courting the sister, the all-too sudden death of the robber baron; but these defects disappear in the splendor and magnificence of the whole.
In Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald commented: "Max Reinhardt's stupendous production of the 'Miracle' was screened for the last time at West's Glaciarium on Saturday night before an enormous house. The season has marked an era in the history of cinematography in this country and the success of the production will not easily be forgotten."
In Germany, The Miracle received a resoundingly positive review from Lichtbild-Bühne, entitled "Bravo Goldsoll!" (Frank Goldsoll was the owner of the Palast am Zoo cinema where it showed).
We have slept for years! The theater novice Goldsoll, the Variété expert, comes to us and has to show us how it's done... [He] leaves the theatre air pregnant with incense, so that mood is created. He makes great music with bells and orchestrations etc.. He leaves a plastic, wonderful scenery as a dramatic frame for the film show. He applies lighting effects: at the beginning and end, living nuns and choristers, etc. come on stage and are presented the bodily dedicated mother of God center stage. The effect of the film "The Miracle" is thus so colossal that day the theatre the film is sold out through full presentation has increased in value so great that even enthusiasts say that the whole thing looks more like the original.
The business is launched so brilliantly that the whole guild of theater practitioners who now complain about their empty houses, should simply be ashamed.Go and try to capitalize on the consequences of this "Miracle" demonstration. Rub the sleep from your eyes, and call out with envy: "Bravo, Goldsoll.
NB Godsol has been called a "high-class swindler" - or worse - in reliable sources, which may even include the words "con-man": but if they don't that's because most of the people like to be fooled most of the time.
|Joseph Menchen||UK||only||The Miracle||fp 21 December 1912|
|USA||only||The Miracle||fp 17 February 1913|
|Germany||only||Das Mirakel||fp 15 May 1914|
|Continental-Kunstfilm||Germany||original||Das Mirakel||Banned (verbot) in Germany 19 Oct 1912. Registered as a film, (Prüfung) December 1912.|
|later||Das Marienwunder: eine alte legende||Re-classified as Over 18 only (jugendverbot) by the police censor and released with cuts in May 1914|
|UK||pre-release||The Miracle||Never released under this title following Menchen's court injunction|
|release||Sister Beatrix. A Miracle Play||(after 17 December 1912)|
|USA||original||The Miracle: a legend of medieval times||Press screening 18 October 1912, fp 15 December 1912|
|temporary||The Miracle of Sister Beatrice, OR
The Miracle, or Sister Beatrice
Recordings of Humperdinck's music
A double-sided 78 rpm recording of selections from The Miracle (HMV C2429, matrix nos. 2B 3406 & 2B 3407) was issued by HMV on a plum-coloured label in 1932, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, organ and an unnamed chorus, conducted by Einar Nilsson.
The recording coincided with the 1932 run of the stage revival of The Miracle at Lyceum Theatre, London, with Lady Diana Cooper & Wendy Toye, choreography by Leonide Massine and produced again by C.B. Cochran. Nilsson had previously conducted the orchestra in Reinhardt's new 1924 stage production (with Morris Gest) of The Miracle, set designed by Norman Bel Geddes at the Century Theatre, in New York.
Side 2 of the above 1932 recording can be heard as the unsynchronised soundtrack to a YouTube clip of the final scene of the film. This is a tinted B&W print, not the original coloured film. The four short selections are as follows, cue numbers taken from the vocal score (see Musical scores):
- Entracte (Part II), cue 1: Leicht bewegt (pdf p. 47)
- Entracte, cue 11: Fackeltanz der Nonne (pdf p. 65)
- Act II, scene 1, cue 1 6/8 (pdf p. 80)
- Act II, final scene, cue 39 (pdf p. 104)
Humperdinck also made arrangements of various numbers for military band. These were recorded by the band of the Coldstream Guards conducted by Major Mackenzie Rogan and released on single-sided HMV 78rpm discs in March 1913.
- List of early color feature films
- List of Christian films
- Ufa-Pavillon am Nollendorfplatz, a Berlin cinema built in 1913 by Al. Woods and Joe Goldsoll
- "The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) defines the country of origin as the country of the principal offices of the production company or individual by whom the moving image work was made." See Choice of Original Release Title in Country of Origin as Main Entry.
- The film's producer was the American Joseph Menchen who acquired the sole film rights from Max Reinhardt, and from Bote & Bock, the publishers of Karl Vollmoeller and Engelbert Humperdinck. See 'The Stage' Year Book 1913, pp. 293–294. Menchen had offices at 20 Frith Street, Soho, at 20 Villiers St., and then at 3-7 Southampton St., Strand, London WC1. See "Joseph Menchen". The London Project. AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Menchen had been resident in London for some time according to an interview with Al. Woods in the New York Times, 9 May 1912. The "little electrical shop at the Bijou" referred to in the report was opened by Menchen at the 'old' Bijou Theatre, 1237 Broadway, after he was made bankrupt in 1905. The press agent for the Bijou Theatre, A. Curtis Bond, acquired the American rights to the Acres kineopticon projector, which Menchen had used to show films at Tony Pastor's Theatre from 1896. Source: The Proliferation of Motion Picture Companies and an Assessment of the Novelty Year - The Phantoscope and Other Projectors at encyclopedia.jrank.org
- Walter Hyman was the owner of a theatre chain, Grand Centrals Ltd., which operated cheaper-priced theatres away from London's Theatreland:
- Eastern Grand Central Theatre - Commercial Rd, Stepney, E1
- Hackney Grand Central Theatre, Bethnal Green, E2
- Grand Central Theatre - Blackfriars Rd, Southwark, SE1
- The Carlton Theatre - Tottenham Court Rd. W1
- The Majestic Picturedrome cinema, also in Tottenham Court Rd.
- References to a four-reel version of "The Miracle" probably refer to the 1912 Das Mirakel made by Continental-Kunstfilm GmbH and directed by Mime Misu (see Which Miracle? above.)
- The Universal Screen and Equipment Co. was formed on 14 February 1913, to acquire the benefit of an agreement dated 8 February 1913 between:
- Packing Materials Association Ltd. (PMA), founded in 1900
- John Duncan Blackwell, an inventor, whose father was chairman of PMA
- and one Edward Gosschalk, a solicitor
- John Duncan Blackwell's father, (also called John, like his father) was the chairman of John Blackwell and Sons of Little Green Works in Collyhurst, Manchester, manufacturers since 1841 of tarpaulins and waterproof oilcloth packaging.
- In 1884 the company took out a patent for a machine process to automate the manufacture of oilcloth wrapping for cotton bales, and in 1897 John Duncan Blackwell took out his own patent for an improved waterproof cotton wrapping.
- John Blackwell & Sons merged in 1900 with eight other small packaging companies to form Packaging Materials Association (PMA). In 1923 Duncan became chairman of PMA, who continuously manufactured his 'patent wrap' until the 1970s. (Source: "Company History". Packaging Products (Coatings) Ltd. Retrieved 25 November 2012.)
- The terminally legally curious may be interested to know that James Duncan Blackwell set up a half secret trust to provide for his four natural children after his death, without embarrassing his family. In Blackwell v. Blackwell 1929 Eng. Blackwell's widow and his son were unsuccessful in contesting the will after Viscount Simonds ruled that half secret trusts were as valid as secret trusts. This is the current state of the law in Canada as of 2012. (Source: Kianieff. "Trusts". Legal and Lit — The Student Council at Osgoode Hall Law School. Retrieved 25 November 2012.)
- The Picture House at 165 Oxford Street (1912 architects: Gilbert and Constanduros) became the Academy Cinema from c. 1928, the ICA met in the basement in the late 1940's, and the Marquee jazz club opened in the basement from 1958. with exterior contemporary photo. Source: Eyles, Allen. "Cinemas & Cinemagoing: Art House & Repertory", BFI screenonline. Accessed 18 December 2012. See also interior photographs at Flickr
- * King's Hall, Leyton at CinemaTreasures.org. The cinema was later taken over by Clavering & Rose, possibly related to the Clavering who was a director of Elite Sales Agency, or one of his brothers.
- The first cinema shows in Birmingham had been presented in the Curzon Hall, Suffolk Street, a hall originally designed in 1864 for dog shows. It held 3,000 people. Its proprietor, Walter Jeffs, had originally included films as a subsidiary part of a show: in time, they became the main attraction. In 1915 it became known as the West End Cinema. Source: 'Economic and Social History: Social History since 1815'. A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7: The City of Birmingham (1964), pp. 223-245. Accessed 21 December 2012.
- Popular Picture Palace: see 'Super Cinema' at Cinema Treasures.
- In the Titanic's cargo manifest there is an entry for a case of films addressed to the New York Motion Picture Company: this may have caused confusion since it was a different entity from Continental-Kunstfilm's US distributor, the New York Film Company. The NYMP Co. made and distributed films under the Bison 101 name, and merged with Universal Studios in June 1912.
- See e.g. this uncomplimentary passage from the anti-semitic The International Jew by the car maker Henry Ford : "Al H. Woods has but one good eye. It is not his personal loss that matters, but the history of the misfortune which goes back to the time when Al was a member of an East side gang. The common report was that he used to play the piano in a downtown place, east of Fifth Avenue. Mr. Woods is also a distinguished patron of dramatic art — he presented The Girl from Rector's and The Girl in the Taxi, two of the most immoral and pointless shows of recent years. Several times he has secured the rights to certain Viennese operas, which were bad enough in themselves from a moral point of view, but which were at least constructed with true artistry; but even these he marred by an inept infusion of vulgarity and blague." The Dearborn Independent, 22 January 1921.
- New York Dramatic Mirror, 24 July 1912, p. 13.. Maurice Grau, general manager of the NY Metropolitan Opera House 1891-1903 was the brother of the impresario Robert Grau, who in 1896 had met and encouraged Menchen who was working as a theatre electrician in Kansas City, Missouri. Robert Grau later became a writer on serious theatre, and his book "The Stage in the 20th century" included a stop-press puff for "The Miracle". Robert Grau's greatest success was to manage Adelina Patti's 1903-4 farewell tour of the US, netting him $200,000.
- The Park Theatre had opened in January 1903 as the Majestic with the musical The Wizard of Oz, which ran for ten months. Menchen provided (and possibly designed) the lighting and "jaw-dropping special effects" for the show, which included a ten-minute tornado. Sources: Menchen 1906, p. 10. Krefft, Bryan. "International Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- "D. Muntuk, of the M and F Feature Film Company, 157 Washington St, Chicago, has secured the Illinois state rights to the New York Film Company's production, The Miracle. He made a special trip to New York to buy the rights for his company. Source: "Brevities of the Business". Motography. IX (7): 256. 5 April 1913.
- This may be a B&W print; a color print of The Miracle had been playing in the New York in February and March 1913 (see above). The distributors of the Continental version regained the legal right to show their version of Das Mirakel from 6 May (see also § US litigation below).
- Blom 2000, p. 401 cites one source which suggests that Noggerath had paid 3 million French francs to Menchen, but Blom (without further explanation) feels that this a gross exaggeration. One possible reason for this very large sum is that the French franc (FF) was re-valued in 1960 at 1/100th of its old value, so 3,000,000 'old' francs equates to 30,000 nouveaux francs. In 1913 both US and French currencies were on the gold standard, when US$ 1 = 1.505g Au and FF 1 = 0.29g Au. This gives a ratio of about 5.18 (new) francs to the dollar, so 30,000 FF was worth about $5,792. Another way to look at value is through wages: in 1910 the average US wage was 22 cents per hour, and the average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year. Adjusted for inflation, $5,792 in 1910 is equivalent to about $138,666 in 2015.
- The building where the Flora theatre was located still exists; the external façade is decorated just below the pediment with typical polychrome ceramic tiles showing Greek masks and musical instruments; the façade is topped with square capitals depicting stylised theatrical masks with merely eyes and eyebrows in Art Deco style. See photo at 79-81 Wagenstraat. Flickr. Accessed 11 February 2016
- T. J. West had originally come from England, where he teamed up his Modern Marvel Company with Henry John Hayward's novelty theatre company to form 'West's Picture Company and The Brescians'. After successful theatrical tours of New Zealand and Australia they concentrated on the cinema business, Hayward making his base in Auckland, while West continued to make considerable profits throughout Australia, where he owned 14 permanent cinemas by 1910 with an estimated nightly audience of 20,000.
- List of initial European performances of The Miracle (play) (source: Styan 1982, pp. 136–150):
- 1912: 15 September - Vienna Rotunde; October - Elberfeld, Breslau, Cologne
- 1913: January - Prague; February - Vienna Volksoper; September - Leipzig, Dresden, Elberfeld, Breslau, Cologne, Prague; 23 December - Festhalle Frankfurt am Main
- 1914: January - Hamburg, Karlsruhe; 30 April - Circus/Zirkus Busch, Berlin.
- This late date may point to some sort of agreement between Reinhardt and Menchen that the film of The Miracle wasn't to be released until the run of staged productions had ended.
- This was nearly a week's wages for an industrial worker in Germany in 1913, when 20 marks was worth about £1 or $5.
- At the time he went to see The Miracle, Hindemith was the leader of the orchestra of the Neues Theater, Frankfurt, where Walter Kollo's Posse mit Gesang - 'farce with singing' Filmzauber (a parody on the current craze for silent films) was running. A lost dramatic piece by Hindemith entitled Die Tragödie im Kino also dates from this period. (See Luttmann 2013.) His letter describes Filmzauber (which he had already played 17 times and was about be sick of) as "utter nonsense from beginning to end, yet funny and charming[...] We play the whole thing by heart and prick up our ears only when a new joke is cracked above our heads."
Hindemith picks out on YouTube (rec. 1912) (Baby, I slept so bad) and on YouTube as "numbers of truly classical beauty". (Source: Skelton 1995, p. 6). The contrast with The Miracle can be heard below in a clip which combines a 1932 recording of extracts from Humperdinck's score with the final scene from Menchen's film.
Wagner's Bayreuth Festspielhaus was previously the only place where Parsifal was allowed to be staged, although a number of concert performances had been given outside Bayreuth: the ban was lifted from 1 January 1913.
- "Alleged Miracle piracy". Variety, 28 February 1913 Vol.XXIX, no. 13, p. 15, col. 3
- Athenaeum, Jan-June 1913, p. 52.
- Slough, Windsor and Eton Observer & 26 July 1913, p. 8.
- The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, Tuesday 21 July 1914, p. 2
- Souvenir Programme 1913.
- Evening Post (Wellington, NZ), 6 March 1914, p. 3
- e.g. Bush, Stephen W. "Reinhardt's Miracle" in MPW 1913a, p. 868
- Source: imdb
- Eine venezianische Nacht at imdb.
- The exhaustive comparative study by Guiette (Guiette 1928) lists around 180 versions.
- Heisterbach 1851, pp. 42–43 (pdf p. 52), Book VII, chapter XXXIV (De Beatrice custode)
- Maeterlinck, Maurice. Preface au Theatre (1913) (in French), p. XVIII]
- Turner 1914, p. 115.
- Leach 1993, p. 104.
- New York Times, 15 March 1910
- Tunnat 2009, p. 152.
- Tunnat 2009, p. 39.
- Tunnat 2009, pp. 44 & 48.
- 'The Stage' Year Book 1913, p. 868.
- 'The Stage' Year Book 1913, pp. 293–294.
- The copyright of the play and the music remained with Bote & Bock. See Frohlich & Schwab 1918, p. 640
- MPW 1913a, p. 584.
- The Cinema, July 1912, p. 7 (pdf p. 205)
- A July 1913 article in the Slough, Windsor and Eton Observer & 26 July 1913, p. 8 places Menchen at the centre of the film's genesis and production, "with the co-operation of Michel Carré." This article contains remarkable similarities to the one which appeared in The Cinema, July 1912, p. 7 (pdf p. 205), but with Carré's name replacing Reinhardt's; both articles appear to have been written by the same person, who seems to have written and handled all the film's publicity (possibly Menchen, or his "commander-in-chief", George Crager).
- New York Dramatic Mirror 16 November 1895, p. 22
- Patrimoine en Seine-Saint-Denis: les studios et laboratoires L'Eclair, pp. 3-4 (in French). Menchen sold the studios in May 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War.
- Humperdinck 1912.
- Vollmoeller 1912.
- Dekker 2007, pp. 25–26.
- This statement appears in an affidavit by Vollmoeller in a 1912 copyright court case ('The Stage' Year Book 1913, pp. 293–294) involving an unauthorised film of his play, Das Mirakel.
- The Cinema News & Property Gazette, Volume II (New series), No. 13, 8 January 1913, p. 30, pdf p.230
- Konrath 2008, pp. 124–125.
- In the publicity for the film the parish church was usually - and erroneously - called a cathedral. It is also known as a 'schloßkirche' or castle church, being located within the fortifications of the walled town. See Vienna seen by an Italian XVIIIth century traveller - Perchtoldsdorf
- Das Mirakel theatrical programme, Vienna Rotunda, 15 September–3 October 1912.
- P'dorf Rundschau 2006, pp. 4–5.
- This "herculean task"(see MPW 1913a, p. 868) was carried out by seventy people, according to a report in the New York Times: "Film show in Covent Garden". New York Times, 9 December 1912. The process used may have been the Pathé colour process. Pathe employed over 400 women stencilers in 1910 in their Vincennes factory.
- "...the pictures so beautifully colored to resemble natural colors," "Variety", 21 February 1913.
- "Film show in Covent Garden". New York Times, 9 December 1912
- Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 29 December 1913, p. 2 col. 3
- Poverty Bay Herald, XLI:13370, 2 May 1914, p. 1.
- Wanganui Chronicle (NZ), 14 April 1914, p. 8
- Finkielman 2004, pp. 34–35.
- Copinger 1915, p. 69.
- The Times law report, 18 December 1912. See also MPW 1913a, p. 146 4 January 1913. Vol. 15, no. 1.
- "A marvellous picture". Cinema News and Property Gazette. 11 (12): 7, 14, 43a. 1 January 1913.
- Elite Sales Agency at the London Project
- Guide Musical 1912, p. 798.
- Wyndham & L'Epine 1913, p. 213.
- The Cinema News & Property Gazette, Number 13, Volume II, 29 January 1913, pp 21 & 42 (pdf pp. 413 & 434)
- Guiette 1928, p. 369.
- The next production at Covent Garden was the British première of Stravinsky's Petrouchka by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes on Tuesday 4 February 1913, see Riley 2010, p. 70. A statement in the Wellington (NZ) Evening Post for 6 March 1914 that The Miracle ran for 3 months at Covent Garden probably means "in London & rest of the UK".
- MPW 1913a, p. 583, Volume 15 No. 6, 8 February 1913.
- The Kinematograph Daily, 26 March 1913, p. 20.
- MPW 1913b, pp. 33, 67.
- The Cinema News & Property Gazette, Number 13, Volume II, 29 January 1913, p. 21, pdf p. 413 Dated 29 January, article reads "On Friday last [ie Friday 24 January 1913] the Picture House, Oxford Street, opened its doors for the reproduction of that extremely successful play, "The Miracle"
- The Cinema News & Property Gazette, Number 13, Volume II, 22 January 1913, p. 13, pdf p. 308
- The Kinematograph Daily, 26 March 1913, outside rear cover advertisement. The publication was a special edition of the weekly Kinematograph, produced during the first national cinematographic trade exhibition in Britain at Olympia in 1913.
- The Cinema News & Property Gazette, Number 13, Volume II (New series) 26 February 1913, p. 29, pdf p. 809
- New York Clipper, 24 May 1913, p. 4c. The Liverpool Olympia (built 1905) was a purpose-built indoor circus and variety theatre.
- Variety, Friday 14 February 1913, p. 14b
- A complete biography of Henry B. Harris appeared in Billboard, 2 December 1911.
- Menchen 1906, p. 3.
- Variety, 30 September 1911, p. 1 says $100,000, others give $430,000 in 9 months.
- Miss Stahl's Return, The Standard (London), 11 April 1912, p. 5, col. 2
- Brewster 2012, p. 142-43.
- Special Cable to Variety, London, May 1: "It has developed that before leaving this side on the Titanic, Henry B. Harris arranged with Joseph Menchen for the U.S. rights to the moving pictures of "The Miracle." Mr. Harris had the only negatives taken on board the boat." Variety, 4 May 1912, p. 1c.
- No "Miracle" pictures. London, May 8. "No moving picture films were taken of The Miracle. Joseph Menchen was due at the Savoy Hotel Sunday and has a contract with Max Reinhardt for the pictures, but other interests prevented his taking them. Variety, 11 May 1912, p. 4d.
- New York Clipper, 16 November 1912. Continental-Kunstfilm had broken off filming of Das Mirakel in order to film In Nacht und Eis about the sinking of the Titanic and finished it by October.
- Grau 1912, pp. xvi–xvii.
- Variety, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, December 13 1912. p.4c
- A Society Circus theatre programme, 8 January 1906.
- Variety, 17 January 1913 p. 4b.
- Hischak 2008, p. 3.
- The Bohemian Girl, Majestic Theatre. IBDB. Accessed 14 February 2016.
- Ellis Island passenger record.
- Variety, 7 February 1913, p. 15
- The Cinema News and Property Gazette Vol. 2, 5 February 1913, pp. 20-21
- Variety, 14 February 1913, p. 14
- The Player, 21 February 1913, p. 2b-c
- New York Times, 18 Feb 1913
- Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York. Accessed 19 July 2012.
- The Playgoer and Society 1912, p. 132.
- "Sumurûn". The Times. London. 20 February 1911., reprinted in: Programme of the Twentieth Rehearsal and Concert (PDF). Boston Symphony Orchestra. 31 March 1911. p. 1503. (pdf p. 39.)
- "Motives and messages for the playgoer: Plays that hold". New York Times, 9 March 1913, p. x col. 3, with publicity photo of Joseph Klein.
- "The Miracle", New York Clipper, 15 March 1913, p. 27a
- MPW 1913b 16:1, 5 April 1913, p. 67c, and p. 68a.
- The Player, 14 March 1913, p. 22d
- "Rochester's Great Flood(s)" (19 May 2014). Rochestersubway. Accessed 14 February 2016.
- MPW 1913b, p. 366 16:4, 26 April 1913
- (MPW 1913a, p. 302) Volume 15 no. 3,18 Jan 1913
- New York Dramatic Mirror, 15 January 1913
- (MPW 1913a, p. 520) Volume 15 No. 5, 1 February 1913
- The last possible showing date for the hand-coloured print at Covent Garden was 31 January 1913: a Russian ballet production started on 3 February.
- New York Dramatic Mirror, 12 March 1913, p. 30, col. 2
- (MWP 1913a, p. 1281) Vol. 15, No. 12, 22 Mar 1913
- An early method of distributing films. J. A. Aberdeen. "The Early Film Business. Distribution: States Rights or Road Show". Hollywood Renegades' Archive.
- (MPW 1913b, p. 81) Vol 16 No. 1, 5 April 1913
- MPW 1913b, pp. 68, 81.
- New York Clipper 7 May 1913 page 16
- Blom 2000, p. 401n.
- Mirakel, Das (1912 D). Cinema Context (in Dutch). Accessed 12 February 2016.
- Flora (Wagenstraat), Den Haag, Wagenstraat 79-81. Cinema Context (in Dutch). Accessed 12 February 2016.
- According to De Kunst journal, cited in Blom 2000, p. 401n.
- Blom 1999.
- Ordonnance no. 58-1341 du 27 décembre 1958 NOUVEAU FRANC (in French).
- Measuring Worth: Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount - 1774 to Present
- US Inflation calculator
- The Age, 27 September 1913, p. 8, col. 2
- "Rehearsals of the choir and of the actors in the various processions in The Miracle are now taking place in order that "The Miracle" moving picture may be produced at an early date. The Reinhardt film is 5,500 feet long and with the special choruses, Humperdinck's grand Opera music and the different processions, the dream picture will take up the whole evening." The New Zealand Observer, 8 November 1913, p. 23
- Glaciarium photo with history
- Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 19 December 1913, p. 3, col. 5
- The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 27 December 1913 Page 2
- Short biography of Harry Whaite at the Australian Variety Theatre Archive
- The Adelaide Mail, 7 February 1914, p. 6S
- The Sydney Morning Herald 27 December 1913, p. 2 col. 6
- Obituary of De Groen, The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 3 April 1919, 8:2.
- i.e. a matinée and two evening performances. Manawatu Standard, 11 March 1908, Page 5
- The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 12 January 1914, p. 3 col. 8.
- The Leader (Melbourne), 16 May 1914, p. 37, col 3.
- The Register (Adelaide), 23 May 1914, p. 7 col. 2.
- The West Australian (Perth), 30 June 1914, p. 12 col. 2.
- Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW), 23 July 1915, p. 3, col. 6.
- Warracknabeal Herald, 5 May 1916, p. 3, col. 3.
- New Zealand Observer, Volume XXXIV, Issue 26, 7 March 1914, p. 6
- New Zealand Observer, Volume XXXIV, Issue 31, 11 April 1914, p. 10. Ralph was later NZ representative of Liéff Pouishnoff in 1935, see The Press (Canterbury) , Volume LXX, Issue 21081, 5 February 1934, p. 6.
- Lichtbild-Bühne, Nr. 26, 16 May 1914 (in German) at filmportal.de Although this is not a perfect translation from the German, the phrase "...even enthusiasts say that the whole thing looks more like the original" appears almost verbatim (in English) in various advertisements and reviews of The Miracle in the UK and US press.
- Variety, 13 February 1914, p. 5, last col.
- Wids Film Daily, Wednesday July 30, 1919
- Bry, Gerhard (1960). Wages in Germany, 1871-1945 (PDF). (excerpt). National Bureau of Economic Research. p. 51. ISBN 0-87014-067-1. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- Skelton 1995, pp. 5-6.
- Moving Picture News, Vol. 6, 7 December 1912, p. 12 [pdf p. 886]
- MPW 1913a, p. 868.
- (MPW 1913b) 5 April 1913, p. 68, col. 1
- Mirakel at filmportal.de
- Although the judge at the injunction hearing suggested 'Sister Beatrice', and this name was publicised in the press reports, it was advertised by the Shaftesbury Feature Film Co. as Sister Beatrix. (See Cinema News & Property Gazette, 5 February 1913, p. 16.)
- Main search page for 78 rpm recordings database at the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM). Tip: search for 'Humperdinck AND Miracle'
- "Wendy Toye obituary". The Guardian. 28 February 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- New York Evening Post, Saturday 12 January 1924, p.12
- Video on YouTube
- Abel, Richard (2006). Americanizing the Movies and "Movie-Mad" Audiences, 1910-1914. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520247437.
- "The Athenaeum Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama. January to June, 1913". London: Athenaeum Press,. 1913.
- Berthold, Margot, ed. (1984). Max Reinhardt's theater in film', (in German). Munich: Münchner Filmzentrum, Freunde des Münchner Filmmuseums e.V. in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Filmmuseum München.
- Blom, Ivo (1999). "Chapters from the life of a camera-operator: the recollections of Anton Noggerath" (PDF). Film History. 11: 262–281. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- Blom, Ivo Leopold (2000). Jean Desmet and the Early Dutch Film Trade. Film Culture in Transition. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 9789053565704.
- Brewster, Hugh (2012). Gilded lives, fatal voyage. New York: Crown Publishers (Random House). p. 142. ISBN 978-0-307-98470-8.
- Carré, Michel (fils); Wormser, André; Willette, Adolphe (illus.) (1890). L'Enfant Prodigue, Pantomime en Trois Actes (in French). Paris: E. Biardot.
- Copinger, Walter Arthur (1915). Easton, J. M., ed. The law of copyright, in works of literature, art, architecture, photography, music and the drama : including chapters on mechanical contrivances and cinematographs: together with international and foreign copyright, with the statutes relating thereto (5th ed.). London: Stevens and Haynes.
- de Curzon, Maurice; Bacha, Eugène, eds. (1912). Guide Musical: revue internationale de la musique et de theâtres lyriques (in French). 58. Paris, Brussels. p. 798.
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- "The Moving Picture World, April to June 1913". XVI. New York: Chalmers Publishing. 1913b.
- "The Miracle". The Playgoer and Society. London: Kingshurst Publishing. 5 (28). 1912.
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- Riley, Matthew (2010). "Modernism, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russe in London 1911-29". In Riley, Matthew. British Music and Modernism, 1895-1960. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9780754665854.
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- "The "Miracle" coming to Slough". Slough, Windsor and Eton Observer: 8, col. 3. 26 July 1913. NB Website states that their online zoomable image viewer is not working. In 'Views of current image' menu on the left, download 'High resolution image (2.4 MB)' by right-clicking and choose 'Save link as...' etc.
- Prof. Max Reinhardt's great mystery play : The Miracle, adapted as a Lyricscope play / music by Engelbert Humperdinck ; book by Karl Vollmoeller ; by arrangements with Joseph Menchen ; adapted for cinema by Michel Carré. Birmingham, UK: Shakespeare Press. 1913. (Synopsis of the Play. - Chants and Choruses.)
- 'The Stage' Year Book. 1913. pp. 293–294.
- Styan, J. L. (1982). Max Reinhardt. Cambridge: CUP Archive. pp. 136–150. ISBN 9780521295048.
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- Vollmoeller, Karl (1912). The Miracle: A Wordless Mystery Play, in Two Acts and an Intermezzo. Edition Bote & G. Bock.
- Wyndham, H. Saxe; L'Epine, Geoffrey, eds. (1913). Who's who in music: A biographical record of contemporary musicians. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons.
- A black-and-white tinted print of the film (until recently thought to be lost) is held at the CNC Archives, France. Available on Video on YouTube (in 7 parts)
- A wrongly-titled Das Mirakel on IMDb
- The Miracle at the British Film Institute (BFI) Database]
- The vocal score of Humperdinck's music is available at imslp.org
- Full orchestral score and parts available for hire from Boosey and Hawkes.