The Monk and the Woman

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The Monk and the Woman
Directed by Franklyn Barrett
Produced by Franklyn Barrett
George Marlow
Harry Musgrove
Written by Franklyn Barrett
D.H. Souter (titles)[1]
Based on play by Frederick Melville
Cinematography Franklyn Barrett
Production
company
Australian Famous Players
Release date
8 October 1917[2]
Running time
6,000 feet
Country Australia
Language Silent film
English intertitles
Budget £1,000[3]

The Monk and the Woman is a 1917 Australian silent film directed by Franklyn Barrett. It is considered to be lost.[4]

Plot[edit]

In eighteenth century France, the evil Prince de Montrale (Harry Plimmer) falls in love with Liane (Maud Fane), but she runs away from him and seeks refuge in a monastery. The prince finds her and orders the abbott to keep her in custody. A young novice, Brother Paul (Percy Marmont), is placed in charge of Liane and falls in love with her, despite having just taken his vows of celibacy.

The king (Monte Luke) commands that Liane marry the Prince. A wedding is prepared but Paul defeats the prince in a duel, steals his cloak and takes his place at the wedding. The impersonation is discovered and Paul is taken away to be executed. De Montrale leads a revolt against the king but Paul keeps fight off the attack until loyalists arrive. Paul then returns to the monastery forever.[5]

Cast[edit]

Original play[edit]

The play was first produced in England in 1912 where it ran for a year. Theatre entrepreneur George Marlow bought the Australian rights and presented it in 1912.[6] It was controversial and received protests from church groups, being condemned by the Australian Catholic Federation.[7][8]

The film version changed the ending so that Brother Paul renounced his loved one and returned to the monastery, whereas in the play the two lovers stayed together.[3]

Production[edit]

The film adaptation was likely made in response to the 1917 film The Church and the Woman. Shooting began in August 1917 and took place on the stage of the Theatre Royal in Sydney, and on location in French's Forest, Sydney, with some additional scenes shot at W.D. Dailey's castle in Manly.[1][9][10]

Percy Marmont, Hugh Huntley and Maud Fane were all British stage stars then touring Australia; this was Marmont's film debut.[11][12]

Release[edit]

Despite changing the ending, the film was still seen as controversial by the Catholic Federation, who objected to its depiction of Catholicism. However, it was still passed by the censor.[13] Advertisements heavily played up the controversy[14] and the movie was a major success at the box office.[3][15] It was still screening in cinemas in 1922.[16][17]

Critical[edit]

In the words of the Sunday Times "costume plays are notoriously at once difficult and expensive of production, and the utmost care must be exercised in order to escape anachronism. In this direction the pitfalls seem to have been avoided in the skilled hands o£ Mr W. Franklyn Barrett, who adapted the play to photography and produced; of Mr. D. H. Souter, who is responsible for the artistic titles; and of Mr. Rock Phillips, who undertook the art production."[1]

Legal Issues[edit]

George Marlow sued the makers of The Church and the Woman (1917) and got a court injunction forcing the producers of the latter to advertise their film specifically saying it was different from The Monk and the Woman.[18] This was done.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "BIG FILMS IN REVIEW.". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 7 October 1917. p. 26. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Advertising.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 8 October 1917. p. 3. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 71
  4. ^ "The Monk and the Woman". silentera.com. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  5. ^ "THE MONK AND THE WOMAN.". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 20 October 1917. p. 8. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "MELODRAMA AND ITS MISSION.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 6 September 1912. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "CONDEMNING A PLAY.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 13 January 1913. p. 10. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC FEDERATION.". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 10 May 1913. p. 6. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "History Repeats Itself.". The World's News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 13 October 1917. p. 5. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "MAJESTIC THEATRE.". Table Talk. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 1 November 1917. p. 30. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "PARAMOUNT PICTURES.". The Mercury. Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 15 March 1927. p. 5. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "It All Began With a Feature Movie On The Kelly Gang.". The News. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 16 November 1946. p. 2. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "MONK AND THE WOMAN.". The Sunday Times. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 7 October 1917. p. 25. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Advertising.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 12 October 1917. p. 3. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "THE MOVING PICTURE WORLD.". Bendigo Advertiser. Vic.: National Library of Australia. 17 October 1917. p. 4. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "ENTERTAINMENTS.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 18 August 1922. p. 9. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  17. ^ http://lantern.mediahist.org/catalog/moving34chal_0283
  18. ^ "IN EQUITY.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 13 October 1917. p. 9. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Advertising.". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 20 October 1917. p. 8. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 

External links[edit]