Family Tree


Silent movies

Stage & radio

Contemporary Reviews


Foreign Translations

Read online


Grant Allen n-gram

Site maintained by

Michael Wynn
















































The Woman Who Did  (1915)

Director: Walter West


Eve Balfour-Herminia Barton   

Thomas H. MacDonald   

George Foley   

Lily Saxby





The director Walter West joined forces with fellow director G.T. Broadbridge for this first Allen dramatization. With Broadbridge's money they could form BroadWest films in Esther, just outside London. The leading actress, Eve Balfour, was originally from Christchurch, New Zealand and the 5 act-movie was a great success in theaters in that country.  Kiwi paper The Evening Post reported: "On the screen [Balfour] bears an almost sensational resemblance to Grant Allen's description of his heroine, and her acting is wonderfully realistic. Incidentally, some splendid scenes are shown, including the famous Milan Cathedral and St. Peter's of Rome." The London "Kinematograph Journal" stated: "We have seen some crowded trade shows in our time, but never one to equal that held by the Gerrard Film Co. at the Shaftesbury Pavilion recently. Every seat was occupied, both upstairs and downstairs, and scores of people had to be content with standing room.The film shown "was a five-part drama entitled "The Woman who Did"

What's Bred... Comes Out in the Flesh (1916)

Director: Sidney Morgan

Writer: Sidney Morgan


 Janet Alexander ...  Elma Clifford

 Lauderdale Maitland ...  Judge Gildersleeves

 Frank Tennant ...  Kelvin Scott

 Richard Norton ...  Montague Nevitt, the bank clerk

 H.J. Lord ...  Guy Wearing

 Rupert Stutfield ...  Cyril Wearing

Based on a prizewinning novel, this film centers on themes of heredity and atavism and the life of two identical twins : Cyril and Guy Wearing, played by Robert Stutfield and H.J. Lord. Guy is the weaker character who under the influence of Montague Nevitt swindles his brother out of £6000. The girl in the story, Elma Clifford, is played by Janet Alexander (1880-1961), a beautiful actress from Surrey who began her stage career in 1897 after homing her skills in Henry Neville's acting school.  Alexander retired from acting in the 1930s.  She was married (since 1907) to the man who played Judge Gildersleeves, Lauderdale Maitland.

The Scallywag (1921)

Director: Challis Sanderson

Producer: H.B. Parkinson

Writer: W. Courtney Rowden   


Fred Thatcher ...  Paul Gascoyne

Muriel Alexander ...  Nea Blair

Ann Elliott ...  Isobel Boynton

Hubert Carter ...  Judah Solomon

Cecil Morton York ...  Sir Emery Gascoyne

Yolande Duquette ...  Mme. Ceriolo

Grant Allen's novel The Scallywag was serialized in The Graphic. It is no wonder, perhaps, that it's popular appeal resulted in a 1921 movie version. The most interesting character to be connected with the production was the South African actress Muriel Alexander (1884-1975). She only played in two films and didn't leave much of a mark on European cinema. In South Africa, however, she is considered very influential. In addition to starting an acting school (Alexander School of Drama and Elocution) in the years prior to the release of the movie, she founded a theater in Johannesburg, which today bears her name.   

Die Frau mit dem schlechten Ruf  (The Woman Who Did, 1925)

Director: Benjamin Christensen

Producer: Erich Pommer

Art Director: Hans Jacoby

Cinematographer: Carl Hoffmann   


 Gustav Fröhlich ...  James Compson

Alexandra Sorina ...  Herminia Barton

Marian Alma ...  Diener

Lionel Barrymore ...  Allan Merrick

Walter Bruckmann ...  Tadeo

Daisy Campbell ...  Frau Merrick

Danielowitsch ...  Kind

Dembot ...  Detektiv

Hertha Müller ...  Backfisch

Frida Richard ...  Alte Frau

Fritz Richard ...  Alter Mann

Mathilde Sussin ...  Frau Compson

Robert Taube ...  Mr. Compson

Eugenie Teichgräber ...  Dolores


































This 1925 film by Danish director Benjamin Christensen features the great Lionel Barrymore (above photo) as Alan Merrick. In his letters Christensen says the film suffered from the fact that there were so many actors and crew nationalities working on the production. It was a big German production because the year before its release The Bridgeport Telegram reported (a PR-stunt no doubt) that "one of the biggest companies is sending an envoy to London for the sole purpose of obtaining local color for the portrayal of a Harley street specialist who is supposed to play a part in the German film version of  "The Woman Who Did." This German envoy, in his search for realism will, when he gets to London, consult various Harley street doctors in the guise of an ordinary patient and will do his best to observe the correct Aesculapian manner of the West End and afterward embody it in the Berlin fllm."

Other images of Herminia Barton in The Woman Who Did 1925: