women writers in early silent days

February 12, 2007 § Leave a comment

Gene Gauntier has written as many one-reel dramas as any writer living. She will go down in history as the author, adapter or what you will of ‘From the Manger to the Cross’, but she is far more important than any one story.
But while there were others of those early days, it is not practicable to list them all in separate paragraphs. Mention of Miss Gauntier, very first of the women writers, brings us to others who have made good. Mrs Beta Breuil, or Mrs Hartmann Breuil, was a Vitagraph editor and still a prominent freelance. Mrs Catherine Carr, now of the North American, is another Vita graduate, as is Miss Peggy O’Neill, of the same company. Mrs Louella Parsons, of Essanay, has written little, but many promising writers owe much to her helpful advice.
Miss Hetty Gray Baker gave up a job as a law librarian to become editor for Jack London (Bosworth, Inc.), which is not altogether photoplay’s gain, for, in spite of the excellence of her adaptations of this most difficult author, she did better original work, having the imagination of a real creator. Miss Cora Drew has lately come to the fore as a woman writer. Mrs Lillian Sweetser, of Maine, is another and Mrs Betty Fitzgerald, of Gasden, Ala., has the distinction of having won the top price for a regular script from Griffith, of the Reliance, solely for the excellence of her work. Mrs Marguerite Bertsch, the present editor of the Biograph, is a woman writer whose stories show keen insight into affairs, and Miss Maibelle Heikes Justice, a novelist and short story writer, is one of the Selig stars. Her work is exceptional in many ways. Lois Weber (Mrs Phillips Smalley) is another prolific writer of strength and versatility.
Miss Mary Fuller has written some of the smartest stories in which she has appeared, but if we started to list the Edison players who are also writers, we would have to give the complete roster.”

(E.W. Sargent, Moving Picture World, july 11, 1914

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