The Motion Picture Chapter Titles
All chapters in two reels, except as noted
 “The Unwelcome Throne,” January 4, 1914 (three reels);
 “The Two Ordeals,” January 18, 1914
 “In the Temple of the Lion,” February 1. 1914
 “The Royal Slave,” February 15, 1914
 “A Colonel in Chains,” February 28, 1914
 “Three Bags of Silver,” March 15, 1914
 “The Garden of Brides,” March 29, 1914
 “The Cruel Crown,” April 12, 1914
 “The Spellbound Multitude,” April 26, 1914
 “The Warrior Maid”; May 10, 1914
 “The Forged Parchment,” May 25, 1914
 “The King’s Will,” June 7, 1914
 “The Court of Death,” June 21, 1914
Motography, September 6, 1913
A Stupendous Undertaking
The Selig Polyscope Company will shortly announce to the public the details of one of the most tremendous undertakings ever assumed by a film manufacturer, and one which seems certain to be called to the attention of every man, woman and child in the United States ere many weeks have passed.
In the very near future the Selig people will announce the title of the first picture in a series of thirteen two-reel2 subjects, to be released every other Monday during the following six months. All these two-reel pictures are to be spectacular wild animal dramas, and each subject is to be complete in itself, though it will end in such a manner that the person who has seen one of the series will instantly realize that there is more to come, and be on the lookout for the next picture of the series.
The name chosen for the series is “The Adventures of Kathlyn,” and in each subject Miss Kathlyn Williams, star of the Selig Company for several seasons past, will be featured. Miss Williams in the first picture appears as the heir to a throne in a mythical principality in India, and the following films will show the difficulties she experiences in maintaining her rule, the encounters with wild beasts of the jungle which result from her trips through her kingdom, and many surprising and strange circumstances and events incident to her retaining the crown.
The stories for the entire series are being written by some celebrated author like Rex Beach, Jack London, George Ade or Charles E. Van Loan.
The scenarios for the entire series come from the pen of Gilson Willetts, author of several popular novels and newspaper writer of renown, and are said to be thrilling in the extreme, and to have been prepared with the special aim in view of enabling Miss Williams to display all the many sides of her art.
An arrangement has also been made by which the entire series of stories will run serially in the Chicago Tribune and the entire chain of newspapers with which the Tribune is affiliated through its syndicated news service. In other words, on the Sunday following the Monday on which the first “Adventure of Kathlyn” is released, in film form, the Tribune and some metropolitan newspaper in every large city in the United States, will publish the story of the film in fiction form in their magazine sections. The week after that the first part of the second “Adventure” will appear in fiction form, just six days after it has been released in pictures.
It has been estimated that, as a result of the syndication of the stories, more than forty million people will be reached, and since each story will bear an announcement to the effect that the film on which the story is based is then being shown in the picture theaters of the vicinity, it is expected that the great majority of the readers of the story will seek the theater, where they can see the picture acted in pantomime. The film will also bear an announcement of the fact that the fiction version of the pictured story can be found in the Sunday paper (the name of which will be given) so the circulation of the paper securing the serial story will also be stimulated.
No expense is being spared in staging the immense productions and whole carloads of scenery and stage effects have been built in the Chicago studios of the Selig Company, and shipped to Los Angeles, where the directors have been busy for several months with the staging of the stories. Many thousands of feet of this film have already been produced in India and will be incorporated into this series of productions, thus lending a real atmosphere to the scenes.
Motion Picture News, January 17, 1914
A mammoth and unique scheme, which involves the co-operation of the Selig-Polyscope Company and a newspaper syndicate comprising the largest daily papers in the country from New York to San Francisco, a scheme which will secure for the feature pictures concerned more publicity than any other features have ever received, has just been put into operation.
From now on one will see printed in forty-five newspapers a story of a long series entitled “The Adventures of Kathlyn,” appearing on two Sundays a month. In conjunction with the Selig Polyscope Company releases a feature film which portrays on the screen a connected story, which also forms a part of the “Adventure of Kathlyn.”
Thus are put before the the same time two versions of the “Adventures of Kathlyn,” one in the newspapers and one on the screen. This leaves the Selig Polyscope Company newspaper syndicate in conjunction with one another to attract the attention of the general public. One may now enjoy a real novelty in the shape of a stirring photo-theatrical-newspaper undertaking. For those who see in moving pictures and read in the the newspapers the “Adventures of Kathlyn,” there is in store much that is thrilling and full of adventures.
Kathlyn is the heroine of both the motion pictures and the newspaper series. On the screen the original is Kathlyn Williams, the leading woman of the Selig Stock Company. In the newspapers Kathlyn is a protege of the pen of Harold MacGrath, author of many well-known novels, and of the scenarios for this series.
Kathlyn is a young lady of extremely expensive habits. The syndicate is said to have paid MacGrath $12,000 to secure her presence in the papers and the Selig Polyscope Company had manufactured for her and her attendants regalia and costumes valued at more than $17,000. Plenty of wild animals will appear in this series, in which Miss Williams will play the leading role. The whole cost of the series is estimated at $100,000.
It is nothing new for the Selig star to appear in motion pictures in conjunction with beasts of the forests such as lions, tigers, elephants and leopards. She has considerable of a reputation based on previous work with wild animals. She has become accustomed to dealing with them and displays a daring that seems hazardous to the uninitiated. A more capable or favorite actress could not have been picked to play this role.
As regards the story as it will appear on the syndicate syndicate and on which will appear in scenes laid in America, India and Africa. She is said to and a travel through countries peopled by savages and encounters many adventures and on which the motion-picture series is based, it is said to live fully up to the high reputation of the author, Harold MacGrath. Mr. MacGrath has painted a picture of travel and adventure in this and many other countries.
Miss Williams, as the leading woman, will appear in scenes laid in America, India and Africa. She is said to travel through countries peopled by savages and encounters many adventures.
The producer of the motion picture, the Selig Polyscope Company, is especially well fitted for this sort of work. Selig wild animal pictures have been famous for some time. At Edendale, Cal., the Selig Polyscope Company has a million dollar wild animal farm. This is stocked with wild beasts of every sort, many of whom were imported especially from Africa, including the animals less frequently seen, such as giraffes and zebras. A Selig animal picture now is a big thing and the coming pictures under the Selig brand will be still bigger. The Selig factory has every requirement necessary for these pictures. Not only has it the animals, but the plant is lo- cated in a country rich with suitable scenes.
Mr. Selig’s long personal experiences in producing animal pictures will serve him in good stead in these series. He is probably better fitted to undertake so stupendous an undertaking than any other man in the country.
The motion pictures will appear in serial form, twenty-seven reels long. The series consists of thirteen sub- jects. The first picture was released in three parts on December 29, and the other twelve will be in two parts each, and will be released twice a month. Simultaneously with the release of the pictures, the printed story will appear in the forty-five newspapers. The series is being released in the regular service of the General Film Company.
One of the most important issues of this undertaking is the union of the Selig Polyscope Company and the many promi- nent newspapers. It is the first time a similar co-operation has ever been enjoyed in the motion picture business. The daily papers which join forces with the Selig Polyscope Company are among the strongest in the country. Through their combined circulation they are bound to put the “Ad- ventures of Kathlyn” before an extremely large number of persons.
Some of the newspapers which will print the serial story are:
New York Sun. Chicago Tribune, Richmond Times- Dispatch, Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Atlanta Constitu- tion. Omaha News. Rocky Mountain News, Eugene Reg- ister, Los Angeles Times, Buffalo Times, Pittsburgh Leader, Washington Star, Dayton Journal, Houghton Mining Gazette, St. Louis Star, Asheville Citizen. Mobile Register, Meridian Star, Sioux City Journal. Muskogee, Phoenix, Boise Capital News, San Jose Times-Star, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Record, Baltimore American, Youngstown Vindicator, Detroit Free Press, Syracuse Herald and San Antonio Light.
Chicago Tribune, January 14, 1914.
The first splash page, printed in four colors, introducing the first chapter “Kathlyn.”
December 29, 1913
Production started in November of 1913 at the Selig Polyscope Studios in Los Angeles off of Mission Road. The production used a lot of the animals that lived at the Selig Zoo on the studio property there on Mission Road. Selig also supposedly created the first motion picture trailer to help promote the series. The first chapter was 3 reels and the other 12 chapters would be 2 reels each. The entire production cost Selig around $140,000. The Tribune announced a 10% increase in circulation as a result of the film serial’s success. Virtually every review praised the film, noting both its expensive look and thrilling action and adventure, along with rare footage shot in India. The Motion Picture News review stated that the most troubling part of the film was the concluding statement, “To be continued.”
Frank Leon Smith, in a letter to Films in Review (February 1958), wrote that the cliffhanger ending of Chapter One “was a ‘situation’ ending, but other episodes wound up with sensational action or stunts, broken for holdover suspense…gave the serial both the key to its success and the assurance of its doom.”
Paramount executive Lou Harris, in one of the first pieces of trailer history (a 1966 Los Angeles Times article titled “Movie Trailers Have Long Run”), described seeing their crucial addition:
One of the concessions hung up a white sheet and showed the serial “The Adventures of Kathlyn.” At the end of the reel Kathlyn was thrown in the lion’s den. After this “trailed” a piece of film asking Does she escape the lion’s pit? See next week’s thrilling chapter! Hence, the word “trailer,” an advertisement for a coming picture.
Other heroines that followed The Adventures of Kathlyn included The Perils of Pauline and Pathé’a Exploits of Elaine.
The film is presumed lost. The only prints that exist are in La Cineteca del Friuli film archive (episode 1 only); and in the EYE Film Institute Netherlands (compilation of print fragments). Note that the film uses a blue tint for outdoor scenes and a reddish tint for indoor sequences also that there are no placards throughout this print.
Cast & Crew
Kathlyn Williams [Kathlyn Hare], Thomas Santschi [Bruce], Charles Clary [Prince Umballah], William Carpenter [Ramabai], Goldie Colwell [Pundita], Hurri Tsingh [high priest], Lafayette McKee (Lafe McKee) [Colonel Hare], Effie Sackville [Winnie Hare], Roy Watson [Rajah], Franklyn Hall [Gundah Singh], C.J. Murphy [boat chief], Emma Bell, Edmund F. Cobb, Charles Courtwright, Harry Huckins, Edwin L. Wallock
Directed by Francis J. Grandon
Writers: Harold McGrath (story), Gilson Willets
The Adventures of Kathlyn is a story by Harold MacGrath about Kathlyn Hale (Kathlyn Williams). She is the daughter of Col. Hare, an animal trapper sent on a secret mission by the king of a mythical India. Kathlyn is summoned by her dad to join him. Upon arrival she is told by an influential Hindu, Umballah (Charles Clary), that her dad and the king are dead. Against her will she is crowned queen and ordered to marry Umballah. This exciting story takes Kathlyn around India fighting natives and every kind of wild animal known to India.
PUBLICITY AND CAMPAIGN RESPONSES.The Moving Picture World, 24 January 1914 THE TWO ORDEALS (Selig), January 12.—This is the second of the "Adventures of Kathlyn" series; a very remarkable picture that is attracting attention. It has been noticed at length in The Moving Picture World' for January 17, 1914, page 266 (above). We still think that it is a mistake to offer motion picture stories serially. The better the story, the more the dissatisfaction.
The Moving Picture World, 24 January 1914 N. W. Aronson, owner of the Argmore Theater, 1040 Argyle St., this city, made a pleasant call at our office last week and renewed his subscription. The Argmore is a thoroughly up-to-date, modern theater, with a seating capacity of 664. A modern ventilating plant is installed, which meets all the requirements of the proposed city ordinance on ventilation. The Argmore, with its solid marble entrance, has all the appearance of a modern $2.00 playhouse. Licensed and Famous Players service is used. On Thursday evening, January 8, the first set of "The Adventures of Kathlyn" was shown the second time to over-flowing houses throughout the entire evening. Mr. Aronson found it necessary to call the police to regulate the crowds that clamored for admission. Fifty-one automobiles were counted, lined up on both sides of the street outside. On special feature nights the admission. of the Argmore is 10 and 20 cents.
The Moving Picture World, 31 January 1914 Remarkable Vogue of "Kathlyn" Pictures. With the presentation (of the second set of "The Adventures of Kathlyn" in this city, Monday, Jan. 13. managers found they could not accommodate the crowds with their usual number of performances. Extra shows were necessary in almost all the theaters where the pictures were shown. Special morning performances are being given at many picture houses. The crowds, waiting to get in many theaters, stand in line for hours. Policemen have been called to keep the crowds in line, and Chief of Police Gleason has assigned extra men to the theaters in the crowded districts. The managers also are having difficulty. Windows and sign cases have been broken in many places where the guards are unable to check the rush. It has become necessary to install extra railings to hold the crowds in line. Even in bad weather "Kathlyn" fans have been known to stand in line for nearl}' an hour in order to get into a theater. Hundreds of inquiries are answered at the Tribune office «very day regarding places where "Kathlyn" will be exhibited on certain days, and thousands who missed the first installments are anxious to learn where they may see the first part of the interesting subject.
The Moving Picture World, 31 January 1914 "The Adventures of Kathlyn" is conceded by keen-visioned business men of the picture business to have been the best innovation of its kind ever advanced to increase the interest, enlarge the sales and stimulate universal curiosity and cash reciprocation of anything ever advanced in the moving picture business. For several years past, editors and picture men publicists have given their most serious thought to plans that should enlarge the selling scope of the picture product, and it remained for W. N. Selig to show the way by making a friendly alliance with the big powers of publicity, the American daily newspapers, to take an intimate, personal interest in the moving picture, calling attention to it with all the enthusiasm of something new and strange instead of following the merely conventional lines. This publicity has cleverly not only been localized, but nationalized, and at the same time taken on a news value and has been intensified through the medium of description and imagination; so that it has both reality and romance to forward and intensify interest.
Review of the results from The Moving Picture World, January 17, 1914 Remarkable Publicity Campaign for Pictures. For three weeks preceding the release date (Dec. 29), of the first set of "The Adventures of Kathlyn," readers of the Tribune, American, News and Journal, this city, were puzzled by display advertisements concerning one Kathlyn. The space used at first was small, and it gradually increased until a whole page was used in the three last mentioned papers, while the Tribune had two full display pages and two pages, in connection, devoted to the first chapter of Harold Mac Grath's serial story and beautiful illustrations in colors. These took up the entire magazine section of the Sunday Tribune, January 4, and over 500,000 extra copies of this section were printed to meet the requirements. The well laid and perfectly carried out plans resulted in a great tidal wave of interest and curiosity throughout the city. This culminated in a turnout of crowds at the eleven theaters—which were advertised to be the first in the city at which Kathlyn arrived—such as had never before been seen here. The box office records were broken at most of them. For each of the next twenty-five weeks the Sunday Tribune will run a chapter of the story with colored illustrations, and also attractive display advertisements on certain week days. The other three Chicago papers mentioned will also run displays on week days during that period. William L. Selig, president of the Selig Polyscope Co., is responsible for this innovation in moving picture advertising. He has fairly astonished everybody in the business by his enterprise, and has given an impetus to the trade that is hard to measure. Exhibitors can readily compute its value, for it comes direct to them; but the whole trade generally derives a benefit that is far-reaching and up-lifting. Following is a list of the newspapers throughout the United States and Canada wdiich, concurrently with the Chicago Tribune, are engaged in this extraordinary publicity campaign for a period of six months: Ashville (N.C.) Citizen, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, Mobile (Ala.) Register, Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial-Appeal, Meridian (Miss.) Star, Atlanta Constitution, Sioux City (la.) Journal, Minneapolis Journal, Omaha News, Muskogee (Okla.) Phoenix, Rocky Mountain News (Denver), Boise (Idaho) Capital News, Eugene (Ore.) Register, San Jose (Cal.) Times-Star, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Buffalo Times, Philadelphia Record, Pittsburgh Leader, Baltimore American, Washington Star, Youngstown (O.) Vindicator, Dayton (O.) Journal, Detroit Free Press. Houghton (Mich.) Mining Gazette, Syracuse (N. Y.) Herald, St. Louis Times, San Antonio Light, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Post, El Paso Times, Phoenix (Ariz.) Republican, Montreal Star, Moose Jaw News (Saskatchewan), Calgary (Alberta) Herald, Winnipeg Telegram, Louisville Courier-Journal, Schenectady (N. Y.) Gazette, Grand Junction News (Colo.), North Yakima (Wash.) Herald, Toronto Star Weekly, New York Sunday Sun, New Orleans Item, Birmingham (Ala.) Age-Herald,' Abilene (Texas) Reporter, San Diego (Cal.) Union, Chicago News, Chicago American and Chicago Journal.
The Motion Picture News, January 31, 1914 SELIG RESOURCES FOR THE "KATHLYN" SERIES Now that the remarkable series of motion pictures and newspaper installments of "The Adventures of Kathlyn" are under way, something is learned of the almost unlimited facilities necessary to produce such a pretentious picture. Only an establishment having the facilities such as are possessed by The Selig Polyscope Company, would attempt a production of such magnitude, exacting in its demands upon the players and involving the service of forty African lions, a herd of elephants, leopards, tigers and many other beasts of the desert and the jungle. Many of the scenes showing the wonderful architecture and invested with the atmosphere of the Orient, were taken in India, indicating how carefully studied this production was in its conception and execution. It is claimed that this play for the first time shows many interesting sacred rites performed in the lands of the Parsee. The close-up scenes of the Burning Ghats of Benares and similar rare ones can be cited in substantiation of these facts. The scenes of the Durbar enlisting a herd of elephants and camels, elaborately panoplied with read Indian hahouts and camel drivers, as well as a large company of actors led by Huri Chand, who is said to be the foremost thespian of India, give realism. It is said that the costumes for these particular scenes cost $25,000. Fortunately the Selig zoo at Eastlake Park, in Los Angeles, which has the largest collection of wild animals owned by any individual, barring the Hagenback collection at Stellingen, near Hamburg. Germany, comprises the largest collection of carnivora, forty-five lions, six leopards, six tigers, ten elephants, a pair of giraffes, a drove of camel and many other specimens too numerous to mention—furnish the habitants of jungle land in variety in their natural surroundings. The Selig zoo, a tract of forty acres, is in reality a great botanical garden with the flora and fauna of tropical lands. It hardly need be remarked that Kathlyn Williams, the intrepid and beautiful leading lady of the Selig Stock Company in Los Angeles is the heroine of this series of plays. Newspapers which are running serial installments of "The Adventures of Kathlyn," in harmony with the picture releases are: The Chicago Tribune, the New York Sun, the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Record, the Baltimore Record, the Pittsburg Leader, Detroit Free Press, Minneapolis Journal, Toronto Star, New Orleans Item, Rocky Mountain News, El Paso Times, Calgary Herald, Los Angeles Times and forty-five other dailies.
FULL LENGTH FEATURE FILM RELEASE.Chicago Tribune, February 19, 1916 "Kathlyn" is coming back. The great Selig serial that put serials on the film map and that kept many a person gasping through one week until the next has been condensed now into eight active, unpadded reels, presenting Kathlyn Williams, her colleagues, and her animals. It will be shown at the Fine Arts theater, with special music and near East Indian ushers and other atmospheric effects, beginning today. As it was an innovation in serials of The Tribune and the Selig company, so it may prove an innovation in revivals, and we may be treated to tabloid film forms of all the mysteries, perils, and palpitations that have followed in the trail.
From "The Theatre of Science, A Volume of Progress and Achievement in the Motion Picture Industry," Robert Grau, 1914 The most extensive prolonged publicity campaign in the history of the theatre and journalism combined was that inaugurated in 1914 in Chicago, whereby the Selig Polyscope Company, of which W. N. Selig is the head, and a group of big city Sunday newspapers, extending from coast to coast, collaborated for the purpose of presenting on the screen and in the countless newspapers a serial fiction story written by Harold MacGrath from a scenario by Gilson Willets and visualized in the Selig Studio in Los Angeles—"The Adventures of Kathlyn"—the longest photoplay that had been released up to the time of this writing. Two reels constituted each of the twice-a-month releases, save the first of the thirteenth, which required three reels, the complete production being in twenty-seven reels. The tremendous publicity through the weekly installments in so many important newspapers marked a new era in the film industry. One of the Chicago newspapers not included in the number presenting the serial for several consecutive days published interviews with different players, directors, and mechanics concerned in the production, and through this source it was learned that a prominent Chicago exhibitor who had long been accustomed to combining vaudeville and motion pictures eliminated the latter just before the advent of the "Kathlyn" series, giving as his reason that motion pictures having reached their zenith, were now on the decline, that he shifted to vaudeville entirely through fear of losing his public following. When the "Kathlyn" series was started, this exhibitor, attracted by the newspaper accounts as well as the illustrated full-page chapter in the "Chicago Tribune," proceeded at once to a near-by theatre owned by his rival, and was so impressed by the production and by the crowds seeking admission that the next day he announced "The Adventures of Kathlyn" as a regular three-day attraction in one of his theatres, and in the others each installment was kept for an entire week. Now eleven new theatres in Chicago present the film serial every day. The spectacle of a line a full block long approaching the box office was almost daily on view in different parts of the western metropolis. Mr. Selig truly has shown great enterprise and not a little of that rare quality called showmanship throughout his long and unexampled film career. One of the earliest pioneers in the industry, his efforts have long since ceased to be characterized by selfish aims. Undoubtedly Mr. Selig attributes much of the financial success of the Kathlyn series to the advertising resulting from the combined co-operation of scores of vastly circulated newspapers. In fact, the number of publications which presented the fiction series was greatly augmented after the first few chapters were released, for at the time of this writing many of the moderate sized cities have been added, and Mr. Selig has been so impressed with the outcome of his first effort along these lines that he has formulated elaborate plans for the future through which photoplays involving months of preparation and unprecedented expenditure for production will be released simultaneously in installments with the fictionized chapters in the principal newspapers of every large city in the world, irrespective of language.
Selig introduced synergy with "The Adventures of Kathlyn" as well, publishing Harold MacGrath’s novelization of the series, leading many bookstores to organize window displays, such as the one at Carson, Pirie Scott & Co.'s store, of the book, film stills and Williams’ standee in shop windows. The "Photoplay" edition of the book contained movie stills to add punch to the text. Persons subscribing to "Photoplay Magazine" in 1914 could obtain a free cloth-bound edition of the book.
Chicago Tribune, February 23, 1916 "KATHLYN" has come back. Kathlyn who went adventuring amongst disguises and jungles along in the years 1913 and 1914. Her serial ways have been reduced to two hours' performance, which is supposed to chronicle the highlights of her Amazonian adventures, minus the padding that existed in the prolongation of the suspense her ways with the wilderness were supposed to excite. This is the acorn from which the mighty oak of serials sprung, the seed sowed by The Tribune, the Selig company, Harold MacGrath, and Gilson Willets, in these three years has spread into a husky serial crop, with perils and palpitations rising to their climax and now giving way toward the real story serial, to be manifested in the upcoming Billie Burke continued photoplay As such an honored sample of originals "Kathlyn" is especially worthy of attention. Considering the great leap of picture progress occurring within just the year, the photoplay accomplishments of "Kathlyn" are remarkable. It is characterized by excellent photography and it moves briskly to one point or another, though little things like logic and plausibility are lacking as ingredients. The closeups of the animals are interesting and effective, but they don't strike specially active thrills a-travel down one's vertebrae. Of course, fashion in thrills has changed. Since "Kathlyn's" pristine day we have had more of them and more serious ones, till now we are accustomed to enduring tumbles from skyscrapers and seeing people jump from aeroplanes to moving trains and other little feats of that sort with scarcely the w. k. flicker of an eyelash. So when Kathlyn registers wild fear in one section and then in the next we see some lions placidly traveling across the screen, pulses don't pulse particularly extra fast. But fashions never do stay the same. Kathlyn herself as heroine is a most put upon lady. She never has time, robed in a diaphanous negligee, to take tea on a chaise-lounge. No, she has ever to be up and hustling from one disguise into another, getting crowned, escaping, helping someone else to escape, being recaptured, busily and repeatedly before "the curse of inheriting the crown of Allaha" has been removed from her family and she has a chance for the pink tinted silhouette kiss of finale. As reminiscence of a very important step in picture procedure, "Kathlyn" is thoroughly worth seeing. Moreover, in these days of advertised "sirens" and generally flaunted film wickedness it is a rare relief for its absolute respectability. There isn't a thing to offend the nicest minded. Frankly, there are situations to provoke a smile from present day sophisticated seers, but the seers enjoy the smiling. The houseful yesterday was alert with comment. Apparently a pleasant time was had by all.
Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1916