31 March 2011

Images from a Lost Film of a Forgotten Novel

An annex of sorts to yesterday's post – some of the few surviving images of The Miracle Man. Above we have a lobby card featuring con artist 'The Frog' (Lon Chaney) demonstrating his skills at the feet of good time gal Rose (Betty Compson).

"That dislocation stunt always gets my goat."

I wonder whether those are actual words from the film. The character is much more fiery in the novel: "You give me the shivers! Next time you throw your fit, you throw it before you come around me, or I make you wish you had – see?"

The next images come from the Grosset & Dunlap photoplay edition of The Miracle Man; just three in all, two of which capture the pivotal scene.

And, finally, sheet music to a song inspired by a silent film. Somehow it makes perfect sense.


  1. This and 'The Adventures of Jimmie Dale". The idea of losing whole movies is just heartbreaking.

    And a Frank L. Packard aside- did you know that the English editions of Jimmie Dale (at least the first book that I have) were localized to be set in London instead of New York.

  2. Heartbreaking is just the word. My thanks for the tip regarding Jimmie Dale. I'm intrigued.

  3. Thanks for the link to these posts, Brian.

    I had a copy of this Photoplay book years ago, but sold it. I used to collect Lon Chaney photoplay books but sold almost all of them. The only one left is LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. One of my real treasures that I'll be hanging onto for a long time.

    I still own a copy of a different edition of THE MIRACLE MAN with some intriguing illustrations. When I get home tonight I'll search for the book and do a follow-up post on Packard.

  4. Your London After Midnight is a great treasure. I regret having sold a good number of photoplay editions on one of my many cross country moves... and I regret not picking up others before the prices took off (McTeague, a/k/a Greed, always comes to mind).

    I'll be interested in seeing the different Miracle Man. My copy, the American first, features illustrated endpapers, but nothing more.

  5. Well, several days later and after fruitless searching for a book that apparently doesnt' exist I discover that the only copy of THE MIRACLE MAN I own is the US Doran edition with only illustrated endpapers just like yours. My memory is failing me as the days go by.

  6. A shame. I was beginning to think that the illustration used on the endpapers (and the dust jacket) was the only one commissioned, until I discovered that the novel was first published in the February 1914 edition of Munsey's Magazine. I haven't seen the issue, but I'm betting there are more; after all, The Canadian Magazine commissioned three for a Packard short story!