Adk silent films — ‘A Summer Cinderella’

Elizabethtown Postmaster George Brown had a role in the locally-filmed motion picture “A Summer Cinderella” in 1921.

Dorothea Sargent of Albany, in her screen debut, played the lead role of Duchess of Horumburg.

Howard Reber of Philadelphia played the male lead role of a “suave and diabolic villain.”

Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Flammer, seasonal socialites in the Essex County town, also had roles, but they had the inside track.

Edward directed the silent film and Mrs. Flammer wrote the script and supervised editing.

“In writing her story, … Mrs. Flammer has devised situations that have for their settings all of Elizabethtown’s best loved spots … ,” The Lake Placid News reported. “The story itself is a comedy of society, with a charming love interest and a dash of thrilling melodrama, in which the villain is vanquished by the hero, and all ends happily, as a well regulated romance should.”

You’re not likely to find information about “A Summer Cinderella,” a comedy about summer social life in the Adirondacks, in the annals of motion picture history.

But it was mentioned multiple times in the society pages of New York City newspapers.

“It will be shown elsewhere in the mountains, and will also be shown in New York, though not for commercial purposes,” The New York Herald reported.

Edward Flammer took the annual dramatic fundraiser for Cobble Hill Golf Club, featuring amateur acting friends from New York City and the Adirondacks, that year from stage to the big screen.

The premier at Two Bills Theater at 8:15 p.m. on Aug. 19 easily sold out at $1 per ticket — the equivalent of $14.68 in 2020 dollars.

“Long before the show began the theater was jammed to the doors and many had to be turned away,” The Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post reported.

Not surprising, the review in the local press was glowing.

“If time and space were to allow, we might thus go on and on adfinitum, each new turn of scene disclosing new merits of a cast of players who, though amateurs, may rest in the assurance of a job well done.”

A second local screening was held on Aug. 27.

Edward Flammer, a New York City lawyer, and his wife owned the Elizabethtown summer home Singing Waters.

Edward Flammer was president of the Elizabethtown Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce.

It was not Elizabethtown’s only connection with the big screen.

In September 1920, Flammer arranged for a production company to shoot a film version of the Scottish play “Tommie Robinson,” at Elizabethtown, including scenes filmed at Singing Waters.

More than 20 actors and actresses stayed at the Deer’s Head Inn during the filming.

Sources: Ticonderoga Sentinel Sept. 30, 1920; Elizabethtown Post July 20, Sept. 23, 1920; Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post Aug. 19, 26, 1921; The Lake Placid News Aug. 12, 1921; New York Tribune Aug. 7; New York Herald Aug. 14, 21, 28, 1921


Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY