Santa Cruz County History - Films


Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Evening News. May 16, 1916. p. 7

"SEA URCHIN" IS ENACTED AT PARK STUDIO

by James P. Leonard

On Saturday the last scenes of the "Sea Urchin," the new Santa Cruz movie players' first production, were enacted at the studio at Laveaga Park. The last scenes taken were the "Interiors" and consequently the last few days in photographing were spent at the studio. The exteriors, most of them, were taken along the cliffs and on the small beaches along the cliff drive.

This play, in contrast with the fault found in the previous company's productions, is entirely novel, speedy and full of action. Nearly all of the scenes are laid in a small west coast fishing village. Nan Cristy takes the title part, that of the Urchin, and with her flowing blonde locks, her coarse, but neat homespun dress, and her tanned and hardy bare face and limbs, certainly looks the part of the waif who is cast up on the rocks of a little fishing village, and has grown up among the rude customs and hardy simple life of the fisherfolk.

The part of Tom Searles, the constable and otherwise ordinary fisherman, is taken by Leon Kent, the new director. Tom Searles is about forty-five years of age, and during one of his walks along the beach picks up a babe, washed up among the rocks. He gives her the name of "Sea Urchin," raises her among the fishermen, and in the end, in his capacity of sheriff, grapples with and kills an escaped convict who had assaulted her.

Dick, the young nephew of Searles and boyhood lover of the Urchin, is taken and handled in a thorough manner by Jack Connoly. The way in which the young man puts his entire energy into his work is truly marvelous and commendable.

Fred Underwood takes the part of the escaped convict and assaulter of the Urchin, who in the end is killed by Searles.

At the studio on Saturday, the writer witnessed a scene in which the guardian of the Urchin (Kent) had before him the task of "getting tears". The writer has before seen this done among movie players, but Mr. Kent's way is a novel one. The services of an expert violinist were employed, and as sad, sentimental melodies floated from the violin, Kent's face could be seen to sadden, his eyes to redden, until at last tears rolled down his cheeks. The cameraman then began to unwind film and Kent's act of crying was "canned".

The films of the Sea Urchin will be taken this week to Los Angeles by F. W. Swanton, who has every possible assurance of their acceptance by Universal.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz County Sentinel. Reproduced by permission.