The Ghost Breaker (lost horror drama film; 1914)
From the cover art of the December 19, 1914 Christmas issue Motion Picture News exhibitor magazine.
The Ghost Breaker (1914) is a lost horror drama film starring H. B. Warner. It was released on December 7th, 1914 by Paramount Pictures. It was the first adaption of the 1909 Broadway play, with more drama elements as opposed to the later 1922 adaption that starred Wallace Reid, which featured more comedy elements. This version has also since been lost.
Princess Maria Theresa (Rita Stanwood) is looking over her jewels when she drops the box containing them, and a secret compartment opens up. Inside is an old text which mentions a locket which will tell location of the Aragon family treasure. However, she finds the locket has been stolen by her maid Carmencita. Carmencita is stabbed by her rival Juanita over a man, and while on her deathbed, Carmencita admits to the princess and her brother that she sold the locket. Duke D'Alva (Horace B. Carpenter) overhears this, and begins to look for it as does the Princess and her brother.
In a southern town, a feud between the Jarvis and Markam families turns deadly when Markam (Jack W. Johnston) kills Judge Jarvis. Warren Jarvis (H. B. Warner) follows Markam to New York after this. Markam sees the locket that was brought from Spain from the original buyer, and purchases it. Separately, the Princess and the Duke enter the same shop, only to both end up going after Markam. The Princess happens to find him at her hotel, and gets the locket back. Jarvis arrives to the hotel, and kills Markam, and in an attempt to escape rushes into the Princess' room, and explains the story. Jarvis is hidden in her trunk, and goes back with her to Spain, while detectives attempt to find him.
The Princess' father enters a supposedly haunted castle, but the ghosts are actually the Duke's men dressed as ghost, and kills the father, and captures her bother. Jarvis arrives, and begins to explore the castle with his servant. Meanwhile the Duke finds the inn where the Princess is staying nearby, and steals the locket from her bag, and orders one of his men to keep Jarvis away. Jarvis begins to head out, but the Duke's man stops him, and the two fire at each other, with the man getting seriously wounded. On his death bed, he informs the princess about the castle and her brother. The brother escapes from the castle, and leaves using the horse Jarvis arrived with. He gets the police, and are close to capturing him when he jumps down into a trap and is killed. Jarvis and the Princess get together as the film ends.
The film, which ran just over sixty minutes, has been lost since the 1910's. The film was very successful after release, filling theatres and launching H. B. Warner's career. The film was continued to be shown in theatres well after release, the latest appearing to be over two years after release, a showing on January 29th, 1917 in Danville, Pennsylvania. The only existing media from the film are a few stills.
- Silentera entry for the film. Retrieved 04 Jul '21
- Silentera page on The Ghost Breaker (1922). Retrieved 04 Jul '21
- Plot summary from IMDb sourced from Moving Picture World. Retrieved 04 Jul '21
- Newspaper clipping from Modesto, California. Retrieved 04 Jul '21
- Newspaper clipping from Danville, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 04 Jul '21