Frederic Sullivan-Londoner — Directors I Have Met (1923) 🇬🇧
The list of “Born in England” (or in one of the Colonies) is a very long one, when applied to people of importance in the studio and theatre — and it is a pleasure to present Frederic Sullivan as one of those in whom England can justly take pride.
by Elizabeth Lonergan
He started life in London, appeared in many dramatic successes on both sides of the Atlantic, and as far back as 1913 made his debut as picture director.
He is one of those about whom I can write, “I knew him when —” because one of the first pictures I ever saw directed was made by Mr. Sullivan at the Thanhouser Studio, with Florence la Badie, of Million Dollar Mystery fame, as the star. Some of the old pictures were reissued recently, and were highly praised, for even then his direction was good. That was in the days of shorter stories, before pictures were crammed full of extra footage to make a short reel story a live or six-reel feature, and directors had to work quickly and carefully.
Mr. Sullivan did some fine pictures, with Miss La Badie featured in most of them. Only her sudden death broke up the combination, which would have been one of the most interesting director-star affiliations in the game.
Mr. Sullivan is a nephew of Sir Arthur Sullivan, and spent a number of years of his life with his distinguished uncle. His taste, however, has been on the dramatic rather than the musical side of the theatre; but undoubtedly he has real musical appreciation, though not gifted with expression. He is extremely artistic, as the magnificent production of Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl last summer will demonstrate. Many of the leading lights in filmdom took part in the presentation, and the London director was greatly fêted because of his excellent directing of the production.
And so the announcement that he had been chosen by Charles Ray to direct his coming production of Miles Standish did not come as a surprise in film circles, because Mr. Ray had been frank in expressing his opinion of Mr. Sullivan’s work.
The Courtship of Miles Standish is one of the most beloved stories of early American history, and Charles Ray should be an ideal John Alden, whom Miles Standish (Fred Warren) sends to Priscilla (Enid Bennett) to ask for her hand.
Work is going on in earnest at the Charles Ray studio, and The Courtship of Miles Standish promises to be one of the big events of the year.
Mr. Sullivan is hard at work, and greatly enjoying his association with Mr. Ray. “A great student, a fine actor, and a loyal friend,” is how he describes the favourite star, and those who know them both feel confident that the two men will work together well and produce a picture of which England and America alike will be proud.
W. Ray Johnston and the late Flo La Badie in The 6 Cent Loaf.
William Russell, James Cruze, and William Garwood in Cymbeline, produced by Frederic Russell in 1914.
Collection: Pictures and Picturegoer Magazine, May 1923
see also other entries of the Directors I Have Met series:
- 1923-02: Frank Lloyd
- 1923-03: Allan Dwan
- 1923-04: Rex Ingram
- 1923-05: Frederic Sullivan-Londoner
- 1923-06: James Cruze
- 1923-07: John Robertson
- 1923-08: J. Gordon Edwards
- 1923-09: Elmer Clifton
- 1923-11: Herbert Brenon
- 1924-01: Harold Shaw
- 1924-06: Al Christie
- 1924-11: Millard Webb
- 1925-11: John Francis Dillon