Fritzi’s Scrapbook: Carol Dempster Trading Card


Silent movie memorabilia is a fairly new thing for me. I swore I would never do it and yet here I am. I would like to say that I was one of those people who kept a carefully curated collection but that would be a lie. When it comes to silent film collecting, I am a magpie. I pretty much grab anything shiny that takes my fancy. (Assuming the price is in my budget.)

I bought this Spanish Carol Dempster trading card on eBay. While I am not really a fan of her performances, I do feel that the way people talk about her tends toward the needlessly cruel. Saying you do not care for an actress’s onscreen performance is one thing. Snickering about how “ugly” she was is just plain mean. I liked Carol’s expression in this picture. I think she looks quite nice.

To put things in perspective: A socially awkward teenager falls under the influence of a powerful director, one who is old enough to be their parent. The director is determined to make our teen a star, tells the teen that they are brilliant and soon the whole world will know it. However, the teen’s popularity never matches that of their predecessor, partly due to the fact that the teen’s skill as an action star was all but ignored by the director. You tell me who deserves the lion’s share of the derision. (Hint: Not the teen.)

In any case, Miss Dempster retired from the screen, married a successful businessman and lived a life of philanthropy. She never had children and so at her death, she left a generous bequest to the San Diego Museum of Art. She stipulated that the money was to be used to expand the museum’s collection of drawings and prints, my two favorite areas of artistic expression, as it happens.

(I reviewed Carol Dempster in Sherlock Holmes and The Love Flower, in case you are interested. The review for Sherlock Holmes can be found here and the review for The Love Flower can be found here.)

Note: I do not personally buy sell or trade merchandise through this website. When I buy, I do so exclusively through eBay or through merchants with whom I have already established a business relationship. All of my website product links are served by major online retailers and they handle all transactions. If you are interested in purchasing silent film memorabilia, I suggest looking at eBay or checking out what Cliff at Immortal Ephemera has to offer.


Fun Size Review: The Love Flower (1920)

D.W. Griffith offers adventure, romance, exotic climes, a leering camera and Carol Dempster to the viewing public. The viewing public says: “Thanks but no thanks.” Carol is a zany teen determined to save her father from a murder charge in this kitchen sink (as in everything but) caper. Oh, Dad’s guilty, Carol just doesn’t want him arrested. Unlikable characters, an inexperienced leading lady and far too little Richard Barthelmess doom this picture. Dempster is good at the stunts. Acting, not so much.

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The White Rose (1923) A Silent Film Review

Child neglect, single moms, personal crisis… Just another day D.W. Griffith-land. Mae Marsh is Teazie, a young orphan who flirts as way to get much-needed attention. Ivor Novello is Joseph, a freshly ordained minister who mistakes her flirtations for an immoral character. What follows can best be described as Way Down East meets The Scarlet Letter.

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