MOTOGRAPHY Vol. XVII, No. 2, January 13, 1917
Five-Part Triangle-Fine Arts Offering – Features Lillian Gish.
Reviewed by George W. Graves
“A House Built Upon the Sand”
Using the metaphor in title above, it would seem to us that; the producers of this picture had decidedly built a house “upon the sand” when they constructed this photodrama on the flimsy story material they had in hand. The story of this picture doesn’t convince one of very much, in fact, it doesn’t give him any sensation one way or the other. The story is practically lacking in unity of plot and action. The best thing it does is keep Lillian Gish before the camera a large part of the time — which thing is very fortunate, for Miss Gish is always good and offer a few bits of comedy.
Evelyn Dare, a spoiled society girl, recently married, is forced by her husband to live in a cheap house and wear plain clothes. David, the husband, is interested in sociology, and has made his home among the factory people, although he is really a man of means. It takes Evelyn some time to get over her peevishness, but when she is about to forgive him her mind is poisoned against her husband by a man who wishes to avenge himself, so husband and wife are again at odds. But David rescues his enemy from a burning building and so causes the enemy to change into a friend. The latter then goes to Evelyn, tells her what a deceiver he has been, and a reconciliation of man and wife follows.
The picture is very well acted, both Roy Stuart and William H. Brown, the two most prominent in Miss Gish’s support, being as convincing as they are splendid types. One “stunt” fell to the director, Edward Morrisey, that of staging the rescue from the burning house. There was a medium-sized thrill to this. Although “A House Built Upon the Sand” may please some of the less particular people because of its good characterizations and some bits of humor, the picture certainly does not rank with the kind of films we are used to seeing under the Fine Arts banner.
The House Built Upon Sand (1916)
1917 – according to Dorothy and Lillian Gish
- Director: Edward Morrissey
- Writer: Mary H. O’Connor (story)
- Stars: Lillian Gish, Roy Stewart, William H. Brown
- Lillian Gish … Evelyn Dare
- Roy Stewart … David Westebrooke
- William H. Brown … Samuel Stevens
- Bessie Buskirk … Josie
- Jack Brammall … Ted
- Josephine Crowell … Mrs. Shockley
- Kate Bruce … David’s Housekeeper