AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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The Family Skeleton
Director: Victor L. Schertzinger (Dir)
Release Date:   11 Mar 1918
Duration (in reels):   5
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Cast:   Charles Ray (Billy Bates)  
    Sylvia Bremer (Poppy Drayton)  
    Andrew Arbuckle (Dr. Griggs)  
    Billy Elmer ("Spider" Doyle)  
    Otto Hoffman (Billy's valet)  
    Jack Dyer (Wheeler)  

Summary: Billy Bates, heir to his father's millions, is so worried by his friends' beliefs that he will inherit his father's craving for alcohol that he is driven to drink. He and chorus girl Poppy Drayton fall in love, but when she is attacked in a saloon, Billy finds that he is too intoxicated to defend her. Poppy believes that Billy drinks only because he is bored and misguided, and conceives a plan to cure him. When Billy overhears "Spider" Doyle, a prizefighter, planning to abduct Poppy, he refrains from drinking in order to protect her and finally defeats Doyle in a fight. Spider, upset at being licked, gives Poppy's schemes away, which only makes Billy love her all the more. A new man, he proposes to her. 

Production Company: Thomas H. Ince Corp.  
Distribution Company: Famous Players-Lasky Corp.; Paramount Pictures  
Director: Victor L. Schertzinger (Dir)
Producer: Thomas H. Ince (Supv)
Writer: Bert Glennon (Story)
  Thomas H. Ince (Story)
Photography: Chester Lyons (Cam)
Art Direction: G. Harold Percival (Art dir)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Thomas H. Ince Corp. 16/2/1918 dd/mm/yyyy LP12078

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Alcoholics
  Alcoholism
  Chorus girls
  Heirs
  Hereditary tendencies
  Regeneration
 
Subjects (Minor): Abduction
  Boxers
  Fights
  Rape
  Saloons

Note: Included in the copyright descriptions for this film is a printed booklet of the story "Let's Go" by Thomas H. Ince, which seems to be the basis for the film. Other sources credit Bert Glennon as the author of the story for the film. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   16 Mar 18   p. 1229.
MPN   16 Mar 18   p. 1612.
MPW   16 Mar 18   p. 1558, 1563
NYDM   15 Jun 18   p. 1615.
NYDM   13 Apr 18   p. 528.
Variety   8 Mar 18   p. 42.
Wid's   21 Mar 18   pp. 1017-18.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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