Released 5/08/16 by Universal/Bluebird Photoplays; Director: Joseph De Grasse; Screenplay: Ida May Park; 5 reels

CAST: Louise Lovely (Elisa/Leonita), Lon Chaney (Giovanni), Lule Warrenton (Rosa), Gilmore Hammond (Cyrus Kirkham), Marjorie Ellison (Mrs. Kirkham), Hayward Mack (Burton Armitage), Jay Belasco (Paul Winston)

SYNOPSIS: In a little Italian village live Giovanni, who spends his time carving plaster statuettes, his wife Leonita, their daughter Elisa, and his wife's mother Rosa. While cruising on his yacht on the Mediterranean, Cyrus Kirkham, a dissolute American millionaire, sees Leonita dancing and decides he must have her. He kidnaps the young wife, and to avoid his unwanted attentions, she jumps from the yacht and is drowned. Kirkham returns to America and marries Norma Winston, who marries him for his money and security, even though she really loves a poor man, Burton Armitage. The years pass and Norma has devoted her life to charitable works. Armitage has come into great wealth, but squanders it on wild living due to his sorrow at losing Norma. Giovanni brings his family to America to seek their fortune. Paul Winston, a poor artist, sees Elisa and persuades her to pose for a painting, but after the picture is finished, he loses track of her. Norma has established a mission in the Italian quarter where Elisa often comes, and one day Paul sees her there and they renew their acquaintance. Giovanni has found out where Kirkham lives, and he plans to kidnap Norma and demand ransom from her husband. His plan is foiled when Winston arrives at the mission; he alerts the police who capture the gang and free Norma. Meanwhile, Elisa has been tricked into Kirkham's home while he is having a wild party. Giovanni arrives at the home, and when Kirkham sees him, he drops dead from a heart attack. Giovanni sees his daughter dancing, and the vivid recollections of her mother's tragic death unbalances his mind. Before he can be stopped, Giovanni jumps from the roof and is killed. Elisa rushes to Paul's waiting arms, and Armitage is reunited with Norma.

"Miss Lovely, we must confess, is not what one would associate with the Latin type of woman. She is pretty to the extreme, but her features are anything but Italian. Perhaps though that prettiness will triumph over the casting, it will with the trousered portion of the audience, anyway...Lon Chaney's Giovanni is a strong piece of character portrayal." ---Motion Picture News

"In many ways attractive, blessed with fine types and an excellent cast, THE GILDED SPIDER brings criticism on itself by way of unprofessional construction. The story rambles considerably and gives the impression of being loose-jointed. Louise Lovely...plays well the role of Leonita...Lon Chaney also gives a good impersonation of the Italian." ---Moving Picture World

"Bluebird seems to have the idea that spending a lot of money on a production, with a good cast, is all that is required for the turning out of successful features. THE GILDED a hodge-podge melodrama, expensively visualized...(it) is not on a par with the best Bluebird releases." ---Variety

NOTES: The working title of the film was THE FULL CUP. The film earned $20,426.

© 1996,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis

Return to Filmography