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Wayne's Cinematic Connections

Happy National Cinema Day! Today, we’re taking the opportunity to shout-out some of Wayne’s connections to early Hollywood.



A photograph of Beatrice DeMille. From Bringham Young University. Accessed through the Women Film Pioneers Project.

Producer and director Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) grew up in Wayne Township. His parents, actors Henry and Beatrice DeMille (seen right), moved to a home named Pamlico along Pompton Lake in 1892. After Henry’s death only a year later, Beatrice converted the home into a girls’ school to support her family. Later, she’d help finance Cecil’s first film and introduce him to early collaborator Jesse Lasky. ) Cecil would go on to make around 70 movies- both silent and sound- with Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, including Cleopatra (1934) and The Ten Commandments (1956). Beatrice wrote several films and was an advocate for female playwrights. You can learn more about Beatrice DeMille’s life and career on our blog.


Below- A poster for Cecil's 1956 movie The Ten Commandments, illustrated by Macario Gomez Quibus. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Ten_Commandments_(1956_film_poster).jpg.








Above- Students of the Henry C. DeMille Preparatory School for Girls on one of the porches at Pamlico. One of the boys in the photo may be Cecil B. DeMille. From the Wayne Museum.








Just down the street from Pamlico, the Terhune family had their own connections to the film industry. The family was known for their writing talents; Edward Payson Terhune, his wife Mary Virginia Hawes, and their three surviving children- Christine, Virginia, and Albert- were all published authors. Virginia would go on to write three films, and many of her brothers’ books- including his beloved collie stories- were adapted into movies. On our blog, you can learn more about the Terhune sisters, Mary Virginia Hawes (better known as Marion Harland), and Albert Payson Terhune.



Above- A review of Whom the Gods Destroy, based on one of Albert Payson Terhune’s stories. From the Daily News, July 13th, 1934, https://www.newspapers.com/image/417432084/?match=1. ; A poster for “The Lesson”, the 1918 film adaptation of one of Virginia Terhune van de Water’s stories. From TMDB, https://www.themoviedb.org/movie/752997-the-lesson. ; Angela Cartwright in Lad: A Dog, the 1962 adaptation of Terhune’s best-known collie novel. From IMDB, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056162/mediaviewer/rm96771072/?ref_=tt_md_2.


Albert Payson Terhune also starred in a few ‘movies’! As his collie books garnered acclaim, reporters and film crews flocked to the family’s home in Wayne, Sunnybank. Newsreel companies like Fox, Paramount, and American Movietone News put together short films, both silent and ‘talkies’, taken at Sunnybank. We’re lucky enough to have digitized versions of several of these films in our collection. The one below was produced by Paramount Pictures ca. 1937 and features narration from Albert Payson Terhune himself!




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