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Footlight Notes Collection Picture Archive - request for use of images

no. 422

Saturday, 15 October 2005

Cissy Fitzgerald stars in the Vitagraph film,
The Win(k)some Widow,
a farce in four parts, written by J. Stuart Blackton,
and directed by Edmund Stratton, United States, 1914

a scene from The Win(k)some Widow

The Climax of The Win(k)some Widow, New Vitagraph Theater Feature.'

A scene from The Win(k)some Widow, with Cissy Fitzgerald in title role
and L. Rogers Lytton as her infuriated husband.

(photo: Vitagraph, USA, 1914)

'Cissy Fitz-Gerald is as merry a leader in a farcical turmoil as any company need wish to have. She can wink and smile and flirt her way through a four-part picture without becoming the least bit monotonous. Cissy's wink is justly famous; it is such a generous, knowing, inviting wink; and none of these qualities are missed by the camera. Miss Fitz-Gerald is the star of this production, and no mistake, although it includes a choice selection of Vitagraph actors, with Wally Van, Hughie Mack, L. Rogers Lytton and Nicholas Dunaew among them. All sooner or later succumb to the irresistible wink; therefore the story of The Win(k)some Widow.
'It might be called farce, but burlesque seems a better name for a large number of the scenes, in which restraint is shown the door that unbridled horseplay may go the limit. Cutey, the press agent for a nearly defunct musical show, hears that Cissy is returned from Europe, and believes that she will be their savior. So eager is he to place the actress under contract that he meets the liner in a motor boat and carries off his new star. In a finely staged theater scene we see Cissy's wink in action and its fearful consequences. Young men and old, the temperamental orchestra leader, the dapper press agent, the sleepy manager, the aged millionaire, all sorts and conditions, are won by a wink and a smile.
'Then Cissy rents a pretty little apartment, and, to make it homelike, her admirers come laden with gifts. A cat, a parrot, a dog, a monkey, and two bear cubs are among the offerings placed at her feet; but they won't stay there, or anywhere else, for long at a stretch. She ends the evening with a menagerie and five engagement rings. The next evening the five admirers are hidden in various nooks of the apartment when Cissy's husband unexpectedly arrives. Before the rumpus ends, the house has been set on fire and flooded, waist high, by the firemen. Cissy and all of her men struggle to gain isles of safety above the constantly rising water. The situation is made highly ludicrous by the clever company, ably directed. There are no dry spots in the new Vitagraph bill.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 9 September 1914, p.29c/d)

Cissy Fitzgerald

'Cissy's Wink'

Cissy Fitzgerald (1873-1941)
English actress, singer and dancer, and cinema actress

(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1894)

At the Alamo No.1, 'The Little House With the Big Show', Atlanta, week of Monday, 16 November 1914.
'The Alamo, No.1, announces for Monday the Broadway star success The Win(k)some Widow, a merry farce in four parts, with Cissy Fitzgerald as the widow. The story is of a press agent of a musical comedy company who engages a comedy star possessed with a famous wink. She plays havoc not only with the public but all the men in the company. She invites all her admirers to her house for dinner and in the midst of the hilarity her husband arrives and everybody is obliged to hide. After many exciting adventures including the calling out of the fire department, husband and wife are left in peace.'
(The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, Sunday, 15 November 1914, p.13Me)

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