One of the First Milwaukee Produced Films

With the film festival coming up, we should remember that locally produced films are not a new thing. “Milwaukee Love” was probably one of the earliest photoplay films shot in Milwaukee and starred a local amateur cast. It was a silent movie and played at the Strand at 5th & Wisconsin for it’s debut at the end of May, 1926.

This article tells about the movie and was published in the Milwaukee Journal from May 23, 1926. What has happened to the film and many others like it is anybody’s guess but they are most likely lost forever. Many films from this era were printed on highly unstable nitrate film which at best, would slowly disintegrate over many decades. At worst they would spontaneously combust taking a building along with them.

See Milwaukee on the Screen

Large Audience at First Night of Amateur’s Film

All the thrill of a first night performance came to the members of the cast of “Milwaukee Love,” when the newest of the local movies was flashed upon the Strand screen Saturday.

The audience of first-nighters was large and enthusiastic, ready to give generously of their laughter and applause for the home town folks who did their camera bit to entertain. Crowds flocked to the Strand all day Saturday and, judging from their response, the comedy thoroughly pleased them and convinced even the most skeptical that an amateur production can be highly entertaining.

“Milwaukee Love,” produced with a Milwaukee cast by Director William Steiner of the Hudris Film Company and sponsored by The Journal will continue at the Strand through Friday.

Our Hero Makes Good

Anita Alsberg as the heroine and Robert Johnson as the hero, who make good despite all obstacles, both perform exceptionally well and screen splendidly. Chauncey Yockey as Papa Atherton proves that he can quit his job as head of the Elks any time and sign up with Lasky or Metro-Goldwyn. Mrs. A. E. Copeland as Mama Atherton gives a finished portrayal of a difficult role.

The youngsters, Christine Thompson as Baby Atherton, and Ira Gonyan as the newsboy do a Baby Peggy and Jackie Coogan that is most appealing.

Love, well it is a serious matter to many folks, is treated in a deft and lightsome manner in “Milwaukee Love.” That love conquers all seems to be the theme of the picture and certainly this portrayal of local love conquers any objection to laughter. The comedy scenes, which are numerous, drop plenty of laughs.

Open-Mouthed Villains

Warwick Beauchamp and Jack Curtis as the villains, lying on the ground with their mouths open after supposedly being killed by a bomb, is more than funny. Full of laughs, too, is the proposal scene, where Robert Johnson, the hero, embraces the heroine with the fervor of Strangler Lewis throwing an opponent for a third fall.

The picture finishes with a kaleidoscopic view of Milwaukee streets on a busy day, on which the pedestrians demonstrate all the animation of Keystone coppers rushing to a riot call.

Comment (1)

  1. I did some googling on the “Hudris Film Company” and found that they were an itinerant film company based out of Seattle who made local, amateurish movies like this in cities all over the country. It may have been the same script that was used over and over but personalized for the city. It sounds like an interesting concept that would have worked well in those days. A brief explanation on these types of companies and the films they produced is written here:

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