Joseph Urban and Cosmopolitan Films

Buried Treasure

"Buried Treasure" was Cosmopolitan Productions Number 12. It premiered in New York at the Criterion Theater in February, 1921, and was released on April 10, 1921. The print held by the Library of Congress is missing the last reel.

It was directed and with a scenario by George D. Baker, from a story by F. Britten Austen, and starred Marion Davies in various roles over time including the modern day Pauline Vandermuellen and the Spanish Lucia.

From the TCM website: A prologue shows the soul of Pauline Vandermuellen (Marion Davies) reincarnated in various personalities from one generation to another. In the action proper, Pauline tells her parents, while she is in a trance, of a romance she experienced in Spain years before. Annoyed at his daughter's preference for young Dr. Grant (Norman Kerry), her father sends her on a Caribbean cruise.

During another dream state she describes the general location of a buried treasure; and when her greedy father takes a search party to the island indicated, she misleads him and takes her lover instead to the location revealed in her dream. After finding the treasure, he wins her father's consent to their marriage.

This was the first Davies production to be filmed on the West Coast, with several scenes filmed on Catalina. The prologue to the film shows Davies as a cavewoman, an Egyptian princess, a medieval damsel, and as Lucia

Buried Treasure

Joseph Urban

Buried Treasure

Watercolor drawing of Pirate Ship

Joseph Urban Collection Box B25.5

Click here for item information Buried Treasure. Pirate ship, sternClick here for item information Buried Treasure. Pirate ship, sideClick here for item information

The plot centers around the time of the Spanish galleons and pirates burying their treasure, with treasure to be found centuries later.

The Urban archive includes one drawing of the bow of the Pirate Ship, shown here. The two photos below show the stern of the Pirate Ship, as well as the Pirate Ship and Merchant Ship side by side.

These interior scenes of a 1921-era yacht bring to mind William Randolph Hearst's own 205 foot yacht, the Oneida. In use on both coasts, it was where Hearst, Marion Davies, Urban, his wife Mary, and daughter Gretl, the current film director, and others watched the week's rushes, whether in New York or California, on weekends.

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