Joseph Urban and Cosmopolitan Films

Enchantment

"Enchantment" was Cosmopolitan Productions Number 23, directed by Robert G. Vignola, with a scenario by Luther Reed. It was based on the short story "Manhandling Ethel," by Frank Ramsay Adams that appeared in Cosmopolitan in January, 1921.  The New York premiere was on October 30, 1921, and the film was released on November 20.

The complete film is held by the Library of Congress and it has been released on DVD.

From the TCM website: Ethel Hoyt (Marion Davies), the only child of wealthy parents (Tom Lewis and Edith Shayne), surrounds herself with six young college men and spends her time dancing and dining with them, causing her parents to become alarmed.

On her father's birthday, they attend a performance of The Taming of the Shrew in which Ernest Eddison (Forest Stanley) is starred. Mr. Hoyt decides that Eddison would be just the man to tame Ethel and he makes the proper arrangements with the star.

After they meet, a friend of Eddison's produces The Sleeping Beauty, and he suggests Ethel for the leading role. She accepts; but at rehearsals she stubbornly insists that her boyfriends be allowed to attend.

Eddison gives in, but during the action of the play, he kisses her energetically [as Sleeping Beauty, this would be called for] and she is indignant until he is about to leave her; then, she admits her love for him.

Shown here is the Dining Room in the Hoyt Mansion. The film as been credited with being the first American movie to feature modern interior designs.

Continuing to be able to use his ideas for modern design, Urban's sets for a Tea Room and its Entrance also include a number of his own Wiener Werkst├Ątte of America designs.

Shown here are Urban's sets for the Theatre where The Taming of the Shrew is performed, as well as Back Stage for the Fairy Tale portion of the film.

For the beginning of the Fairy Tale, Urban created these silhouettes to tell the story of the baby in her cradle, as wel as the burning of the spinning wheels.

Enchantment. Sleeping Beauty

Joseph Urban

Enchantment

Watercolor drawing for Sleeping Beauty scene

Joseph Urban Collection Box 27.4

Click here for item information Enchantment. Great Hall - Fairy TaleClick here for item information Enchantment. Great Hall - Fairy TaleClick here for item information

For the Great Hall scene in the staged production of The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, Urban created this magnificent set. The drawing gives some indication of the color scheme.

The only known photograph of Joseph Urban on a Cosmopolitan Productions set, seen here with director Robert G. Vignola, Marion Davies, Forest Stanley, and other cast members.

Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-7309 / info@libraries.cul.columbia.edu