The Harvard Film Archive is lucky to have several prints of the silent films of Madeline Brandeis.
Brandeis made films for children in the ‘teens and ‘twenties, and also wrote books. Some of the books, such as The Little Swiss Woodcarver, are companions to the films, and are illustrated with film stills. This comes in handy for this particular title, as our print is incomplete. Our copy of the book tells us what we missed.
Brandeis died tragically young, but she is not forgotten.
We recently digitized our prints of Brandeis’ films, available to watch here. We hope you enjoy them!
Madeline Brandeis wrote books for children nearly a hundred years ago, and today, thanks to the HFA’s Howard E. Burr Collection, we learned she also wrote, directed, and produced films. We intend to do more research, but from our first cursory investigation of the internets, we have discovered she began as a filmmaker and went on to have a filmmaker as an author of children’s books.
Very little has been written about her, and few films seem to survive. The HFA has a print of her first movie, a feature (an hour or so in length), originally called THE STAR PRINCE (1920) and later re-titled TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR (this is the title on our print, distributed by Minot Films).
The HFA also has a print of THE WEE SCOTCH PIPER, published as a book in 1929. It appears the film was made in 1928, although the 16mm print we have is copyrighted 1938 by Pathé Exchange, Inc, the year following her death of injuries sustained in a car accident while she and her daughter were driving from New York to Los Angeles.