His Picture in the Papers
Film poster
Directed byJohn Emerson
Written byJohn Emerson
Anita Loos
StarringDouglas Fairbanks
Loretta Blake
CinematographyGeorge W. Hill
Fine Arts Picture Company
Distributed byTriangle Film Corporation
Release date
  • February 13, 1916 (1916-02-13)
Running time
62 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

His Picture in the Papers is a 1916 American silent comedy film written and directed by John Emerson. Anita Loos also wrote the film's scenario. The film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Loretta Blake and features Eric von Stroheim in a minor role.[2]


Pete Prindle, son of Proteus, is a vegetarian health food manufacturer who wishes to marry Christine Cadwalader. She agrees. However, Proteus considers his son lazy, with no contributions to the company and therefore undeserving of his father's wealth. His daughters have their pictures in the newspapers, pictures of them promoting the company products. Cassius refuses to consent to his daughter's hand since he believes Pete to be lazy as well, with no real stake in his father's company. Pete tries hard to get in the newspaper: He fakes a car accident, which gets an insignificant mention in the paper. He wins a boxing match, which turns out to be an illegally run ring which ends up being raided by police.

After a misunderstanding, he washes up on the shore in his pajamas after falling off a cruise ship, and proceeds to beat two police officers, his name is withheld by the newspaper. Finally, he saves many people on a train from a group of thugs intent on murdering Cassius by preventing a collision with another rail car. He receives a front-page article in every major local newspaper and a large photo as well which pleases everyone.


Production notes

The film was produced by Fine Arts Film Company for $42,599.94, and distributed by the Triangle Film Corporation.[1][2] Portions of the film were shot at the Willat-Triangle Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[3] Other sequences were shot in Yonkers and Atlantic City. A boxing scene featured in the film was shot at Sharkey's Athletic Club, a boxing club, on Columbus Avenue in Manhattan.[1]

This was the first Fairbanks film with a Loos scenario, and an early example of her intertitle style involving self-parady, sarcasm, slang, and puns.[4] For example, one title card near the end, referring to the character Pete, said "Ain't he the REEL hero?" The titles of the film were well received and Fairbanks signed a contract to have Loos do the intertitles for his next films.[4]

Preservation status

Prints of His Picture in the Papers are preserved in the Library of Congress,[2] George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection, and other archives.[5] It was also released on DVD by Flicker Alley.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Lennig, Arthur (2004). Stroheim. University Press of Kentucky. p. 35. ISBN 0-813-13750-0.
  2. ^ a b c "His Picture in the Papers (1916)". silentera.com. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Koszarski, Richard (2004). Fort Lee: The Film Town. Indiana University Press. p. 164. ISBN 0-861-96652-X.
  4. ^ a b Frost, Laura (April 2010). "Blondes Have More Fun: Anita Loos and the Language of Silent Cinema". Modernism/Modernity. Johns Hopkins University Press. 17 (2): 296–97. doi:10.1353/mod.0.0213. S2CID 143104887. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database: His Picture in the Papers
  6. ^ Keil, Charlie; Singer, Ben, eds. (2009). American Cinema of the 1910s: Themes and Variations. Rutgers University Press. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-813-54445-8.