Movies Way Back When: Happy Birthdate, George B. Field

By Betsy J. Green

Field was a ruggedly handsome actor who was born on March 18, 1877. He appeared in dozens of “Flying A” films from 1913 to 1916. Field had been a performer in live theater before his filming career. I hope he also had some acrobatic training, judging from this description of a scene in the 1915 “Flying A” film – “Alice of Hudson Bay.”

The local paper wrote, “It is considered the greatest actual drop ever made before a motion picture camera. It was made from the top of the shale cliff up the Sycamore Canyon Road.” In the movie, two men are fighting, and one falls over the edge of the cliff. “Measurements later made showed that Field traveled 120 feet . . . Strange as it may seem, Field was not quite satisfied with the first fall and insisted on doing it over again . . . the worst of it was that he grabbed a blackberry bush on the way down and was pretty badly cut by the thorns.” – Morning Press, September 12, 1915

Betsy’s Way Back When book — Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the seventh book in her series on the history of Santa Barbara. Learn more at​.


Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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