MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: RELIGIOUS MOVIE FILMED IN MONTECITO

MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: RELIGIOUS MOVIE FILMED IN MONTECITO title=
Images: Photoplay, February 1920 & Library of Congress
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By Betsy J. Green

The earliest commercial movie that was filmed in Montecito dates to 1911.  "The New Faith," a religious film, was released on March 4, 1911. If you look closely at the two photos, you can see the place on the "El Fureidis" estate where it was filmed. (This silent movie predates the "Flying A," since that group did not settle here until 1912.)

The local paper wrote, “James Waldron Gillespie’s Italian villa in Montecito was used as the background for a Roman play, The New Faith.” This million-dollar estate was one of the most popular locations for movies made in Montecito. (Copies of this film no longer exist.)

 


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​.
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sonny Mar 06, 2022 09:50 PM
MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: RELIGIOUS MOVIE FILMED IN MONTECITO

For you there would probably be no difference. For me a film with a religious theme could be for entertainment and not necessarily to promote a particular religion. A movie referred to as "a religious film" would probably have been made by members of a particular religion to promote their religion.

bjgreen Mar 06, 2022 06:51 PM
MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: RELIGIOUS MOVIE FILMED IN MONTECITO

Well, in answer to your question, here's what happens in this movie: This 1911 film is a religious movie with men wearing sandals and skirts. Hobart Bosworth plays a Roman Patrician named Caius Valerius. He is intrigued by a slave girl who is a Christian, which is what the New Faith is all about. When she saves his life by pulling a tarantula off his neck, he falls for her – and her religion. So, he invites her to shack up with him.

She admits she loves him, but declines his kind offer of an extramarital relationship. Somehow, that makes him love her even more. Next, he asks her to marry him, but before they can find a priest and do the right thing, they are both killed by some nasty Roman Patricians. As the movie ends, they die in each other’s arms.

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