Movies Way Back When: "The House of Scandals" Has Legal Problems

Movies Way Back When: "The House of Scandals" Has Legal Problems title=
Image: Motion Picture News, September 25, 1915
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By Betsy J. Green

This silent movie with the provocative title was released by Santa Barbara's "Flying A" studio in 1915. It was filmed at the first "Bellosguardo" million-dollar mansion when it was owned by the Graham family. (The present "Bellosguardo" mansion that is described in the book "Empty Mansions" by Bill Dedmon is the ver. 2.0 edition of the mansion, which was built after the 1925 earthquake.)

Back before the Internet, when the world was not so connected, I noticed a number of cases where two silent films with the same or similar title were unknowingly released by two different studios. Often one was filmed on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. Such was the case with this movie.

Shortly before the "Flying A" released this movie, another studio released a movie titled, "The House of a Thousand Candles," and that studio promptly sued the "Flying A," forcing them to change the name to “House of Scandals.” Eventually, the suit was decided in the favor of the "Flying A."

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​.

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