Like a libretto for a silent movie, story of "Ramona" as interpreted
on the silver screen in 1928 by director Edwin Carewe fills (apparently all of) the pages of the Aug. 4, 1929, edition of the Milanese publication, Cine-Romanzo.
Dolores Del Rio, who portrays the title character, is featured on the cover. Inside pages feature monochrome versions of artwork by R. Alson Brown (1878-1942), an illustrator and portrait painter from Ohio and New York.
The same artwork can be seen in color in this set of advertising materials from Spain.
Brown was born in Xenia (Greene County, Ohio), June 4, 1878. He studied in Cincinnati (Hamilton) under Vincent N. Nowottny and in Paris and New York City, where he settled permanently about 1897. He died in New York, August 25, 1942.
(Source: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary by Jeffrey Weidman.)
About Edwin Carewe's "Ramona."
Director Edwin Carewe's "Ramona" is one of a handful of film adaptations of Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel, which was based in part on the people and settings of Rancho Camulos
in the western Santa Clarita Valley.
While readers of the novel and most filmmakers were drawn to Jackson's idyllic portrayal of Old Spanish California,
the author's actual intent was to draw attention to the mistreatment of Native Americans.
Carewe's adaptation is truer than others to Jackson's intent in its depictions of white colonizers' abuses.
Like many films of the silent era, Carewe's "Ramona" was lost — until a copy turned up in Prague in the early 2000s. The story of the print is at least as fascinating as the movie itself.
The Nazis confiscated what proved to be the last surviving copy of Carewe's "Ramona" in the former Czechoslovakia, which they occupied in 1939, and brought it (and countless other films) to Berlin.
Then, when the Soviet Union liberated Berlin, "Ramona" was removed to the Soviet film archive, Gosfilmofond, outside of Moscow.
Next, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Czech archivist Myrtil Frida found it in Gosfilmofond (now the State Film Fund of the Russian Federation) and carried it back to Prague.
Finally in about 2009, Hugh Munro Neely, longtime (now former) curator of the Mary Pickford Institute of Film Education, learned of its existence. Together with colleagues Joanna Hearne,
an authority on early native American representations in cinema, and Dydia DeLyser, author of the book, "Ramona Memories," Neely traveled to Prague.
"Over the next several years," Neely writes, "we were able to help coordinate the return of this print to the United States where it was preserved by the Library of Congress."
For more, click here.
LW3505: pdf of original magazine purchased 2019 by Leon Worden. Download individual pages here