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Michael Morton (dramatist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Morton
In The Sketch, 18 February 1903
Born1864 (1864)
London, England
Died11 January 1931(1931-01-11) (aged 66–67)
SpouseFlorence Mainwaring-Dunstan
RelativesMartha Morton (sister)

Michael Morton (1864 – 11 January 1931) was an English dramatist in the early 20th century.

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Michael Morton was born in London in 1864, and spent most of his childhood in the United States.[1] His sister was the playwright Martha Morton.[2]

He married Florence Mainwaring-Dunstan, and they had one son.[1]

Morton died at his home in Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey on 11 January 1931.[1]


Poster for the play Caleb West (1900), adapted by Morton from the novel by Francis Hopkinson Smith

Detective Sparkes

Morton's comedy called Detective Sparkes opened at the Garrick Theatre in August 1909 to good reviews.[3] He also directed the production which ran into October for a total of 64 performances.

The Yellow Ticket

In 1914, Morton's play, The Yellow Ticket ran 183 performances on Broadway and starred Florence Reed and John Barrymore.[4] It was adapted to the screen and, due to its popularity, several filmed versions were made in the silent era alone. The first, The Yellow Passport (1916), was directed by Edwin August and starred Clara Kimball Young. The second version, The Yellow Ticket (1918), starred Fannie Ward, Warner Oland and Milton Sills. A German version called Der Gelbe Schein was produced in 1918 and starred Pola Negri. Yet another filmed version was a talking picture and was directed by Raoul Walsh in 1931. It was also titled The Yellow Ticket; its players were Elissa Landi, Lionel Barrymore and Laurence Olivier. James Wong Howe was the cameraman.

Colonel Newcome

Herbert Beerbohm Tree in Colonel Newcome (1917)

Morton adapted William Makepeace Thackeray's 1854-55 novel The Newcomes into a play called Colonel Newcome, which opened in April 1917 at the New Amsterdam Theatre and starred Herbert Tree and St. Clair Bayfield.[5]

Woman to Woman

His 1921 play Woman to Woman was adapted three times for film.


He adapted Agatha Christie's novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd into a play called Alibi, which opened in London in 1928. This was her first work adapted to the stage and it ran 250 performances.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Walton-on-the-Hill". The Sutton & Cheam Advertiser and Surrey County Reporter. 15 January 1931. p. 7. Retrieved 8 February 2024 – via
  2. ^ Bordman, Gerald Martin; Hischak, Thomas S. (2004). The Concise Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 444. ISBN 0195169867. Retrieved 8 February 2024 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Hattie Williams in 'Detective Sparkes'; Michael Morton's New Play a Success at the Garrick Theatre. Story of Balloon Mystery; Situations More Clever Than the Dialogue, and Only Two Lines of Lovemaking at End". The New York Times. 24 August 1909. p. 9. Retrieved 8 February 2024 – via
  4. ^ "'The Yellow Ticket'". Hartford Courant. 8 February 1914. p. 34. Retrieved 8 February 2024 – via
  5. ^ "Sir Herbert Tree as Col. Newcome; His Playing Far Superior to Anything He Has Done Here Recently. Play by Michael Morton; Old, Rough and Ready Dramatization of Thackeray's Novel Exhibited at the New Amsterdam". The New York Times. 11 April 1917. p. 11. Retrieved 8 February 2024 – via
  6. ^ Book and Magazine Collector. Issue 174. September 1998

External links

This page was last edited on 9 February 2024, at 05:40
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