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Shon the Piper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shon the Piper
Shon the Piper 1913.png
A film still that shows Shon the Piper's cast
Directed byOtis Turner
Produced byOtis Turner
StarringRobert Z. Leonard
Joseph Singleton
Lon Chaney
Distributed byUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Release date
  • September 30, 1913 (1913-09-30)
Running time
3 reels[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

Shon the Piper is a 1913 American silent short historical romantic drama film directed by Otis Turner and starring Robert Z. Leonard and Lon Chaney. The film follows a Scottish Duke who disguises himself as a piper and falls in love with a woman by the name of Madge. The woman's father refuses to let the two marry because he wants his daughter to marry the Laird of the Isla. At the wedding, Shon steals Madge away and a battle ensues between the clans.

The film was produced by the 101 Bison Film Company and released on September 30, 1913. The film saw a widespread national release and garnered some positive attention. Some sources have disputed the fact that Lon Chaney appeared in this film, but the Blake book states Chaney played a member of a Scottish clan (uncredited).[1] The film is presumed lost.


The synopsis of the film was provided in Moving Picture News as: "The action is laid in the latter part of the eighteenth century while the story revolves about a young Scotch duke who, determined not to marry one seeking his money, searches for adventure in the Highlands, disguised as a piper. He meets, during his wanderings, Madge, the daughter of Donald Maclvor. They fall in love at first sight. Unaware of Shon's real identity, the old father refuses to sanction the match. He prefers to give his daughter to the wealthy Laird of the Isla. When the girl carries this news to her lover he tells her to "Be of good cheer, my bonny lass; I'll pipe them a tune of another class." The wedding day is fixed and the Laird leads his melancholy fiancée forth. Shon visits the feast in the garb of a harpist. He amuses the guests for a while and then, throwing off his disguise, escapes with Madge from a window. But previous to this, Shon has called his clan together and when speeding away to his mansion, they cover his retreat. What follows is a remarkably thrilling and fresh piece of business; a battle between two kilted Scotch clans. And then the title of the youth is discovered and all ends well."[2]



The film was produced by the 101 Bison Film Company.[7] On August 23, 1910, the New York Clipper announced that J. W. Kerrigan had joined Universal Studios and would star in a new series of films directed by Allan Dwan. The first film listed was titled "A Restless Spirit" (The Restless Spirit) and the second film would be Shon the Piper.[8] It is unknown if there was some change in Shon the Piper's production or if the Clipper was mistaken because neither Kerrigan nor Dwan are credited. Instead, Otis Turner would direct the film and the film would star Robert Z. Leonard and Margarita Fischer.[3][9]

Prior to his motion picture debut, Leonard previously had a noted stage career in the California Opera Company in a variety of roles and sung in over a hundred light operas.[9] Joseph Singleton played The Laird of the Isla and would be credited through an answer column in The Photo-play Journal.[4] The cast of the film was not billed or credited in the production. Michael Blake credits Lon Chaney in a role in this film in his book, The Films of Lon Chaney.[6] Jon C. Mirsalis states that he cannot confirm or deny an appearance by Lon Chaney, but notes that the only surviving film still does not show Lon Chaney among the cast members.[10] Also, although most sources list the film as a three-reeler, a review exists from "Motion Picture World" that calls it "A remarkably fresh and interesting two-reel subject..."[11]

Release and reception

The three reel film was released on September 30, 1913.[7][12] The Leavenworth Times gave a review prior to its release, stating "This is one of those bright sunny pictures that cannot fail to please everybody. The action is laid in the latter part of the eighteenth century and Margaret Fischer as the daughter of the rich Laird of the Isla takes part in some of the most enchanting pictures ever shown on a screen."[13] The Huntington Herald said the film was a "remarkably fresh and interesting subject" and it described the film as a Scottish ballad.[14]

The film had viewings in Kansas,[13] Indiana,[15] Texas,[16] Chicago, Illinois,[17] Missouri,[18] Lincoln, Nebraska,[19] North Carolina,[20] Pennsylvania,[21] and Wisconsin.[22] Other showings include the "Indian Territory" of Oklahoma,[23] Seattle, Washington,[24] Arizona,[25] Vermont,[26] Oregon,[27] and Utah.[28] One of the last advertisements for the film was on December 19, 1913 announcing a showing at the Airdome in Durham, North Carolina.[29]

The film is now considered lost.[30] It is unknown when the film was lost, but if it was in Universal's vaults, it would have been deliberately destroyed along with the remaining copies of Universal's silent era films in 1948.[31]


  1. ^ a b Blake, Michael F. (1998). "The Films of Lon Chaney". Vestal Press Inc. p. 3. ISBN 1-879511-26-6.
  2. ^ "Moving Picture News (Jul - Oct 1913) (Jul - Oct 1913)". Cinematograph Publishing Company. 1913. p. 446. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Motion Picture News (Jan-Feb 1916) (Jan-Feb 1916)". Exhibitors' Times, inc. 1916. p. 121. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "The Photo-Play Journal (May 1916-Apr 1917) (May 1916-Apr 1917)". Miller Publishing Company, inc. 1917. p. 74. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  5. ^ Mirsalis, Jon C. "Shon, the Piper". Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Blake, Michael (2001). The Films of Lon Chaney. Madison Books. p. 3.
  7. ^ a b "Motography (Jul-Dec 1913) (Jul-Dec 1913)". Electricity Magazine Corp. 1913. p. 262. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  8. ^ "Clipper (August 1913) (1913)". New York Clipper. 1913. p. 91. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Motion Picture News (Jan-Feb 1916) (Jan-Feb 1916)". Exhibitors' Times, inc. 1916. p. 96. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  10. ^ Mirsalis, Jon. "Shon the Piper". Lon Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  11. ^ Marsalis, Jon C. "Shon, the Piper". Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  12. ^ "Moving Picture News (Jul - Oct 1913) (Jul - Oct 1913)". Cinematograph Publishing Company. 1913. p. 449. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Coming to the Hippodrome". The Leavenworth Times. September 28, 1913. p. 9. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via
  14. ^ "What the Pictures Will Be". The Huntington Herald (Huntington, Indiana). September 30, 1913. p. 2. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via
  15. ^ "What the pictures will be". The Huntington Herald (Huntington, Indiana). September 29, 1913. p. 4. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  16. ^ "At the Unique". El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas). September 30, 1913. p. 2. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  17. ^ "Linden Photodrome". Suburbanite Economist (Chicago, Illinois). October 3, 1913. p. 3. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  18. ^ "People's Theater". Springfield Missouri Republican (Springfield, Missouri). October 10, 1913. p. 3. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  19. ^ "The Elite". Lincoln Evening Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska). October 13, 1913. p. 16. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  20. ^ "(The Paris Photo-Play Ad)". Durham Morning Herald (Durham, North Carolina). October 16, 1913. p. 3. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  21. ^ "A Few Words from The Colonial". The Indiana Gazette (Indiana, Pennsylvania). November 10, 1913. p. 1. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  22. ^ "(Colonial Ad)". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin). November 15, 1913. p. 3. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  23. ^ "(Lyric Ad)". Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa, Indian Territory [Okla.]). October 4, 1913. p. 8. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  24. ^ "The Movies". The Seattle Star (Seattle, Wash.). October 10, 1913. p. 3. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  25. ^ "Show Tonight". Arizona Republican (Phoenix, Ariz.). April 10, 1914. p. 8. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  26. ^ "Whitney Theatre Advertisement". The Bennington Evening Banner (Bennington, Vt.). November 1, 1913. p. 7. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  27. ^ "Alta Theater". East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, Umatilla Co., Or.). November 15, 1913. p. 5. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "Amusements". The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah). October 18, 1913. p. 11. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  29. ^ "Airdome". Durham Morning Herald (Durham, North Carolina). December 19, 1913. p. 2. Retrieved September 11, 2014 – via open access
  30. ^ "Silent Era: Shon the Piper". silentera. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  31. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby (December 4, 2013). "Most of America's Silent Films Are Lost Forever". The Wire. Retrieved November 4, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 August 2021, at 22:20
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