Only eighteen months after his debut in D.W. Griffith's The Lamb
(1916), handsome, athletic, charismatic Douglas Fairbanks had established himself as Hollywood's third highest paid actor, behind only Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. The mighty triumvirate of friends went on to found United Artists in 1919, and the studio's financial success was fueled to a great extent by Fairbanks' motion pictures. As the first president of the Motion Picture Academy Of Arts and Sciences, Fairbanks presented the very first Oscars in 1927. He is best known for his lavish swashbuckling adventures, most notably The Mark Of Zorro
(1920), The Three Musketeers
(1921), Robin Hood
(1922) and The Thief of Bagdad
(1924). These two early comedies highlight the incredible acrobatic and comedic prowess that made him a star.
American Aristocracy (1916, B&W, Silent): Working class Cassius Lee is in love with Geraldine Hicks, a millionaire's daughter. Cassius suspects that there is something fishy about Geraldine's hotshot boyfriend, Percy, and he sets out to prove it. Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jewel Carmen, Charles De Lima, Albert Parker; Directed by Lloyd Ingraham; Story by Anita Loos.
Down To Earth (1917, B&W, Silent): Ethel Forsythe is engaged to sleazy Charles Riddles. When Ethel learns that Charles is chasing every skirt in the city, she has a nervous breakdown, and is committed to an asylum for wealthy hypochondriacs. Convinced that Ethel will never recover with the treatment she is receiving, wealthy Billy Gaynor buys the hospital and the rights to all the patients in it, so that he can administer a radical "cure" of his own! Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Charles K. Gerrard; Story by Anita Loos and John Emerson; Photography Victor Fleming' Directed by John Emerson.