#GloucesterMA in Boston Globe & Cape Ann Beacon- Good Harbor Beach Salt Island for sale, again

July 2016 Salt Island Good Harbor Beach

Salt Island, Good Harbor Beach and Brier Neck are naturally connected. The five acre Salt Island is about 1000 feet from Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts. A sandbar links the island and beach at low tide. I’ve culled a few milestones in its history. Scroll down to 2017 to find the links for the Cape Ann Beacon and today’s Boston Globe.

SALT ISLAND TIMELINE BITS

1860

History of the Town of Gloucester: Cape Ann, John Jame Babson’s published history includes a shipwreck of the vessel, Industry, at Little Good Harbor Beach near Salt Island in 1796

19th century

Joseph Parsons’ family operated a lobster business from Salt Island

pre 1919

silent movies were filmed on location

1919 Fox Film Co Bride Number 13

Parts of the Fox Film Corporation movie, Bride Number 13, were shot on location at Good Harbor Beach and Salt Island. The 15 part serial silent film –“the most costly pictures ever made…would consume expenditures of at least one million dollars.” It was conceived and written by Edward Sedgwick, directed by Richard Stanton aka “Salt Island’s Mighty Emperor”, and starred Marguerite Clayton, Jack O’Brien, and Ed Rossman. The script was inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Here are a few fun excerpts from 1919 correspondence published in the book, “My father, a silent films pioneer,” by George E. Mcavoy:

“Again the picturesque Gloucester shores have been sought by a motion picture corporation for scenery and the noted Fox Film Company of New York, with its prominent director, Richard Stanton, has arrived at Hotel Harbor View, East Gloucester, to start immediately on the work of filming “Bride Number 13” at Salt Island off Brier Neck.

“It was decided that Salt Island in Gloucester, Mass., would be the setting of the silent film thriller, “Bride Number 13.” This island was an island at high tide and part of the mainland at low tide. Fox film Co. was building a wooden castle on the island, which was about one hundred feet high and hosted the actions of this silent film…” 

“(This was five days before the real tornado blew the wooden castle out to sea.)”

Oct 24, 1919“Dear Mother: I left Mary and the babies in Gloucester. I am on my way through New Hampshire and Maine for a lumber camp location. I expect to be back in Gloucester Monday night…

the time for the blowing up of the castle on Salt Island and the rescue of the brides from the pirate band is rapidly approaching…

Billy Carr of Gloucester, Chief Gunner’s Mate on the Navy submarine R-1 that was assigned to the picture, was to play the hero who rescues one of the brides, slashes through the nest of cutthroats, leaps into the basket with her and off. It was now November 10th. A throng of 3,000 was at Good Harbor and all over Brier Neck to watch…On the fourth day Bill Carr was called away on duty and his place was taken by Tom Corbiey…”

“Mr. Sedgwick has achieved something heretofore unknown in moving picture production. He conceived the idea of the story, witnessed and helped direct the scenes, acted in them, had a hand in the grinding of the film, and in fact had a part in every process of the film production…”

“While all bid good-bye to Gloucester last night, there was a general expression of a desire to return and several of the company said that they intended to return here next summer for the vacation period if not in picture work.”

“The explosion was a heavy one and its shock was felt in all parts of the city. It shook the windows of houses on Mt. Vernon Street and vicinity, also at East Gloucester and as far as Rockport. It occurred at 4:20 o’clock and people who felt the shock readily attributed it to the blow-up of Salt Island.”

photo caption: Bride 13 star Marguerite Clayton and kids on vacation during filming of Bride 13. Background shows the stately castle film set on Salt Island

film set castle on salt island good harbor beach gloucester ma- Mary McAvoy with sons

1923 The Silent Command

Then and now: filmmakers love Gloucester.

Fox Film Corporation returned to film the patriotic silent era Navy spy film, THE SILENT COMMAND on Good Harbor Beach, again on the Briar/Brier neck side.

The Silent Commander filed on Good Harbor Beach Salt Island

1923 was a busy year for Gloucester, MA. In addition to the municipality managing the bustling tercentenary, Gloucester welcomed another major Fox movie production to shoot on location at Good Harbor Beach. The film was made in cooperation with the Navy. It was directed by J Gordon Edwards, and starred Edmund Lowe and Bela Lugosi in his first American film. It’s essentially a spy thriller with a honeypot formula: foreign power attempts to secure plans to the Panama Canal and blow it up. The villains are thwarted by the US Navy. The production required assistance from the city’s fire department and city electrician. The film crew stayed in Gloucester at the Harbor View Hotel and the Savoy. Local people were cast and spectators lined the beach to watch the thrilling production.

BEFORE CGI:

I love this excerpt from the Gloucester Daily Times describing the staged wreck and tremendous waves washing the crew (stuntmen and Gloucester locals) overboard:

“A crowd of several hundred thronged the (Good Harbor) beach for the picture taking and enjoyed the proceedings, which were interesting, and at times thrilling…The Good Harbor beach setting is a clever contrivance, and constructed to produce a natural rocking motion of a steamer in a heavy sea. The rocking is produced by four winches operated by a crew of 10 men…Storm scenes were filmed yesterday afternoon with local actors, Stuart Cooney, son of Marion J. Cooney, taking the part of the hero and making a thrilling climb into the rigging to the crow’s nest during the height of the storm. Fred Kolstee, a rigger, commanded the crew of the steamer. The crew were (locals) Alfred Marshall, Tony Amero, Tom Bess, Peter Rice, James Francis, James Whittle and William Byers. Rain was produced from lines of hose, and a most realistic effect was produced by two aeroplanes, the wind from the speeding propellors driving the water about, and rushing through the rattlings and rigging with all the vengeance of a real gale at sea. Three times the big tank of water was released and the thousands of gallons broke over the deck in a most thrilling manner. There was some concern among the movie men before the water was released that some of the men might get buffeted about and get hurt, and they were cautioned to hold on tight.

However, it was a mere trifle for Gloucestermen, veterans of many a gale on the banks.

It was best expressed by Alfred Marshall when he stepped toward the ladder to leave the craft after the picture taking was done. Alfred was quite vexed. “Blankety, blankety, blank___, is this the best you can do? Blank, I’ve bailed bigger seas than that out of a dory. And he sung it right out so all could hear, too.”

Stuart Cooney ensured that the movie was a success from a technical perspective and “purchased the outfit and (took) it over” after the filming finished. He was a Gloucester pioneer in the film industry that’s still going strong. Film Cape Ann facilitates bringing local productions here, like the award winning Manchester by the Sea.  The Wikipedia page doesn’t have any mention of Gloucester, but it helped me with an illustration for The Silent Command lobby poster.

1923 silent FOX movie The Silent Command filmed on location Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA

See for yourself; here’s a link to the complete movie. A few of the Gloucester scenes (not all) 1:03:44, 1:08:54, 1:09:54 (some coast), 1:10:21,  1:10:52 (dory lowered from navy ship), 1:11:12 (beach island)

AFI for TCM brief synopsis: “This is one of those ‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean’ pictures. Full of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ patriotic to the nth degree with the navy floating all over the screen. A real hero, a vamp, and a flock of thrills.” (from Var review.) Foreign agents, determined to destroy the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet and the Panama Canal, after an unsuccessful attempt to obtain from Capt. Richard Decatur information regarding mine positions in the Canal Zone, hire adventuress Peg Williams to vamp Captain Decatur, thereby putting him at their mercy. Decatur, advised by the Chief of Naval Intelligence, plays along with the spies to gain their confidence. He leaves his wife and is dismissed from the Navy as a result of his association with Miss Williams. Finally, he goes to Panama, thwarts the saboteurs, saves the fleet and the canal, and gains honorable reinstatement and the gratitude of his country for his heroism.”

1940s

Guy Parsons used one of the old family fishing shacks as a summer place

1950s

By now the fishing shacks were no longer visible

1952

Parson family sold Salt Island

1959

James Kimball purchased Salt Island for $2000

1972

Yankee Magazine article about Bride Number 13 Lights! Camera! Disaster! by Joseph E. Garland

1979

Gloucester Daily Times article mentions that James Kimball “has no plans for the island, although in the past he has thought of building a summer home on the island. When I was young my family spent their summers on Brier Neck…So when the island became available I jumped at the chance.”

2000

One of  the designated “Special places in Gloucester”

2005

“Special places in Gloucester” appendix list for the MA Heritage Landscape Inventory Program, MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation Essex National Heritage

September 7, 2011

GMG abou the Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island by Fred Bodin

“Where is this film? I’d love to know. All sources indicate that Bride 13 was either lost or destroyed, as happened with many silent films. The reference used for this post was the May 1972 Yankee Magazine article, Lights! Camera! Disaster!, authored by the late Joseph E. Garland of Gloucester.”

and September 9, 2011 GMG Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island Fred Buck Cape Ann Museum adds photos from the location filming 

2013

Salt Island listed for sale $300,000 plus beach parking passes for the family

2017

Salt Island listed For Sale $750,000

September 2017 Cape Ann Beacon

Sept 1 Cape Ann Beacon “Salt Island is for Sale” by Jason Brisbois

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2017 BOSTON GLOBE

Today’s paper: Sept 16 Boston Globe “A Gem or a Rock: For $750,000 Salt Island Could Be Yours” by Billy Baker

“If somebody buys it and builds, it’s because these guys didn’t step up to the plate and protect it the way my father did when I was a little girl, ” said Maslow, who pointed out that she and her siblings are not rich people with big summer houses. “I can’t help it if someone buys it and paints it purple and puts pigs on it.” – Karen Maslow

“…this island has been available for public use informally for generations thanks to the goodwill of that family. That point should not be lost.” — Chris LaPointe, Essex County Greenbelt

Boston Globe Sept 16 2017 Salt Island for sale

Trulia listing for Salt Island exclaims “Showings available only at low tide!”

 

Review: Just ahead of its theater release, Hollywood premiere in Beverly for Manchester by the Sea

Meg Montagnino Jarrett introduced the movie, Manchester by the Sea, from the Cabot stage in Beverly, MA, this past Thursday evening, the first public screening in Massachusetts. Members of the audience worked on the film, and dignitaries such as Senator Bruce Tarr and Mayor Romeo Theken were invited. Montagnino Jarrett is a local film producer who worked on behalf of the MA Film office to bring these kinds of projects to the area and is the official liaison for Rockport and Gloucester. Manchester by the Sea is directed by Kenneth Lonergan who appears in a biting scene.

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Should you see it because of the setting? Yes.

I didn’t recognize this as being such a typical Massachusetts or even an American story. I registered quality and pathos– a modern day Greek tragedy so thoughtfully sculpted it will be understood across the globe, whether you’ve set one foot in this state or not.

You can however walk right home: the sense of place is rendered as carefully as an artist can, as much– or more –than the characters and script. Impressions of the gray and brown landscape long shots were so right. I thought about winter scenes by local artists, like Stoddard’s murals at Sawyer Free Public Library. Residents can tally scenes, wardrobe, and dialogue filled with local references to Cape Ann communities: the harbor, Ten Pound Island, Rose Marine, Seatronics, local New England homes, the ‘Edward Hopper’ Herrick Court staircase, Richdale mart, property alongside East Gloucester elementary, signs along Highway 128, Manchester Essex school, Willow Rest, hockey scenes and Viking posters. Don’t worry, unless you are the talented location scouts celebrating at this premiere– which they were, Cabot has a bar and snacks–audiences won’t find each and every recognition flicker with just one screening. There were far too many, and oft times veiled. Besides, if you possess a beating heart you will be squeezing your friend, looking away, or grabbing Kleenex at least a couple of times.

Does it deserve Oscar buzz? Yes.

Manchester by the Sea is a beautiful and searing movie.

The film is a meditation on grief, love, and life. You’ll find flaws. That’s subjective and feels real, too. It’s meticulously crafted and directed. Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler and Michelle Williams are vivid; all of the cast and crew will be impacted by having been a part of the movie.  The movie will fuel your eyes and perspective while you watch, and hover around your thoughts and conversations days later. Walking away from the theater, I said American cinema verite. My mind wandered to more mood and art: crisp short stories; poetry; two films, House of Sand and Fog and In the Bedroomnot direct comparisons but as other powerful clutch ups. On the drive home we shared family stories and discussed edges of tragedy. Life and art can be devastating.

I made a mental list of movies that made me crumple beyond the pale. This one wasn’t exactly that for me, thankfully, as the lights came up quickly!  But it was memorable as all get out, and as art. Are there movies that have made you cry, yet you’d watch them again; or sad movies you haven’t forgotten?  I think this might be one for many viewers.

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Part II: more on the making of the film, locally 

Cape Ann Community Cinema Schedule for 10/23-10/24

Cape Ann Community Cinema, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23

NOISE

SHOWN AT 5:00PM

This is a story about the wrong person in the right place at the wrong time. Two heinous crimes have left a suburban town reeling. Police quickly connect them but are desperate for witnesses as the local community enfolds itself in a shroud of secrecy, borne from fear and an untrammeled mistrust of authority. A young police constable, Graham McGahan, suffers from a chronic hearing problem and applies for worker’s compensation. To his chagrin, he is stationed at a police caravan near the crime scene. Living on the periphery of the investigation, McGahan crosses paths with the various people affected by the tragedies and uncovers an unraveling nightmare of guilt and suspicion.

This free show is part of our Thursday FilmMovement series, which in November becomes

“It’s clear from the first few minutes of Matthew Saville’s “Noise” that this highly compelling first feature has no intention of being your average, run-of-the-mill thriller…[Noise] kicks off with a wallop, then constantly confounds expectations by approaching its subject matter from fresh directions.”
-Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter

TRANSSIBERIAN

SHOWN AT 7:15PM
Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are the perfect American couple traveling from Beijing to Moscow on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express train. The two strike a bond with another couple, Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), who are not exactly as they appear. Unwittingly, Roy and Jessie are caught in a web of drug trafficking and murderous deceit when all four become targets of ex-KGB detective Grinko’s (Ben Kingsley) investigation.

“‘Transsiberian’ starts in neutral, taking the time to introduce its characters, and then goes from second into high like greased lightning. I was a little surprised to notice how thoroughly it wound me up. This is a good one.” -Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24

THE EDGE OF HEAVEN

SHOWN AT 12:30PM
Nejat initially disapproves of his widower father Ali’s choice of prostitute Yeter for a live-in girlfriend. But the young professor warms to her when he learns that most of her hard-earned money is sent home to Turkey for her daughter’s university studies. After Yeter’s accidental death, Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter’s daughter Ayten. Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte, who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, much to the displeasure of her conservative mother, Susanne. When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Passionate Lotte abandons everything to help Ayten. A tragic event brings Susanne to Istanbul to help fulfill her daughter`s mission.

“Like a more personal, less pretentious version of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s ‘Babel’, this spiraling dissection of circumstance, choice and fate is more about thoroughness of vision than tricky storytelling.” -Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

TUYA’S MARRIAGE

SHOWN AT 2:45PM
Tuya, hardworking and hardheaded, is a Mongolian desert herder who refuses to be settled in a town in accordance with the new industrialization policy. She is kept busy with two kids, a disabled husband and 100 sheep to care for, but one day she hurts her back. The only way for the family to survive is for her to divorce her husband on paper and look for a new spouse who can take care of the whole family. A series of suitors lines up, but it’s not easy to find a man who fits the bill. This warm, endearing tale, featuring stunning cinematography, won the top prize at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival.

“A compact near-masterpiece that combines a slow-motion romantic comedy with a docudrama-style portrait of a remote, nomadic culture as it is gradually eroded by the tides of the 21st century.” -Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

TRANSSIBERIAN

SHOWN AT 5:00PM
Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are the perfect American couple traveling from Beijing to Moscow on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express train. The two strike a bond with another couple, Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), who are not exactly as they appear. Unwittingly, Roy and Jessie are caught in a web of drug trafficking and murderous deceit when all four become targets of ex-KGB detective Grinko’s (Ben Kingsley) investigation.

“‘Transsiberian’ starts in neutral, taking the time to introduce its characters, and then goes from second into high like greased lightning. I was a little surprised to notice how thoroughly it wound me up. This is a good one.” -Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times

MAN ON WIRE

SHOWN AT 7:15PM
On an August day in 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York’s twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. Structured as a caper, “Man On Wire” meticulously follows the story of a young juggler who becomes infatuated with the planned twin towers, through years of preparation to create the unique and magnificent spectacle that became known as “the artistic crime of the century.”

“They say that seeing is believing, but ‘Man On Wire’ will make you doubt what your eyes are telling you – it really will – as you shake your head in amazement and awe.” -Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

GOD OF VAMPIRES

SHOWN AT 9:30PM

Five years ago, I wrote an action/horror script called “God Of Vampires” about Chinese vampires. It could described as an ultra-violent kung-fu horror movie, like a combination of a Hong Kong Action flick and “Evil Dead.” Having no money and knowing that nobody gives you money to make your first film (at least in my world), I set out to raise enough money to make the film myself on a barebones budget. I got people to invest about $26,000 and we started shooting on weekends and whenever people were available. Because our budget was so low, we all had to work regular jobs. As the years passed on I changed jobs many times but kept plugging away at “God Of Vampires.” Interestingly enough, as we progressed, the film became more involved and bigger in scale. The sets got more elaborate and the FX became more graphic. Instead of the enthusiasm fading away and slowing down, it would build and gain momentum even with the production being halted for several months at a time due to an array of bizarre circumstances. We’ve had our lead actor in a really bad car accident, we’ve run out of funds, our cameraman actually went to Iraq to film the war during the first couple of months as an entreched journalist. He actually got mortar shrapnel in his ass when one blew up next to him! There are a million things that happened to us over the years both good and bad, but we pulled through anyway and five years later, we have completed “God Of Vampires.”

Sincerely,
Your most humble Director,
Rob Fitz

Mr. Fitz will be on hand after the film to talk about the journey that was “God Of Vampires,” which is part of our Friday Night Frights series, which ends on Halloween Night with the Lovecraft tale, “Cthulhu.”

“A fun, bloody action/horror hybrid that actually presented us with a different kind of bloodsucker for once (always a good thing) and knew exactly what it was doing.” -Johnny Butane, Dread Central

Little Lad’s Herbal Corn Served At Cape Ann Community Cinema

While Cape Ann Community Cinema pops popcorn fresh, they also offer this herbal corn for $2.50 a bag and it is scary how addictive it is.

Cape Ann Community Cinema Schedule For 10/21-10/22

Cape Ann Community Cinema, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21

SIR! NO SIR!

SHOWN AT 7:15

David Zeiger’s documentary energetically reveals the untold story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam. This is the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960’s – one that had a profound impact on American society, yet has been virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time. This hidden history combines fast-paced archival footage with thoughtful interviews, which Variety calls “perfectly timed with new doubts about the Iraq war.”

Holy Cross professor Jerry Lembcke, who is featured in the film,
will be on hand for a Q&A after the film.

“As it is, this one is compelling enough, a potent mix of outrage, residual anger, and sorrow that speaks not just to the legacy of our misadventures in Vietnam, but to the entire uncertain future of a nation at war.” -Bill Gallo, The Village Voice


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER

SHOWN AT 7:15PM

Set in and around a Budapest store, Ernst Lubitsch’s 1940 classic “The Shop Around The Corner” features co-workers Klara (Margaret Sullavan) and Alfred (James Stewart) harboring an intense dislike for each other while maintaining a secret letter-writing relationship, neither realizing whom each other’s pen pal is. They fall in love via their correspondence, while being antipathic and peevish towards one another in real life. A major subplot concerns the apparent infidelity of the store owner’s wife, and its spillover effect upon the various working relationships in the shop. The film was remade as “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in 1998, and was ranked #28 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Passions” list.

Join Variety film critic Daniel M. Kimmel as he presents the film and talks about and signs his new book, “I’ll Have What She’s Having,” which goes behind-the-scenes of Hollywood’s greatest romantic comedies.


Cape Ann Community Cinema Schedule For 10/20-10/21

Cape Ann Community Cinema, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 20

THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN

SHOWN AT 7:15PM
“The Real Dirt On Farmer John” will turn every idea you ever had about what it means to be an American farmer – or an American dreamer – on its head. Meet Farmer John, the incredible human being whose inspirational story of revolutionizing his family farm and redeeming his own life has won accolades and awards at film festivals around the world. Director Taggart Siegel of Collective Eye made the film in a most unusual way – shooting farmer John Peterson over 25 years of their evolving friendship, and using multiple media, from 8 mm home movies to modern video – allowing him to capture his alternately humorous, heartbreaking and spirited life with raw drama and intimacy.

Part of our

series of sustainability films.

“What a blessing this film is, for everyone who’s chosen the road less taken, and even perhaps for anyone who’s stood in their way.” -Jan Stuart, Newsday

SHOWN FOLLOWING THE SHORT:

THE STORY OF STUFF

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. “The Story Of Stuff” is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. “The Story Of Stuff” exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21

SIR! NO SIR!

SHOWN AT 7:15

David Zeiger’s documentary energetically reveals the untold story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam. This is the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960’s – one that had a profound impact on American society, yet has been virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time. This hidden history combines fast-paced archival footage with thoughtful interviews, which Variety calls “perfectly timed with new doubts about the Iraq war.”

Holy Cross professor Jerry Lembcke, who is featured in the film,
will be on hand for a Q&A after the film.

“As it is, this one is compelling enough, a potent mix of outrage, residual anger, and sorrow that speaks not just to the legacy of our misadventures in Vietnam, but to the entire uncertain future of a nation at war.” -Bill Gallo, The Village Voice