THE FIRST AUTO
Starring Russell Simpson, Patsy Ruth Miller and Charles Emmett Mack
MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE
In spite of the fact that Barney Oldfield and other celebrities were present in the flesh when this film opened at top prices at the Colony in New York, a note of sadness entered the premiere when it was recalled that one of the principals players, Charles Emmett Mack, was killed while en route to the studio to continue his work in this picture. The film itself didn't cause much of a sensation, the general opinion of the reviewers being that it was just pleasant entertainment of old-fashioned days. There's an auto race in which Barney Oldfield appears, but most of the plot concerns an old horse lover who hates to see the advent of the "gas buggy." "The first Auto" is "a very wholesome and most enjoyable picture for all of us living in cities and only used to the odor of gasoline," says the Post . . . "and no one will regret" seeing it "unless they are so blasé they know not the love of horses and can unashamedly wipe away a tear at the death of an old mare whose colt licks its mother's neck in sympathy in her dying moments." Although it believes there are spots where the sentiment has been spread on rather thickly, the Times is of the opinion that, as a whole, the film is an imaginative piece of work. "As a drama," states Donald Thompson, in the Telegram, "'The First Auto' offers a minimum of interest, but since it never pretended to be anything but a page from the family album, nobody should be very mad about that . . . In the last analysis, it is hard to conceive 'The First Auto' as a very interesting picture for any audience other than one composed wholly of orphans who . . . have failed to inherit a family album of their own." The performances of Russell Simpson, as the old horse lover, and Patsy Ruth Miller and the direction met with critical approval.
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