GenreRomance, Drama Story byGeorge Hopkins CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles) Release dateJune 1, 1919 (1919-06-01) Based on"Creationâ€™s Tears"
by George James Hopkins WriterGeorge James Hopkins (story), Adrian Johnson (scenario) CastTheda Bara (Princess Zara), Alan Roscoe, William B Davidson (Rev Winthrop Stark), Claude Payton (High Priest), Robert Elliott (Pulke) Similar moviesRelated J Gordon Edwards movies
A Woman There Was is a 1919 American silent South Seas drama film directed by J. Gordon Edwards and starring Theda Bara. The film is based on the short story "Creation’s Tears", by George James Hopkins (under the name "Neje Hopkins"). Bara portrays Zara, the daughter of a South Seas island tribal chief, who falls in love with a missionary and is killed after helping him escape.
As described in a film magazine, Zara (Bara), daughter of tribal chief Majah (Ardizoni), is beloved by Pulke (Elliott), a pearl diver. When New England missionary Winthrop Stark (Davidson) arrives, Zara has no time for Pulke but offers her love to Stark, who refuses her as he expects to wed a girl back home. Pulke, jealous of the missionary, attempts to kill him with a spear but Zara shield him at risk to her life. When a typhoon hits the natives, to appease the gods, decide to offer Stark as a sacrifice, but again Zara saves him by offering herself in his place. She plunges into the ocean but is saved by the missionary before she drowns. As a result of his exertions, Stark lingers near death. Zara steals the sacred black pearl from the tomb of her father, who died during the storm, and with it Stark recovers. The natives stab Zara for taking the pearl, and once more she saves Stark, though dying herself, by returning the black pearl as payment for his safety.
Theda Bara - Princess Zara
William B. Davidson - Rev. Winthrop Stark
Robert Elliott - Pulke
Claude Payton - High Priest
John Ardizoni - Majah
A Woman There Was was filmed in Miami Beach, Florida, which at that time was often used as a substitute locale in South Seas films.
Compared to her earlier films, A Woman There Was was a commercial flop. Prior Fox films had typecast Bara as a vamp, and the public would not accept Bara in a non-vamp role in films such as A Woman There Was.
The studio prints of Bara's films were destroyed along with the rest of Fox's silent films in the 1937 Fox vault fire. With no copies of the film in any private collections or archives, A Woman There Was is now considered to be a lost film.