Story byHelen Reimensnyder Martin GenreDrama CountryUnited States
DirectorJohn S. Robertson CinematographyRoy Overbaugh Duration
LanguageSilent (English intertitles) Release dateNovember 16, 1919 (1919-11-16) Based onBarnabetta
by Helen Reimensnyder Martin WriterHelen Reimensnyder Martin (novel), Marian De Forest (play), Kathryn Stuart CastConstance Binney, Mary Alden Related John S. Robertson moviesCome Out of the Kitchen (1919), The Single Standard (1929), The Enchanted Cottage (1924), Captain Salvation (1927)
Erstwhile Susan is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by John S. Robertson, produced and distributed by Realart Pictures. It is based on a 1914 novel Barnabetta by Helen Reimensnyder Martin and later Broadway play Erstwhile Susan by Marian De Forest. Minnie Maddern Fiske starred in the Broadway play in 1916. This film version stars Mary Alden and Constance Binney, then an up-and-coming young actress. This film version, once thought to be lost, survives at the Museum of Modern Art.
First film by Realart Films, Adolph Zukors offshoot affiliate of his Famous Players-Lasky enterprise.
As described in an adoption in the November 1919 issue of the film magazine Shadowland, Barnabetta (Constance Binney) dreams of furthering her education, but her Mennonite father Jacob (Bradley Barker) disapproves. Jacob later marries Erstwhile Susan (Mary Alden), who has money and changes the family relationships, and sends Barnabetta to college. After graduation, she helps David Jordan (Jere Austin) run for the Senate, who then professes his love for her.
Constance Binney - Barnabetta Dreary
Jere Austin - David Jordan
Alfred Hickman - Dr. Edgar Barrett
Mary Alden - Erstwhile Susan
Anders Randolf - Barnaby Dreary
Georges Renavent - Emanuel Dreary
Bradley Barker - Jacob Dreary
Leslie Hunt - Albert Buchter
Clare Verdera - ? (*uncredited)
A copy of the film survives at the Museum of Modern Art. Erstwhile Susan is the only Constance Binney film that survives in a complete form. All of her other work has been lost except for a single reel from First Love (1921).