Release dateOctober 5, 1914 (1914-10-05) WriterAugustus E. Thomas (story)
The Nightingale is a 1914 American silent drama film directed and written by Augustus Thomas and released by Alco Film Corporation. It is the motion picture debut of Ethel Barrymore in a story written especially for her by Thomas. Thomas, famed as a Broadway playwright, was the best friend of Barrymore's father Maurice and had known the actress since she was a child. As with many of Barrymore's films to come, the advertising for this film says the film is told in 'acts' as with a stage play, an effort to remind the audience of the star's status and preference for the legitimate stage. This film is long thought to be lost.
The story of this film is similar to Clyde Fitch's 1901 play Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines in which Barrymore became a star playing an Italian opera singer. Fitch had died in 1909 and Charles Frohman, Barrymore's theatrical employer, owned the rights to Captain Jinks.. . Augustus Thomas, a Barrymore family friend and author, fashioned a similar story for Barrymore enticing her make a film with material she was familiar with. This was common practice in the silent era to make a write-around story to popular works in which screen rights could not be attained.
A screen version of Fitch's Captain Jinks.. was later made with Ann Murdock.
Ethel Barrymore as Isola Franti, 'The Nightingale'