LOIS WEBER FOR "UNCLE TOM"
Pollard Ill, Woman Director Makes Slavery Epic
It is a tradition of the theater that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" companies always do have a tough time of it. And now just to preserve the tradition the regulation luck has befallen the picture version. Harry Pollard, who was directing, and who went east to make several sequences of the picture is ill in the hospital with a shattered jaw, and has resigned himself to giving up pointing the way to Topsy, Eva, Uncle Tom and the rest.
Lois Weber yesterday was intrusted with the direction of the picture, and feels the responsibility so strongly that she has hied her away to the hills or the shore, no one is sure which, in order to be alone to prepare for the undertaking. It is quite possible that she may give the story a slightly different treatment from the one Pollard was considering. She has also to choose a Topsy and an Eva for the picture, and this alone is enough to make anybody take to the desert.
"The Sensation Seekers," which was the title finally bestowed on the story which Miss Weber was to have made, will be shelved for the time being.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" meanwhile is to absorb all Miss Weber's talents, as it is to be one of the greatest pictures Universal has made, according to the hopes and plans of the company. As will perhaps be remembered, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was filmed once before by Universal, and Miss Weber was at that time a director for the company. So it is quite likely that she may be able to bring more to the picture, even aside from her native and very great talents, than any other director could, owing to her observations made at the time and her ability to build on the other interpretation.
Friends of Pollard are sympathizing with him deeply, not only because of his physical sufferings, but because of his disappointment at having to give up his great dreams with regard to this picture. However, he himself gallantly and voluntarily resigned his duties and privileges in connection with the production, saying, "The work must go on," after Universal had willingly waited for his recovery during many weeks.