Directed by Lois Weber
Trailblazing writer and director Lois Weber combined technical mastery, creative control, and thematic daring to become arguably the first auteur in film history. Tackling controversial subjects such as sex work and birth control, Weber put forward a strikingly personal, ahead-of-its-time vision in films like THE DUMB GIRL OF PORTICI, the first epic directed by a woman and the only feature film to star legendary ballet superstar Anna Pavlova; SHOES, a remarkable proto-neorealist study of poverty; and THE BLOT, a class-conscious romantic melodrama often cited as her masterpiece. Though a giant in her time—she ran her own studio, was the first woman director accepted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and at one point was the highest-paid director in Hollywood—her radically progressive body of work was obscured by the male-dominated consolidation of the studio system, making it now ripe for rediscovery.
Directed by Lois Weber Teaser
Pamela Hutchinson on Lois Weber
This interview with critic and film historian Pamela Hutchinson was recorded in 2021.
The Dumb Girl of Portici
Directed by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley • 1916 • United States
Starring Anna Pavlova, Rupert Julian, Laura Oakley
Two trailblazing women artists—filmmaker Lois Weber and Russian ballet superstar Anna Pavlova—joined forces to create this long-unseen landmark of silent cinema, the first blockb...
Directed by Lois Weber • 1916 • United States
Starring Mary MacLaren, Harry Griffith, Mattie Witting
Decades before the artistic triumph of neorealism and the cultural revolution of the feminist movement, director Lois Weber expressed the seeds of both in what is perhaps her greatest work: an al...
Directed by Lois Weber • 1921 • United States
Starring Claire Windsor, Louis Calhern, Philip Hubbard
The last film made under the banner of Lois Weber Productions, this moral drama, also written by Weber, is a biting commentary on economic inequality. Through her portrait of the Griggs family—an...
Directed by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley • 1913 • United States
Starring Lois Weber, Val Paul, Douglas Gerrard
Lois Weber stars as a young mother who is home alone when a tramp enters the house in this visually captivating and stylistically inventive thriller, featuring a striking chase scene...
Directed by Lois Weber and Allen G. Siegler • 1916 • United States
Starring J. Edwin Brown, Charles Hammond, Katherine Griffith
Director Lois Weber also provided the script for this short family drama, which follows a discontented Civil War veteran who leaves the home for aging soldiers where he...