Formats and Editions
Stella Maris was a major advancement in filmmaking. Mary Pickford plays dual roles in a film that is very different from anything she had ever done before. It tells the story of two, very different young women; a beautiful, rich, but crippled Stella Maris and Unity Blake, a deformed and abused orphan. Director, Marshall Neilan, and cinematographer Walter Stradling created some trick photography for Mary to play both roles, using double exposure photography and complex editing which made it possible to present both characters on screen simultaneously.The Mary Pickford Foundation and the Paramount Film Archive partnered to access all elements available in the Pickford collections both at the UCLA Film & Television Archive and at the Library of Congress. Even though the archives were shut down during the pandemic, all parties cooperated to send the film elements to Paramount so they could be scanned in 4K resolution and commence work on the restoration.The two primary elements used in this restoration were a 1967 35mm B&W Dupe Negative and an incomplete 1925 35mm Tinted Print. Scans from the Dupe Negative were used for the majority of the feature, and all surviving material from the print was inserted where possible. New inter-titles were digitally recreated for the Dupe Negative to match the feel and length of the Print, as the cards in the Negative were static and much longer than originally intended. The tinting scheme of the Print was used for all evening sequences: amber for night interiors and blue for night exteriors, with the rest of the feature B&W for all daytime sequences. Lastly, all the most egregious damage was digitally repaired, the film's printed-in jitter was stabilized, and the film's frame-rate was digitally varisped to 19fps, mirroring a more natural, hand-cranked projection speed suitable for 1918, the year of the film's release.