Frank J Marion

  • American

A pioneer in the motion picture field, Frank Marion was responsible for developing such innovations as the newsreel, the "star system," location shots, "chase" movies, war films, and the extravagant use of "extras" to augment casts. He was associated with the development of the animated cartoon, the mutascope, and a method to keep film from slipping in the projector, in competition with Edison's sprocket film. He not only produced and financed his films, but wrote many of them as well. He accomplished all these credits before he retired in 1916 at the age of 46. He was associated first with the Biograph Co., and then with his own company, Kalem, one of the first companies to move from the east to Hollywood.

Marion was asked at the beginning of WW I by President Wilson to join a propaganda committee called the "Committee on Public Information." He travelled throughout Europe, but principally in Spain, to inform the public about the "American Way of Life," through the use of film, news stories, pictures, lectures, and window displays. There was even a secret service branch run by the Navy Department in this division.

Marion retired in 1916, when his house in Stamford, Connecticut was being completed after two years of construction. Of French Canadian descent, Marion was proud of his French ancestry and named his residence "Terre Bonne," after his birth place in Canada. The oil paintings in the library also attest to his French ancestry, depicting scenes from his family's history. The Castle was Marion's summer residence until his death in 1963. During his stay there, he was visited by numerous celebrities of the theatre and related fields. - US NRHP, 1982

Notable Position Organization From To
Sales Manager, Screenwriter Biograph Company 1907


Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
1912/10/03 "From the Manger to the Cross" is released by the Kalem Company Producer From the Manger to the Cross (film) American Lightning - The Birth Of Hollywood
1916/00/00 Frank J Marion retires from the film business as his new summer home is completed. Home Marion Castle, Terre Bonne Stamford, CT
1917/04/13 Woodrow Wilson creates the Committee on Public Information via Executive Order 2594. The committee consisted of George Creel (chairman) and the Secretaries of: State (Robert Lansing), War (Newton D Baker), and the Navy (Josephus Daniels). Committee Member
Shop Amazon

Shopping on Amazon

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Google Ad

Google Ad