Rex Ingram

Life
1893-1950 [pseud. of Reginald Ingram Montgomery Hitchcock], son of Donnellan lecturer (TCD), and rector of Kinnity, Co. Offaly; ed. St. Columba’s; emig. USA at 18; Yale School of Fine Arts; his Four Horsemen of the Apoocalypse (Metro, 1920) introduced Rudolph Valentino and Alice Terry, whom he married; other films incl. The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) and Scaramouche (1923). Two novels, Legion Advances (1934), and Mars in the House of Death (1939), on bullfighting in Sapin and Mexico; d. Hollywood. DIB DIW

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Commentary
Liam O’Leary, Rex Ingram: Master of the Silent Cinema (Le Giornate de Cinema Muto/British Film Institute 1993), ill.

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Notes
Mare Nostrum, dir Rex Ingram (USA 1925), 100 mins; based on Vincente Blasco Ibanez’s novel of love and espionage in World War I, dir. Dublin-born emigré; shows him as a silent pictorialist with a taste for mystical and exotic; voluptuous visions often featured actress wife Alice Terry, with Rudolph Valentino in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Antonio Moreno in Mare Nostrum; here she is Freya helping German spy who seduces her lover Ulysses into helping her country’s cause with tragic consequences for both of them. [Programme of Walter Reade Theatre, 1994.]

James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939) contains an allusion to Rex Ingram: ‘his scaffold is there set up, as to edify, by Rex Ingram, pageant-master’ (FW568.35), combine the office of pageant master - and therewith perhaps holder of the Theatrical Patent in Dublin - with and movie director and also something more ominous.

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