Britannia and “The Man from Glengarry”

The “Man from Glengarry” was an extremely popular book in the early part of the last century. LibriVox notes that “Immediately after its publication in 1901, the novel spent several months in the top ranks of the New York Times “Books in Demand” list.”  (here for the free ebook.pdf).

So popular that in 1922 they made a silent film based on it, directed by Canadian Henry Macrae and produced in Ottawa.

Most of the shooting was done near Mattawa as this is a tale of the drama and intrigue of the logging trade, a life easily as exciting as that of a secret agent. However, the interior shots and some exterior shots were done in Ottawa.

In the clip below it is easy to recognize the old Dominion Railway Station and Parliament Hill. For other interiors they used the Chateau Laurier and the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill.

After you watch this reel the FLQ  suddenly makes sense ; the bad guy is “Louis Lenoir” who says “Hottawa.” Seriously?  Maudit Anglais Criss de calice de tabarnak d’osti de sacramentde trovvierge!

Some of the other interior scenes were done in St Stephen’s Church in Britannia. The local exterior shots were done in Rockcliffe Park, and also on “Booth Company land” ie also in Britannia.

Unfortunately only two of the original six reels have survived, and this (above) is one of them. Apparently the St Stephen’s Church scenes have not survived, and if there were any exterior shots done in Britannia on the above reel I definitely missed them. Maybe on the other reel?

From time to time “The Man from Glengarry” seems to pop up, eg at the ByTowne, and even City Hall, so maybe we’ll get a chance to check the other reel out someday.





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