These two reels of film were among the items that Alice Terry’s nephew, Geoff Balkan, inherited and stored for safekeeping. They are now held under copyright in the Manuscripts and Archives department of the library of Trinity College Dublin.
The larger reel (Rex Ingram Large Reel Kodachrome 1 & 2) is a beautifully preserved set of spliced-together home movies. They look to have been filmed in the mid-late 1940s and are set primarily on Rex Ingram and Alice Terry’s bungalow in California and their Santa Barbara ranch. One short sequence takes place on a fishing boat, named the Orca, a title it shares with the fishing boat in Jaws. The bungalow had a swimming pool in the garden and the Ingram-Terry guests evidently enjoyed spending some high-octane leisure time there. Particularly recognisable in one shot is Erich von Stroheim, possibly with his lover, Denise Vernac. Much of the footage includes Gerald Fielding (with his uncanny resemblance to Ingram), whom Rex Ingram and Alice Terry met in France, and who may have become Terry’s lover. Also present is Rosita Garcia, who may have been Rex Ingram’s lover. Ingram and Terry evidently moved in a gay circle, and at least two of the young men present appear to be lovers. Also enjoying starring roles are the many Terry-Ingram dogs, including two puppies Ingram is determined to make pose. We assume that the footage was mainly shot by Alice Terry, though it is also evident that Ingram was giving the cameraperson detailed instructions.
The reels have been split into three parts in order to make them available on YouTube.
The shorter reel (Rex Ingram Small Roll Anscocolor) opens with an intriguing sequence, which is more cinematic than the other footage. In it, Terry and Ingram film each other posed in a window overlooking a busy street, talking to camera (obviously the film itself is silent). This is followed by a shot of Ingram walking across the street that is again very formal in composition. After that, the reel returns to scenes at their two homes, and the ever-present Pomeranians.
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Rex Ingram Large Reel Kodachrome 1
Rex Ingram Large Reel Kodachrome 2
Rex Ingram Large Reel Kodachrome 3
Rex Ingram Small Roll AnscoColor