Surprisingly, 3D films are not an invention of the 21st century; it’s just directors and producers favoring 3D cameras in the last ten years or so. And it’s not as if, for example, James Cameron couldn’t have shot Titanic as a 3D movie, there is only the rhetorical question of why he didn’t do so.
The history of 3D films begins in 1922 when the silent movie The Power of Love premiered at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles.
And it was presented once more for exhibitors and press in New York City. That’s how successful it was. Even though it received good reviews and some people were fascinated, the audience wasn’t crazy about it at all.
The film’s producer, Harry K. Fairall, invented the camera equipment with the assistance of the cinematographer Robert F. Elder.
The Power of Love is the first movie in the history of films to have applied dual-strip projection. It was projected in the red/green anaglyph format which makes it also the first movie in which anaglyph glasses were used.
But after the movie was presented for review in New York City (its second projection) it was never heard about again, and it remains on the list of lost movies today.
Since there isn’t much information written about it, many technical questions as for whether Fairall used colored filters on the projection ports or whether he used tinted prints is unknown.
The movie is about how “the power of love” defeats the indecent and greedy antagonist.
The protagonists are Maria Almeda and Terry O’Neal, who fall in love with each other but can’t be together because of Don Alvarez, to whom Maria had been promised by her father Don Almeda.
Maria, O’Neal, and Don Almeda are all affected by Don Alvarez’s crimes but they don’t know it until O’Neal reveals the true identity of Don Alvarez.
Alvarez tries to shoot him, but wounds Maria instead, because she has thrown herself in front of him. Maria recovers and after proving that Alvarez is a thief and a killer, marries O’Neal.
The movie was directed by Nat G. Deverich and Harry K. Fairall and starts Barbara Bedford as Maria Almeda, Elliot Sparling as Terry O’Neal, Albert Prisco as Don Alvarez and Noah Beery Sr. as Don Almeida.
The film was later shown in 2D as Forbidden Lover. It is not known whether the 2-D version of the film currently survives.
Those who have seen Forbidden Lover had the opportunity to choose what kind of ending they want to see – a happy one or a tragic ending.
They could do so by looking through only the red or green lens of the spectacles.