Welcome to the Rex Ingram Archive.
This site is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most successful, and least celebrated, film directors. Born the son of a Church of Ireland rector in Dublin in 1892, and reared in the Irish midlands, Ingram emigrated to the United States in his teens, never to return to the country of his birth. In time, he became one of Hollywood’s best-known film directors, launching the career of Rudolf Valentino in his epic anti-war film, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, of 1921. Later, tired of fighting the Hollywood system, and increasingly attracted by Arab life, he set up with his wife and leading actor, Alice Terry, at the Victorine Studios in Nice, from where he could easily catch a ship to Africa. With the advent of sound, Ingram’s career came to an end, and he returned to his first calling, sculpture. He travelled widely during these years, before returning to America, and an early death in 1950.
The contents of this site have been drawn from many sources. My huge thanks go to my colleague, Dr Conor O’Kelly, for redesigning the site from an original design by Dr Aidan Delaney, and for his heroic work on digitizing Ingram’s memoirs, A Long Way From Tipperary, now freely available on these pages. The original manuscript and other papers and artefacts are held by the Trinity College archives, and prior to that were in the possession for many years of Geoff Balkan, for whom we have to thank for custodianship of these items following the death of Alice Terry. The collection acquired from Mr Balkan included two reels of Ingram’s home movies. These are also now held in the TCD archives but have been digitized and made available on this site. They, along with the memoirs, provide a fascinating insight into Ingram’s personal life and his milieu in California.
Many of the images reproduced on these pages are held in the National Library of Ireland, which also hosts the Liam O’Leary archives, the most substantial collection of Ingram papers and artefacts in the world. Other materials come courtesy of collectors and friends of Ingram’s legacy, notably Bill Grantham and Rick Spector. Others are from the private collection of the late Valerie Pearce, and her father’s photographs of Ingram and the Victorine Studios.
Without the support of the Hitchcock family, these pages and my own biography of Ingram, Rex Ingram, Visionary Director of the Silent Screen, would be lesser works and I would like to acknowledge their presence behind so much of what you see here. The many Ingram fans and scholars globally, including the eminent historian, Kevin Brownlow, contributed knowledge and advice to this project as it evolved, and I invite you all to keep doing so.
Trinity College Dublin