CASPER, Wyo. — Casper filmmaker Dennis Rollins’s first dramatic feature will premiere Saturday at the Rialto theater in downtown Casper at 3:30 p.m.
“Forgotten Ingenue” is a biopic of Shoshoni-born actress Isabel Jewell, portrayed by fellow Casper theater alum Alexandria Trimble.
While editing the film in March, Rollins told Oil City News he’d seen Jewell “about 3,000 times” in one of his favorite films, the 1937 adventure Lost Horizon, but it wasn’t until eight years ago that a friend told him the actress had been born in Shoshoni.
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Jewell was also cast as Emmy Slattery in Gone with the Wind. Rollins said Jewell eventually got bigger roles, albeit in far less prestigious films.
“She had a ton of ambition, but never quite made stardom,” he said. “In the Hollywood system of the ’30s and ’40s they just beat you to death. The studios owned you.”
Rollins said Jewell’s biographical information came from newspaper accounts and interviews with people who knew the family, and that friend Pat Greiner fashioned those ideas into a compelling script.