Cast & Crew
In a prologue, author Jack London is shown reading at his ranch. In the main story, sailor Martin Eden becomes tired of life in the South Seas and makes his way back to Oakland, California. When Martin saves Arthur Morse from a gang of ruffians, the two become friends, and later Martin falls in love with Arthur's sister Ruth. Embarrassed by his ignorance, Martin attempts to educate himself but runs out of money and again goes to sea. On ship he writes the first of many stories to be rejected by publishers and becomes friends with Russ Brissenden, an anarchist poet, with whom he attends a Socialist meeting. When Arthur learns of Martin's ties to socialism, he convinces Ruth to break with him. Martin later finds that Russ killed himself just before his work was accepted for publication. Martin eventually becomes successful, but he rejects false friends and cares only for Maria, his widowed Italian landlady, and her many children. After purchasing a farm for Maria, Martin sets sail for the South Seas and drowns himself after becoming despondent.
The novel was first serialized in Pacific Monthly from September 1908 to September 1909. This was one of several films produced by Hobart Bosworth based on Jack London stories. The first was The Sea Wolf, 1913. According to items in the Jack London collection, scenes from the film were shot in San Francisco, Oakland and other locations in the Bay Area of CA. Additional information in the London collection indicates that the film was shot in the fall of 1913, but that its release was delayed while Bosworth, Inc. waited for London's contractual agreement with another company to expire. A modern source places Joe Ray in the cast. London's novel was filmed twice again: in Russia in 1918 as Creation Can't Be Bought, with Vladimir Mayakovsky starring and Nikandr Turkin directing; and by Columbia in 1942 as The Adventures of Martin Eden, with Glenn Ford starring and Sidney Salkow directing.