Elsie Jane Wilson
A professional actress from the age of two, New Zealand-born Elsie Jane Wilson followed her husband Rupert Julian to America in 1913, where both found work as actors with various Universal companies. Julian later turned to directing -- often directing his wife -- with Elsie Jane functioning as co-director. "We like the same kind of pictures," she explained to the fan magazine Photoplay. Taking time out to appear in Oliver Twist (1916) and other Paramount vehicles, Wilson returned to Universal and embarked on a directorial career of her own, mainly helming polite comedies. None of Wilson's films seem to have survived, but from the reviews of the day, it is clear that her forte was eliciting good performances from otherwise indifferent talent. Few women directors sustained careers into the more conglomerate atmosphere of the 1920s, however, and Wilson's final film, the farce The Game's Up was released in January of 1919. "Is directing a man's work? -- I should say it is," she explained. Proving his wife's words, Rupert Julian's career soared during the decade, taking over Von Stroheim's troubled The Merry-Go-Round (1923) and guiding Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera (1925).
~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide