Marguerite tends to ill Bakhtiari, amputating a finger, expelling a leech

The Bakhtiari men ruled harshly over the women, who did most of the work around the camp. While the men gossiped with their neighbors, the women milked the sheep and goats and prepared the meals. Cooper and Schoedsack joined the men, lounging around the tents. Marguerite didn’t work with the women, but she soon found herself busy …

Marguerite smokes opium while floating on a barge of goatskins

Merican Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack and Marguerite Harrison were thrilled with the prospect of reaching the Bakhtiari, but it was already mid-March, and they hadn’t much time because soon the tribe would be setting out on its journey.  A British political officer found the Americans a car to take them to Shushtar, where the Bakhtiari princes were camped. There, they met a young …

The Americans try to reach the Bakhtiari

British intelligence officers in Bagdad, including Gertrude Bell and Sir Arnold Wilson, advised Marguerite Harrison, Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack to try filming the Bakhtiari, the same tribe Harry Dwight had suggested a year earlier. The Bakhtiari, who lived west of the Zagros Mountains, each spring undertook an arduous journey in search of grass for …

Turmoil in Turkey thwarts plan to film Kurds

At the time Marguerite Harrison, Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack set out to film Grass, Western nations had keen interest in the Middle East. Inspired by the writings of British adventurers, including spies T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, tourism to the region thrived. In addition to the cultural fascination with the area, the American, …

An unusual team sets off for a mission and a movie

Marguerite Harrison, Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack formed an unusual team as they set off on the Middle East mission worker under the cover of filmmakers. Marguerite, a former Baltimore socialite, knew nothing about film making. What she knew about movies was drawn mainly from her position on the Maryland movie censorship board, that her …

Photo Gallery

Marguerite Harrison's childhood home, Ingleside, in Catonsville, Md. Photo courtesy of Catonsville Public Library.Marguerite Harrison with husband, Tom, and son, Tommy. Photo courtesy of Nancy Harrison.Tommy Harrison at Gilman. Photo courtesy of Gilman School.Maryand Gov. Albert Ritchie, Marguerite Harrison's brother-in-law.Marguerite Harrison on the Polish border preparing to enter Russia. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Sun.Solomon Mogilievsky, …