Mary Denby becomes a seamstress after her husband Steve wastes their money on booze. Her employer provides her as an escort to accompany millionaire Roger Manning. Her husband tries ...
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Cecil B. DeMille
Mabel Van Buren,
Mary Denby becomes a seamstress after her husband Steve wastes their money on booze. Her employer provides her as an escort to accompany millionaire Roger Manning. Her husband tries blackmailing Manning and is later killed by the police, leaving Mary free to wed the millionaire. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
According to the American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1911-1920, at the end of the film, "Mary quickly marries him [i.e. Roger]" This leads one to believe that the surviving print is missing the final sequence, because, at the final fade-out, there is an implication that, now that Mary's husband is dead, she and Roger will get together, but no more. Actually. DeMille wisely left the outcome of their relationship up to the viewer's imagination. This can be confirmed by the original musical cue sheets which also survive, and the music ends just exactly where the film now ends. See more »
If you're interested in the history of film, this movie is definitely worth watching. As other reviewers pointed out, it is a melodrama, but it has a number of interesting surprises that you won't see in other flicks from the period. DeMille pays good attention to small emotional reactions, and the camera is placed pretty close to the actors, a nice change from the stagey feel of some movies even into the late teens. There are two scenes showing physical fights that are marvelously staged--gritty even by today's standards. And the ending would be rare in today's Hollywood.
I was always curious about Wallace Reid, because I read a little about his tragic personal life in a movie book years ago--here he appears in all his youthful strength and good looks. Cleo Ridgely projects a lot of emotion, and only occasionally goes a little overboard. It's easy to sympathize with the plight of her character. The two bad guys are straight out of Jacob Riis photos. I can see why they didn't work for some viewers who have posted their comments, but I found them fascinating, especially the way their dark emotions were enhanced by the movie's lighting. My favorite player was Edythe Chapman, as a wealthy woman hoping to advance her husband's business.
If you can get into the spirit of 1915 in order to enjoy this film on its own level, you will find it worth your while.
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