A secret society holds a meeting to determine what to do about a powerful and dangerous man whom they have been studying closely for the past three months. They all agree that he deserves to die. Two of the members, Farallone and Forrest, are both in love with Lilith, the group's only female member. But Lilith accepts neither of them, preferring to devote herself to the group's cause. When the group meets again and deals cards to all the members, Forrest draws the ace of hearts, meaning that he will be the one to carry out the assassination. Lilith then suddenly agrees to marry him, in order to give him courage. But after their first night together, both of them begin to feel differently about what they have planned.Written by
Lon Chaney's character was originally called Rattavich, but the name was softened to Farralone to appease censors, who felt that the original name was too unsubtle as to the origins of the group. See more »
The title frame simply shows a picture of a playing card, the ace of hearts. See more »
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) commissioned Vivek Maddala to write an orchestral music score for this movie, and also added sound effects for broadcast on TV in 2000, with a running time of 75 minutes. See more »
WARNING: These comments may reveal portions of the film plot.
"The Ace of Hearts" was a surprisingly interesting film. It had an interesting storyline and good acting. It also presented women in an organization that for 1921 was ahead of its time.
STORY: The story is very interesting. The idea of a group of people who try to kill "evil" businessmen because the businessmen care more about money than the world was not at all what I would expect from a 1921 film.
SETS/SPECIAL EFFECTS: Nothing special here. C'mon, it was 1921! On the other hand, the sets were reflected the setting -- Urban. And the final shot of the arm removed from the body was effectively done, again a surprise for 1921.
MUSIC/SOUNDTRACK: I had the opportunity to see the restored version of the film, with a new soundtrack by Vivek Maddala, who won a competition on TCM to create the track. The music was OUTSTANDING -- I can see how this 20-something won the competition. It set the tone, flowed with the action, and helped to increase the effect of the film.
MAKEUP/COSTUMES: Again, nothing special. One thing that did surprise me was that even though this was a silent, the actors didn't look "pasty" as they often did in early films.
ACTING/DIRECTING: Another surprise. Lon Chaney and all the cast did a good job, without resorting to the overacting so often seen in silents. The solemnity of the story was matched perfectly. The only time it goes over-the-top is when Chaney realizes he can never have the love of his life.
PARENTAL WARNING: None, with the exception of a dis-embodied arm at the end of the film, but there is no gore associated with the scene.
OVERALL: I liked this film. I found it memorable and surprising on many fronts, as already noted. I think the story was far ahead of its time, and would actually be an interesting setup for a remake today.
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