Fanny is the wife of Ben Webster, a trapper, and while he is an affectionate and dutiful husband, she yearns for something which appears better than her lot. She reasons: "Have I not youth ... See full summary »

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James Kirkwood ...
Ben Webster
Marion Leonard ...
Fanny Webster
Frank Powell ...
Ed Hilton
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Fanny is the wife of Ben Webster, a trapper, and while he is an affectionate and dutiful husband, she yearns for something which appears better than her lot. She reasons: "Have I not youth and beauty and attainments far above this environment? Why should I be compelled to toil and struggle in this wilderness?" Truly, she did not know just what she yearned for, still a change of any sort would have been acceptable. Discontent is stamped upon her countenance, as Ben bids her good bye for a hunting trip in the North Woods. Webster embarks in his canoe, and sighting game, stands to fire. The light craft is overturned, throwing him into the water. Weighted down by his heavy clothing and cartridge belt, he would have drowned had not his plight been witnessed from the shore by Ed Hilton, a Canadian hunter. Hilton leaps in and succeeds in dragging the half-drowned trapper to land, where a strong friendship springs up between the two, and as night falls they make camp and sleep under the same ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Drama

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7 October 1909 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Torn Between Two Lovers
5 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Marion Leonard (as Fanny) and James Kirkwood (as Ben) seem to be a happily married couple. One day, Mr. Kirkwood goes out on a hunting jaunt, in a canoe; when he rises to fire at some game, the canoe capsizes. Apparently a poor swimmer, Kirkwood is rescued by nearby hunter Frank Powell (as Ed). Mr. Powell helps dry Kirkwood off, and the two crawl under a blanket for the evening. The next morning, Kirkwood thanks Powell for his kindness, and goes on his way. Then, Ms. Leonard meets Powell, while on one of her shopping trips; and, they kindle an attraction. Soon, Leonard and Powell are meeting regularly, and decide to run away together, leaving Kirkwood in the cold…

Remarkable 1909 story, content-wise, from D.W. Griffith, G.W. Bitzer, and the good folks at Biograph. Leonard's performance as a "torn-between-two-loves" woman is a highlight, ahead of its time. Her leading men do are quite good, also, with some implausible situations. "Fools of Fate" is a cut above the usual, due to its interesting premise, and Marion Leonard's performance.

***** Fools of Fate (10/7/09) D.W. Griffith ~ Marion Leonard, James Kirkwood, Frank Powell


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