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The Renunciation (1909)

 |  Short  |  19 July 1909 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Two miners are fighting over a woman, and one is about to murder the other in his sleep. At the critical moment, the woman introduces her fiancé from the city.

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Title: The Renunciation (1909)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Kittie Ryan
Anthony O'Sullivan ...
Steve Ryan, Kittie's Uncle
James Kirkwood ...
Joe Fielding
Harry Solter ...
Sam Walters
Billy Quirk ...
Kittie's Fiancé
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edwin August
Arthur V. Johnson
Wilfred Lucas
W. Chrystie Miller
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Storyline

The appearance of pretty little Kittie Ryan played havoc at Yellow Hill Mining Camp. Joe Fielding and Sam Walters were boyhood chums, and becoming obsessed with the gold fever came out to Yellow Hill as partners. Both sturdy, honorable chaps, they found congeniality in each other's company. They worked together, shared the fruits of their toil, and, in fact, seemed a monumental typification of true friendship. We see them sitting on the rocks smoking and talking over old times, no doubt repeating the lines of Byron: "Ah! happy years! once more, who would not be a boy." But, lo! A cloud. The heart-high disturber appears in the person of Kittie, the pretty niece of old Steve Ryan, on a visit from the East. Joe and Sam are immediately smitten with the little one, whose lustrous orbs pierce their very soul. Both make up their minds to win her, as does every other fellow in the camp. However, Joe seems to hold high cards, and so the erstwhile chums are now bitter rivals. They quarrel over ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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19 July 1909 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Outdated...even when it debuted.
1 October 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Although D.W. Griffith is a famous film pioneer and was responsible for many innovations, he also was often very old fashioned and his movies do not necessarily play well today. A great example is "The Renunciation"--a terribly dated film whose narrative style does much to make the film duller than it should be.

When the film begins, you really have no idea what's happening. There is LOTS of acting (gesticulations and the like) but WHY isn't apparent. At the end of each following segment, an intertitle card tells you what is about to happen and the scene unfolds...along with a lot of overacting. Putting descriptors BEFORE the action wasn't uncommon back in the early days of cinema but it certainly ruined the action. So, while the story is about two friends torn apart by their desire for the same woman, it all comes off as pretty boring and anticlimactic because of Griffith's direction. Very stagy, old fashioned and not especially enjoyable even if you love the older silents.


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