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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A picture in which some of the vagaries of a woman's whims are forcibly delineated. An actress has two lovers, one who really loves her and one whom she really loves, a difference which made a great distinction in this instance. She rejects the one who loves her and the one she loves rejects her. Then she induces the one whom she rejected to ruin the one who rejected her by promising him that she would marry him the day he accomplished it. That is a good mix up for a starter, but it represents the complications which make this film an interesting bit of dramatic work. The actress is the sweet faced Biograph lady whom theatergoers have come to know and look for whenever a Biograph film is seen. And her acting in this picture, when she reads the letter telling her that her lover is about to marry a society belle, could scarcely be equaled. She not only makes her face eloquent of her grief, but her hands add emphasis to what her face says. And then comes the sudden change when she conceives the scheme of having this suitor ruined just to vent her spite. But it is done. Then she repents and teases away from the man whom she coaxed to do it the stocks and returns them with her card. They arrive just as the ruined man is about to commit suicide. Of course he rushes away to find her and undertake to make up. But after apparently deciding to go with him she turns and buries her face on the shoulder of the one she formerly rejected, representing the climax of the unexpected in a woman's action. This is no ordinary love drama. It is a representation of the deeper passions which sometimes sway men and women, and they are represented so subtly that one scarcely realizes how profound the action is until it is over. The scenes representing the fight in Wall Street are unique in that they do not show the howling mob of speculators, but the interior of two offices, the two most vitally interested, and the imagination must supply the rest. This is a clever and welcome change from the usual thing in a Wall Street battle. There are other forces in Wall Street aside from those that make the stock exchange a delirium of noise, and in this picture they are graphically presented. The idea is a good one and is quite as forcible as the other way. The staging is good, and the details are worked out with care and fidelity. Photographically the film is not quite up to the Biograph standard, but in no place is it blurred. It is a little dark here and there, but possibly that was done to give emphasis to the figures which were then on the screen or appeared while the unusual heavy toning was seen. At any rate, whether this was intended or not, that was the effect of the dark film. It is a good picture, full of action and strength, and will be popular with audiences everywhere. The Moving Picture World, August 28, 1909
In this short film the 34 year old D.W. Griffith unites the two communities of the North and South. Yankees and Confederates alike are married together in this offering in order to create a New People of America. His group cohesion is based on homogeneity, but perceives diversity as bringing disunity. It is a statement against legalising diversity stating that it is an enemy of the peace. >From a director's point of view, Griffith does not collaborate with his audience. None of the characters impose themselves on the story or allow you to enter into their universe. What does come across is the visual subjectivity of Griffith's mind.
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