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The New Magdalen (1910)

Mercy Merrick, a beautiful young English woman, is the victim of a heartless man. When she learns that he is married she is about to commit suicide and is prevented from doing so by Julian ... See full summary »

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Mercy Merrick
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William V. Ranous ...
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Mercy Merrick, a beautiful young English woman, is the victim of a heartless man. When she learns that he is married she is about to commit suicide and is prevented from doing so by Julian Gray, a young curate. Determined to redeem herself, Mercy enlists as a Red Cross nurse in the Franco-Prussian war. Grace Roseberry is on her way to England to be adopted by her relative Lady Janet Roy, and in passing through the lines she is struck by a piece of shell and left for dead. Mercy Merrick exchanges clothes with Miss Roseberry and takes her letter of introduction, goes to England and is adopted as Grace Roseberry and saves her life. Julian Gray, who is Lady Roy's nephew falls in love with Mercy Merrick, not recognizing her as the woman he had saved from suicide. They are engaged to be married. The real Grace Roseberry is about to be taken away as a lunatic when Mercy Merrick's best nature asserts itself and she declares herself to be an impostor and saves the other woman. In a touching ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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19 November 1910 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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By the mere power of suggestion it carries the interest evenly
28 September 2015 | by See all my reviews

In working out a picture play along the American idea, it is absolutely necessary for the producer to be absolute master of the situation at all times. It is necessary for the producer and actors to understand each other thoroughly. This is apparent in the work of "The New Magdalen." The director has his company thoroughly educated and in tune with himself. It is evident that they follow his directions to the letter. In other words, he does the thinking, and they do the work. Therefore with him should rest the blame if the pictures fail, and to him should go the credit when they succeed. It is not the purpose of this review to follow the scenes in detail. We prefer to treat the matter a little more broadly when it is evident that a producer is working along certain definite lines. The picture is essentially a studio picture, with only one or two outdoor scenes. The photography is as clear and bright as a good lens and proper light can make it. (Incidentally it might be remarked that if the manufacturers expect to have their films reviewed under the best of circumstances, they should get after the Sales Company and cause them to furnish better projection. An exhibition with bad focus and poor light is no way for a maker to be showing off his goods.) The acting in "The New Magdalen" is consistent throughout. By the mere power of suggestion it carries the interest evenly, right up to the climax. It is at the climax, just before the confession, that we get the best example of the American idea, when the suspense is brought to a high point of tension. Though she stands rigid and motionless, it is easy to read in the face of Mary Merrick that she is torn with internal emotion. She stands at a great divide; at a point where she must give up all that life holds dear, or do a great wrong to another. The director is to be congratulated upon the great amount of sustained interest he has obtained all through the piece, but especially at this one point. The Powers leading lady, Miss Pearl White, is naturally adapted for the part of Mary Merrick. She is extremely pretty; almost too pretty, we thought, when she appeared in rags in the first scene. It may have made a better contrast with her later grace and charm had she appeared at first a little more emaciated. To Miss White, however, does not belong all the credit of good work. While she is the leading note in the symphony, the other actors are the notes that swell it into a full and complete harmony. They are right behind her all the time, and while their work may seem to be secondary to hers, they have as much to do with the working up of that big scene as she. The setting for the climax is elaborate to the extreme. It is nip and tuck between the work in the characters of Mary Merrick and Grace Roseberry. It is hard to tell which of the ladies did the better. The sub-dominant parts of Julian Gray and Lady Roy were exceptionally well handled. Mr. Golden has the right idea, and while he is working it out along his own original lines, we hope to have the privilege of applauding many more such efforts as "The New Magdalen." - The Moving Picture World, November 26, 1910


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