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Mary is a good girl working as a waitress at an expensive resort, but
when a rich, handsome young guest offers her an engagement ring, she
accepts it..... and shows up at his wedding to some one else with a
baby, of course.
Although this is certainly not one of Griffith's stronger pieces from this period, it is still, like all his work, well worth watching. He handles large groups beautifully -- everyone is always doing something that makes sense, not just standing there saying "Rhubarb". And the early scene in which Charles West and Dorothy Bernard play falling in love is a beautiful piece of pantomime -- one forgets, sometimes, the strong visual component of acting that these old silent movies demanded.
Not often is a picture put on the screen as bald in its exhibition of facts as this one. Often enough it has been hinted that a girl has loved, not wisely, but too well, but this is the first time the visible result of such loving has appeared to the responsible man at his wedding to another. This is an intensely dramatic scene, and so out of the ordinary that it will attract, perhaps, more than the due share of attention. The bride-to-be, naturally, departs, and the man, suddenly confronted with unmistakable evidence of his perfidy, has a revulsion of feeling and marries the unfortunate girl. Perhaps the fact that in modern parlance, a spade is called by its name. is sufficient justification for this presentation of this subject in this way, but undoubtedly many will look askance at the picture and express their doubts of the advisability of presenting such unpleasant truths in such an altogether vigorous manner. Deftly portrayed, it is another Biograph Sermon on the screen. - The Moving Picture World, February 4, 1911
Fate's Turning (1911)
*** (out of 4)
This two-reeler is far from the best work of D.W. Griffith but if you're a fan of his storytelling then you should enjoy it. A good-girl waitress (Dorothy Bernard) is working when a rich man (Charles West) sweeps her off her feet and gives her an engagement ring. After his father's death the rich man feels it would be bad to marry such a girl so he pretty much tosses her to the side and plans to marry another but at the wedding the waitress showing up with a baby. At the time of writing this, this was my 136th film I've seen from Griffith and by viewing that many I've come to realize that the director loved telling good stories where in the end, no matter what happens, every character will be smart enough and decent enough to do the right thing. If you've never seen a Griffith movie then I'd recommend you not start with this one because the good nature goes so far that most people are going to be laughing at what they see. Even I will admit that this short goes way too over-the-top to be believable but I still enjoyed it for what it was. For starters, Griffith tells the story in a very good way and there's not a single second where you will become bored with the events taking place. Another good thing the film has going for it is that both Bernard and West are very good in their roles. As you'd expect the cinematography is top-notch and there's no question that Griffith films, even the bad ones, just contain something special about them.
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