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The Primal Call (1911)

 |  Romance, Short  |  22 June 1911 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 8 users  
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A young woman who is engaged to a millionaire she doesn't love meets and falls in love with a rough sailor.

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Title: The Primal Call (1911)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Wilfred Lucas ...
The Fisherman
...
The Woman
Grace Henderson ...
The Woman's Mother
Dell Henderson ...
The Creditor
Joseph Graybill ...
John T. Dillon ...
The Millionaire's Friend / At Club (as Jack Dillon)
Vivian Prescott ...
The Millionaire's Girlfriend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Francis J. Grandon ...
At Party / At Club
...
On Ship
Florence La Badie ...
A Servant
Walter Long ...
Undetermined Role
Marguerite Marsh ...
At Party (unconfirmed)
W. Chrystie Miller ...
The Minister
George Nichols ...
On Ship
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Storyline

A young woman who is engaged to a millionaire she doesn't love meets and falls in love with a rough sailor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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ocean | See All (1) »

Genres:

Romance | Short

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Release Date:

22 June 1911 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Griffith Knew His Audience
8 June 2015 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Claire MacDowell gets engaged to Joseph Graybill because he is a millionaire and her parents have been living well beyond their means. However, on a summer trip to the shore, she meets and falls in love with Wilfred Lucas, a common sailor who walks around in his undershirt. Will she marry Graybill, or throw her parents to the creditor? D.W. Griffith knew his audience. He had spent most of his career touring in melodrama until he chanced upon the movies, and he knew that the people who saw his flicks, who paid for his career, were poor people,not rich folk. He gave them what they wanted in the way of stories like this one.

Technically, Griffith uses the sea as a metaphor for reality. He liked to shoot the waves rippling across the background, and he does it here. There is also a long sequence at a party in which Griffith showed his skill -- in 1911, still a mystery to most movie makers -- in group dynamics on screen. The result is a competent picture with a bit of an unlikely plot -- albeit a popular one.


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