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An early social commentary on the New York sex trade, this film attempts to sensationalize prostitution, especially forced prostitution. Featuring a number of characters and sub-plots, the film is presented as if it were a documentary. Written by
The head of a common New York family, Jane Gail (as Mary Barton), works with her younger sister Ethel Grandin (as Loma Barton) at "Smyrner's Candy Store". After Ms. Grandin is abducted by dealers in the buying and selling of women as prostituted slaves, Ms. Gail and her policeman boyfriend Matt Moore (as Larry Burke) must rescue the virtue-threatened young woman.
"Traffic in Souls" has a reputation that is difficult to support - it isn't remarkably well done, and it doesn't show anything very unique in having a young woman's "virtue" threatened by sex traders. Perhaps, it can be supported as a film which dealt with the topic in a greater than customary length (claimed to have been ten reels, originally). The New York City location scenes are the main attraction, after all these years. The panning of the prisoners behind bars is memorable, because nothing else seems able to make the picture move.
**** Traffic in Souls (11/24/13) George Loane Tucker ~ Jane Gail, Matt Moore, Ethel Grandin
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