Louis Feuillade's 5 1/2-hour epic follows FantÃ'mas, the criminal lord of Paris, master of disguise, the creeping assassin in black, as he is pursued by the equally resourceful Inspector Juve and journalist JerÃ'me Fandor.
An account of the life of Jesus Christ, based on the books of the New Testament: After Jesus' birth is foretold to his parents, he is born in Bethlehem, and is visited by shepherds and wise... See full summary »
After a body disappears from inside the prison, a series of crimes take place, all seemingly by the dead man. With Juve presumed dead, Fandor must investigate alone. Will Fantomas finally be brought to justice?
Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »
Fantômas makes it as the emperor of Crime. First is the robbery at the Royal Palace Hotel. Then he abducts Lord Beltham. As Fantômas' fame increases actor Valgrand creates the rôle of ... See full summary »
A rich young Easterner who has always wanted to live in "the Wild West" plans to move to a Western town. Unknown to him, the town's "wild" days are long gone, and it is an orderly, ... See full summary »
Despite living in luxury, Vera is lonely and discontented. When she accompanies her mother, the Countess, on a charity visit to the poor, she is troubled by what she sees, and she resolves ... See full summary »
A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign... See full summary »
The physician's death orphans his two adolescent daughters. Their older brother is able to convert some of the doctor's small estate to cash. But it is late in the day, and with the banks ... See full summary »
An immigrant leaves his sweetheart in Italy to find a better life across the sea in the grimy slums of New York. They are eventually reunited and marry. But life in New York is hard and ... See full summary »
J. Frank Burke
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 center of a storm of controversy for daring to address the subject of prostitution.
One of the most notorious melodramas of it's time, director George Loane Tucker's Traffic in Souls seemed to confirm everyone's worst fears about "white slavery". Social reformers leaped into action, while audiences quickly rushed to the theaters to see it. A tremendous box-office success, the film is credited with starting a trend of increasingly sexy films, or at least films that promised sex, since they discovered sex sells. This controversial film which was banned in many cities throughout America, nevertheless grossed half a million dollars.
It is both a pseudo-documentary that reveals how "50,000 Girls disappear yearly" into "white slavery," a criminal organization abducts poor and immigrant women, forcing them into prostitution. The chief crook is a seemingly respectable businessman (William Welsh) who handles the money while his underlings do the dirty work. When a young woman (Ethel Grandin) is drugged and kidnapped, her sister (Jane Gail) teams up with her policeman boyfriend (Matt Moore) to rescue her.
Today, Traffic in Souls has at least two claims to fame. First, its sensational subject matter linked it and number of other more or less contemporaneous films with a moral panic that eventually resulted in the inclusion of the "white slave trade" (the entrapment of young women into prostitution) in the list of topics explicitly barred under the Hays Office's Production Code. Second, and more important for this study, it is a relatively early American-produced feature-length film, apparently, in fact, the first released on Broadway not based on a famous novel or play. It is also the first film of more than three reels produced by the Independent Motion Picture Company, whose president Carl Laemmle was at this time, and for some time to come, publicly committed against the feature film.
Though contrived, it still holds-up to modern scrutiny of what we might think a good film should be like, and its nevertheless a milestone in film-making. It paved the way for the kind of action films Hollywood would soon become noted for making. And to comment on Tucker's great talent, in a period when most films were still overly theatrical, Tucker displays a relatively naturalistic, low-key style. For the most part, the actors behave like real people instead of mugging for the camera, and the expert cross-cutting shows that D.W. Griffith wasn't the only director in Hollywood who could edit with vigor. Though most of his work completely forgotten or lost today, with the work of Traffic in Souls, The Prisoner of Zenda, and the highly acclaimed lost film The Miracle Man, Tucker should easily be credited as one of the finest pioneers of film making.
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