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Under the Daisies; or, As a Tale That Is Told (1913)

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Cast

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Viola Martin
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Mr. Martin - Viola's Father
Leo Delaney ...
Robert Burton
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John Mears
Charles Eldridge ...
The Lawyer
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Genres:

Short | Drama

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Release Date:

27 September 1913 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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City vs Country
21 August 2016 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

A lovely, sentimental antique of the kind no longer made. It is an eighteen minute short in which heart and feeling abound in this old-fashioned story of a city slicker and a country farm girl and their tragic romance. Viola (Norma Talmadge) is picking flowers in a field adjacent to her Dad's farm. Along comes big city drama critic (Harry Northup) driving along and has lost his way. He alights from his car and strikes up a conversation with Viola. They are both smitten. He persuades her to leave her farm and come to the city with him.

All downhill for Viola from hereon, as he tires of her, but she has fallen in love. He ignores her one evening and walks out. Disillusioned, she packs and goes back home, gets as far as the field of flowers, and sits down to write a poem describing her ill-fated love affair, after which she collapses and dies, presumably of a broken heart. A sheet of it blows toward the road and is picked up by a struggling playwright (Leo Delaney) who is taken by its bittersweet tone, finds Viola's body and the rest of the poem. He is inspired and decides to turn it into a play, which becomes a hit and is seen by the drama critic. The critic's conscience is wracked as he sees it parallels his own affair with Viola, and we leave him in a state of remorse.

It is very well done and with a lot of humanity in its short run time, although it may not fit the tenor of our times and not for all tastes. It was restored by The Library of Congress as best as they could, as it is old and has many scenes barely visible due to deterioration and burn marks on the film. I didn't realize it was Norma Talmadge until the film was over and she was outstanding - I always thought she was a comedienne. It was shown at Capitolfest, Rome, N.Y., 8/16.


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