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Decent But Missing Something

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
22 January 2011

Wanderer, The (1913)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Director Griffith often didn't like using title cards and sometimes this caused his films to be rather hard to follow. I believe this film is based on the poem of the same name as a man (Henry B. Walthall) sees his only love die so he heads off into the world where he finds nothing but loneliness and more heartache as people around him pay him no attention. This changes when he meets a woman who offers him food when he's starving and he eventually gets a chance to pay her back. This short from the director's final days before turning to features isn't all that bad but at the same time it seems to be lacking a lot of story and as I previously said it's sometime hard to follow exactly what's going on. I think the moral of the story is to be kind to people, which is something the director would preach countless times in his days at Biograph. I think what works best here is the performance by Walthall who has no trouble making us feel sorry for his character because you can actually feel how hurt the guy is simply by looking in the actor's eyes. Walthall certainly makes the film what it is as he gives it its power and emotion. Fans of Lionel Barrymore will get to see him in action here as well as Mae Marsh, Charles West and Harry Carey in a brief bit.

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