This is a very approximate adaptation of Ibsen's play in which inherited syphilis is a metaphor for corruption. The basic theme is preserved although not surprisingly it is not explicit. We are just told of an 'inherited taint'. The skillful dramatic structure of the original is sacrificed for melodramatic contrivance and most of Ibsen's political point is lost. The film comes into its own at the end with Henry Walthall's magnificent attack of 'artaxia motor'. Admirers of the play will be pleased that we do get 'the sun' but will also note that Ibsen's disturbing and emotionally challenging conclusion in which Oswald's suicide is actively assisted by his mother was obviously deemed too strong. Here he just drinks the poison by himself. Worth seeing for Walthall's powerful acting at the end and for checking out just exactly how far a 1915 film could go when tackling a controversial subject.
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