Mary Denby becomes a seamstress after her husband Steve wastes their money on booze. Her employer provides her as an escort to accompany millionaire Roger Manning. Her husband tries ...
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Mary Denby becomes a seamstress after her husband Steve wastes their money on booze. Her employer provides her as an escort to accompany millionaire Roger Manning. Her husband tries blackmailing Manning and is later killed by the police, leaving Mary free to wed the millionaire. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The role of "Mary Denby" was first assigned to Edna Goodrich, and a good portion of the film was in the can when her drinking problem became so severe that Cecil B. DeMille fired her and shut down production long enough to find a new star, Cleo Ridgely. DeMille was then forced to continue directing The Cheat (1915) during the day while directing the re-shoots of this movie at night. See more »
Early DeMille melodrama centers on an abused wife (Cleo Ridgely) who takes a job working for a rich couple so that she can make money for her drunk husband (Horace B. Carpenter). The rich couple eventually ask her to join a party where she meets a nice millionaire (Wallace Reid) and the two quickly fall in love, although he doesn't know she's married. This is yet another silent film from DeMille, which has pretty much been forgotten but once again that's a shame because this has quite a few good things to offer. I think the film's biggest weakness is its slow pacing, which hampers the film some, especially in the middle. The movie runs a short 73-minutes so the pacing isn't a huge problem but it doesn't help either. What really stands out were the performances with Ridgely doing a great job as the abused wife who gets her Cinderella chance but doesn't know if she should take it or not. She handles the role with a lot of flare and really makes her character quite memorable. Carpenter is also very good as the snake husband as is Raymond Hatton, a DeMille regular, who plays the sidekick. The real standout here, and the one I was most interested in seeing, was Reid. For those who don't know, Reid was involved in a train wreck in 1919 and being a big money maker, the studio forced a doctor to get him high on morphine so that he could continue to work. Reid eventually lost his mind and ended up dying in a mental hospital a couple years later. This was my first chance seeing him in a leading role, although he did have a brief scene in The Birth of a Nation. I was very impressed with both his acting and physical presence here as he manages to fit the romantic lead very well but he also delivers something a bit deeper. He does a lot of acting with his face, which really makes him stand out and deliver. The film ends in a rather bizarre way but I respect what DeMille did at the very end, although I won't ruin it here. There's also a big fight sequence at the end, which looks very realistic and manges to be quite exciting. While the film isn't a complete success it's still worthy of a viewing.
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