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Sin (1915) -- Lost Film

Author: Pamela Short from Canada
30 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Italian peasant girl, Rosa ( Theda Bara ) meets the attractive, wealthy Pietro ( Warner Oland ), the head of the Camorra, a New York crime syndicate, she deserts Luigi ( William E. Shay ), her fiancé, and departs for America. Hurt but determined, the simple, pious Luigi follows his sweetheart to New York. To prove his love, Pietro tells Rosa that he will steal the jewels of the Madonna for her. Impressed by this seeming devotion, Rosa informs Luigi of Pietro's boast and he, not to be outdone, decides to steal the jewels himself. After Luigi presents her with the coveted gems, Rosa makes her way through the Festival of the Madonna to find Pietro at Camorra headquarters. When she arrives, the theft has been discovered, and a mob is forming to hunt the culprit. Rosa begs protection from Pietro, who throws her out into the street. Overcome by religious guilt, Rosa collapses in a deranged stupor, then after returning the jewels, Luigi kills himself on the church steps.

This 1915 silent drama was written and directed by Herbert Brenon and starred Theda Bara. In order to play up Theda Bara's image as a vamp, Fox Film Corporation publicized the film with the tag-line "Sin With Theda Bara!". Despite it's good reviews and a popular hit with audiences, the film was still banned and condemned by several states across America. Sadly, today it remains a lost film.

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