A man and his wife both have criminal pasts, but have quit crime and are now respectable citizens. One day a member of their old gang shows up and threatens to expose them if they don't ... See full summary »

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(as C.M. Franklin), (as S.A. Franklin)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Grace Remington
...
John Remington
Ninon Fovieri ...
Remingtons' Child
Francis Carpenter ...
Remingtons' Child
Fern Collier ...
Remingtons' Child
Ruth Handforth ...
Maid
...
Jimmy Briggs
...
Ragged Waif
Kate Toncray ...
Mrs. Van Dyke
...
Mrs. Van Dyke's Child
Violet Radcliffe ...
Mrs. Van Dyke's Child
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Storyline

A man and his wife both have criminal pasts, but have quit crime and are now respectable citizens. One day a member of their old gang shows up and threatens to expose them if they don't help him pull a heist. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Have we killed him?

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

4 June 1916 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Playmates  »

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Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Out of the past
5 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Directed by Sidney Franklin. Norma Talmadge and Ralph Lewis star in GOING STRAIGHT (1916). A well-to- do couple, the Remingtons, happily raise their children in the suburbs of New York, but there is a secret from their past that threatens to destroy their happiness. Years before, both of them were involved in a gang of thieves. The husband served his sentence but the wife never got time. Years later, a member of the gang, Dan Briggs, runs into Mr Remington and blackmails him. How far will they go to make sure their past doesn't destroy their future?

This film was quite brisk and economical in its pacing. The plot takes some intriguing turns and presents the characters with difficult decisions. It plays a bit more like a modern movie - the story of a couple who have a past that threatens to surface is one that has been used more in recent films than in the silent era. One can feel sympathy for the central couple, and the narrative features enough layers to keep things interesting.

Norma Talmadge is very good as Grace Remington, acting with a nuanced naturalism that is quite remarkable. Where many actresses of the time would have done lots of clutching and bug-eyed gestures, Talmadge conveys her character's trepidation with the utmost realism. She uses her large expressive eyes to memorable effect, and gives a solid performance. Ralph Lewis is effective in his role as a husband striving to protect his family. He and Norma Talmadge have good chemistry together despite the obvious age difference. Perhaps most memorable of all was Eugene Palette in his role as the menacing Briggs. His body language, appearance, and overall air of criminal decadence seems like a foreshadowing of Robert Mitchum's performance in CAPE FEAR (1962). Palltte makes an unforgettable heavy, just shifty enough without overplaying. Child actor Georgie Stone is also charming and distiguished as Jimmy, a street waif whom Briggs uses for his schemes, but who finds a sweet and convincing rapport with the Remington children.

The direction was quite good, and the editing and cinematography were quite accomplished. There are some interesting touches, like near the end where Remington sees Briggs entering his house - this is conveyed through a reflection on the windows of a china cabinet. Norma Talmadge is given a number of expressive close-ups. Tinting is used effectively as well. One can see some of the influence of Cecil B DeMille in the use of light and shadow. Overall, the movie is visually striking.

My wife and I watched this film. She is not as into silent movies as I am, but has been good enough to watch them with me on occasion. She felt that the movie was quite interesting. In my opinion this would be a good picture to introduce newcomers to the world of silent film. Many have the idea of silents as hokey films with overly fast movement and acting of the stagger-and-clutch variety. This film would help to clear up misconceptions about silent movies and may fuel more interest in cinema of this period.

GOING STRAIGHT is an excellent film, featuring an interesting plot, memorable and nuanced performances, and accomplished cinematography and direction. Definitely worth checking out for silent movie fans, and even if you're not one, you may find it entertaining. SCORE: 8/10


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