In "The World and the Woman", Jeanne Eagels plays a prostitute (which is only implied by her walking the streets and, at one point, being harassed by a policeman). Later in the film, Eagels's walk ends with her regeneration. She walks the path to church and to God. She becomes a faith healer, while the drama is in whether her past will catch up with her.
Eagles looks very different when she's high on faith rather than when she's downtrodden. The rest of the acting and direction of it is unimpressive. The positioning of actors for the camera results in awkward, ponderous close-ups. The posturing of the actors, rather than theatrical, was an attempt to appear reverent. This was how religious characters were usually portrayed then, and it's offsetting in its awkwardness and artificiality. The movie is most noticeably theatrical in its missing walls, which was also typical.
Furthermore, there are too many intertitles. Some of the title cards--with the Broadway, city picture backgrounds--seem like they were put in for a later re-release of the film; although, 1916 was around the time when filmmakers began to jazz up the titles. The yappy, all-seeing, all-knowing narrator's running commentary fills many of the titles. That "The World and the Woman" is a religious film promoting the healing power of faith is OK, I guess, but it seems to teeter on outright prejudice against the handicapped. The characters, besides the one representing Satan, want to become "worthwhile"; the film fails to be.
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