A powerful object lesson on the wiles of the underworld
Director Al Green is to be complimented on the nice judgment and skill displayed in the screen version of this well-known story. He has kept in fine restraint any desire that might have arisen to bring into greater prominence the downfall of the character for which the story is named, and without doing so he has succeeded in giving the spectator a powerful object lesson on the wiles of the underworld and on the dangers that menace poorly-paid girls, whose home life is bereft of all that makes life worth living. In the Cafe Sinister, where underworld gaiety disports itself in a way that defies police interference because of its seeming respectability, Mr. Green furnishes a most realistic scene which finds its climax in a raid by the police and the arrest of the proprietors, who are only the tools of the man higher upwho, by the way, is an honored pillar of the church. This man, John Boland, the president of a great corporation, is impersonated by George Fawcett, and his masterly characterization will add to the laurels he has already won before the camera. The cast of countenance worn by Mr. Fawcett in this instance is one of almost bulldog ferocity, when he seeks to depict the man as he really exists; but when John Boland assumes the character of a church member, what a change in the Fawcett face. It fairly beams with goodness, and the eyes light up with a warmth that is all convincing of the saintliness of the soul within. Mary Randall, the nemesis of John Boland and the fearless leader of the crusade against vice in the community in which he lives, is a part ably played by Bessie Eyton. Vivian Reed appears as Elsie Welcome, the titular role, and one is always impressed by the realism of her acting. The arch villain of the story, Martin Druce, has been assigned to Joseph Singleton, whose virile acting makes the part one of the strongest in the cast. Will Machin's Harry Boland (son of John Boland and his heir), and Al. W. Filson's Grogan (a henchman of the man higher up), are well drawn. Two excellent characterizations are those of Patience Welcome and Mrs. Welcome (her mother) by Marion Warner and Eugenie Besserer. The release date is March 12, through the K-E-S-E service. - The Moving Picture World, March 24, 1917
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