Poverty-stricken in nineteenth century Paris, flower salesgirl Pauline Frederick (as Fanny Legrand) is discovered for her extraordinary beauty, by sculptor Frank Losee (as Caoudal), and consequently becomes his model and mistress "Sapho". Ms. Frederick leaves Mr. Losee for poet John Sainpolis (as Dejoie), then falls in with engraver Pedro de Cordoba (as Flamant), before finally finding true love with student Thomas Meighan (as Jean Gaussin). However, Ms. Frederick's sordid past threatens their happiness...
By most accounts, this lost "Sapho" wasn't a very good adaptation of the frequently filmed Alphonse Daudet story, but Frederick and other members of the troupe were praised for their parts. "Variety" (March 16, 1917) said, "The public will be attracted in the hope that they are going to see something salacious, racy and with a dash of spice, but they are doomed to disappointment, for the picturization of Alphonse Daudet's famous Parisian courtesan is quite commonplace, for all the real thrills have been eliminated."
In "Moving Picture World" (March 24, 1917), George Blaisdell noted the outstanding work by Pauline Frederick and her four fine co-starring men, adding, "Hugh Ford has splendidly staged the production. He has reproduced the atmosphere of Paris of the period of today rather than of the time of the story. Mr. Ford has been at pains to bring out the lighter side of the drama, to leave covered as much as may be the sordid side; but he has banked strong on the dramatic situations of the denouement. It is all well done."
"Photoplay" (May 1917) columnist Julian Johnson wrote, "Miss Frederick is beautiful always, and quite thrilling when, as the model, there is more of her visible than even the sea shore sees in summer. Frank Losee, as the elderly sculptor who is her first patron and friend, John Sainpolis as Dejoie, Pedro DeCordoba as the forging clerk, and Thomas Meighan as the virile Jean, are excellently cast. The production is careful, the direction scholastic. 'Sapho' is perfect except that it has no life. The spirit, the soul, are lacking."
***** Sapho (3/11/17) Hugh Ford ~ Pauline Frederick, Thomas Meighan, Pedro de Cordoba, John St. Polis
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?