Director Allen Holubar's wartime D.W. Griffith imitation; "Heart of Humanity" most closely resembles "Hearts of the World" (1918), with actress/wife Dorothy Phillips (as Nanette) unsuccessfully impersonating Lillian Gish. Mr. Griffith took his cast to Europe; but, Mr. Holubar begins closer to home, "In the Heart of Canada," where Ms. Phillips blossoms. Judging by their longing looks, Phillips could have her pick among widow Margaret Mann (as Mary Patricia)'s sons. Phillips picks the eldest, William Stowell (as John).
Erich von Stroheim (as Eric von Eberhard) steals the show; he is Mr. Stowell's predictably two-faced friend. Robert Anderson (as Paul) also repeats his (goofy) "Hearts of the World" characterization. Mr. von Stroheim's role is much bigger than in "Hearts of the World". And, von Stroheim certainly may have offered directorial advice; observe, for instance, the sequence wherein the spider crawls under the neck of the Virgin Mary as Stroheim attempts to have his way with Phillips. The Stroheim "rape" scenes are the best in the film. With Stroheim around, assisting (possibly) in direction, Phillips is much more effective.
***** The Heart of Humanity (12/22/18) Allen Holubar ~ Dorothy Phillips, William Stowell, Erich von Stroheim
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