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A man murders his wife's lovers, escapes with his daughter to the South Pacific. A detective pursues him, joined by a young man who eventually falls in love with the daughter. Written by
This film has such a bad reputation that I pleasantly surprised when I watched it. No, it is not one of Griffith's great films, but I was entertained by it.
The film was shot as one of three that Griffith had contracted to make for First National. He rushed through them so none of the three represent Griffith at his best. However, that doesn't mean that they do not have their rewards.
I am not a fan of Carol Dempster. In fact I think she is generally an awful actress (although she did get better). Griffith was in love with her (she did not reciprocate) and saw her as an ideal of old fashioned Southern beauty. When he cast her that way she was wooden, ugly and boring to distraction. She was completely lacking in screen presence.
I never thought I would be writing these words but in this film I actually enjoyed watching her. In this case Griffith, for once, cast Carol in a role she could play (at least most of the time). She plays the rather athletic role, of a girl raised by her father is fairly primitive circumstances in the tropics. She climbs cliffs, dives off them into the sea. Swims underwater, and generally romps around looking wonderfully disheveled and doing nearly everything except swinging from a vine. She obviously enjoys it and she actually looks (am I really saying this) beautiful when she does it. She even has a presence on the screen. However, when she has a dramatic scene, she loses all her charm and confidence. Her presence dwindles to nothing and she becomes an ugly and boring actress. Fortunatly there are only a few of these moments.
Richard Barthelmess does his usual excellent job of acting. He has great presence regardless of if he is being athletic, cheerful or dramatic. He is clearly Carol's superior in acting. He even manages to make her look good in a few dicey scenes.
So, no, this is not a great film or even a significant film, but it can be fun and enjoyable. If you like Griffith and you have nothing better to do I might even recommend it.
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