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The Woman in the Suitcase (1920)

 -  Drama  -  11 January 1920 (USA)
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Mary Moreland discovers the photograph of a woman not her mother in her father's suitcase and sets out to find her in hopes of returning her father to his rightful place in the family.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Mary Moreland
William Conklin ...
James B. Moreland
Dorcas Matthews ...
Dolly Wright
Rowland V. Lee ...
W.H. 'Billy' Fiske (as Roland Lee)
...
Mrs. James B. Moreland
Donald MacDonald ...
'Doc' Harrison (as Donald McDonald)
...
Ethel
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Storyline

Mary Moreland discovers the photograph of a woman not her mother in her father's suitcase and sets out to find her in hopes of returning her father to his rightful place in the family. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Drama

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11 January 1920 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Picture, not body parts
1 March 2012 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This so-so Ince programmer has a lot of talent wasted in it, from future director Roland Lee, miscast as the nice young man who romances Enid Bennett to Gladys George in a small role, to George Barnes as the cinematographer -- he was one of the cameramen who would create the MGM look in the 1920s and 1930s. It's not apparent here as the Lasky lighting is intended to feature the players instead of the sets and the print is too dark, but it's that general misapplication of talent that annoys me throughout, starting with a script that purports to show the well-to-do of wicked New York as just nice people like the small town audiences imagine themselves.

It all starts out when Enid's father comes home from a trip to Philaldelphia. Enid, expecting to find a birthday gift from him, goes through his overnight bag and finds a photo of a woman. Naturally she imagines all sorts of melodramatic things, but her general cluelessness is shown by her treatment of Rowland Lee, who is a rich man masquerading as a gigolo as a lark. I suppose that's meant to leave the viewer in some suspense as to what is actually going on.

Most of my general dislike of this movie is based on a distaste for these movies about problems of the idle rich. Within its genre, it certainly seems competent in all departments. Yet its conventions annoy me terrifically and although the compositions as shot by Mr. Barnes are excellent, there is very little movement in the frame; I like my moving pictures to move, both in physical and story terms. If you're going to show people being dissolute, show them having a good time, like DeMille did, not standing around looking soulful.

For a programmer that takes only an hour, the central questions of the entire piece -- is daddy stepping out on mommy and what is little Enid supposed to do about it -- take an awfully long time to go any place. I suggest you go someplace else.


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