A secret society holds a meeting to determine what to do about a powerful and dangerous man whom they have been studying closely for the past three months. They all agree that he deserves to die. Two of the members, Farallone and Forrest, are both in love with Lilith, the group's only female member. But Lilith accepts neither of them, preferring to devote herself to the group's cause. When the group meets again and deals cards to all the members, Forrest draws the ace of hearts, meaning that he will be the one to carry out the assassination. Lilith then suddenly agrees to marry him, in order to give him courage. But after their first night together, both of them begin to feel differently about what they have planned. Written by
Lon Chaney's character was originally called Rattavich, but the name was softened to Farralone to appease censors, who felt that the original name was too unsubtle as to the origins of the group. See more »
The title frame simply shows a picture of a playing card, the ace of hearts. See more »
I think it's a mistake to compare silent movies in general to modern films. The medium is just plain different- subtlety isn't a strong point- kind of like vaudeville. This movie is a great little snippet of history. The story- about anarchists preparing to assassinate a "bad man" is very current for its time- only 3 years after WWI- caused by the assassination of a world figure by an anarchist. So, the message of the movie, that love trumps anarchy was current, and timely. Lon Chaney was a master of silent emoting- and yes, perhaps the acting seems stylized and mannered, but taken in context, it's a great deal of fun. It's also an interesting portrayal of a woman within a political movement- first as an ideologue detached from love and romance and then as a woman consumed by her passion and ready for her husband to abandon his principles to remain at her side. She's in some ways the villain of this piece- and in some ways the hero. Very nice shades of ethical grays.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?