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 »
Silly Lon Chaney silent meller has its moments, surprisingly.
Lon Chaney belongs to some middleclass terrorist group that assassinates rich guys. He loves the lone woman in the secret society, but she love another. The plot had to be dumb even in 1921 and Chaney's overacting had to be too much even in those days.
Still, the silent film technique reminds one just how much time is wasted today on mindless dialogue. The film moves quickly and its moody visuals almost makes up for the silly story. When Chaney isn't pounding his chest, his face tells exactly enough.
"The Ace of Hearts" is a fascinating curiosity piece, and it has an excellent and evocative new symphonic score commissioned by Turner Classic Movies. Many thanks to TCM for its preservation and enhancement of our silent film heritage.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?