IMDb > The Ace of Hearts (1921)
The Ace of Hearts
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The Ace of Hearts (1921) More at IMDbPro »

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The Ace of Hearts -- A romantic rivalry among members of a secret society becomes even tenser when one of the men is assigned to carry out an assassination.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   725 votes »
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Release Date:
4 April 1924 (France) See more »
Plot:
A romantic rivalry among members of a secret society becomes even tenser when one of the men is assigned to carry out an assassination. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
The Penalty (1920) | Blu-ray Review
 (From ioncinema. 16 October 2012, 5:20 PM, PDT)

Lon Chaney Movie Schedule: The Phantom Of The Opera, Tell It To The Marines, Mr. Wu
 (From Alt Film Guide. 15 August 2011, 12:20 AM, PDT)

Levin, Mayer and TMZ -- 3 Lucky Dogs
 (From TMZ. 2 September 2009, 7:40 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Vintage Chaney! See more (27 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lon Chaney ... Farallone
Leatrice Joy ... Lilith
John Bowers ... Forrest
Hardee Kirkland ... Morgridge
Raymond Hatton ... The Menace
Edwin Wallock ... Chemist (as Edwin N. Wallock)
Roy Laidlaw ... Doorkeeper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cullen Landis ... Young Man in Restaurant (uncredited)
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Directed by
Wallace Worsley 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gouverneur Morris  by
Ruth Wightman  scenario

Produced by
Samuel Goldwyn .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Vivek Maddala (2000)
 
Cinematography by
Don Short (photography by) (as Donovan Short)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Music Department
Vivek Maddala .... orchestrator: original music (2000 score)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
75 min (2000 alternate version) (21 fps)
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The original ending to the film picked up after the bomb explodes at the meeting headquarters. Forrest and Lillith are living in a cabin in the woods, and believe that they are safe thanks to Farralone. Rushing back to the cabin to warn Lillith, he sees Morgridge, who tells him that they have nothing to fear - Farralone's sacrifice has taught him that love is the solution, not destruction. This ending was cut on the request of Samuel Goldwyn, who felt that it was too contrived and that the lovers reading about it in the newspaper was a much more satisfying ending.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Top 10 Lost Horror Films (2010) (V)See more »

FAQ

Surely Gouverneur Morris didn't write the story this film was based on.
Does Lon Chaney wear his usual macabre makeup for this role?
See more »
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Vintage Chaney!, 8 November 2003
Author: (bsmith5552@rogers.com) from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"The Ace of Hearts" is essentially another variation of the eternal triangle. As was usually the case Lon Chaney doesn't get the girl.

The plot involves a secret society referred to as "The Cause", a vigilante group of seven men and one woman who decide to rid the world of people who were in a position to do some good in the world but did not for their own selfish reasons. The group led by Mr. Morgridge (Hardee Kirkland) has chosen its next victim. The group is then dealt cards until one of them is dealt the ace of hearts. The holder of the ace of hearts is then given "the honor" of carrying out the execution.

Within the group are Mr. Farallone (Lon Chaney), Lilith (Leatrice Joy) and Mr. Forrest (John Bowers). Forrest draws the fateful ace of hearts and eagerly looks forward to the task at hand. Lilith was absent from the meeting so Farallone and Forrest, who are both in love with her, go to see her and tell her the news. She rejects Farallone's advances, but agrees to marry Forrest if as she says, that will provide him with the courage he needs.

The couple marry and return to Lilith's apartment for their wedding night. Broken hearted lover Farallone greets them to ensure that they did in fact get married. Later as the couple retires and turn out the lights, we see the pathetic Farallone standing in a driving rain lamenting his lost love. This scene alone makes the movie worthwhile. Chaney could show such emotion facially that one cannot help but feel pity for the distraught lover. This was a method Chaney would repeat in many of his other films as well.

When it comes time to murder "The man who has lived too long" (Raymond Hatton), Forrest, having succumbed to the tender love of Lilith, sees the error of the plot and backs down. Later, the committee condemns Forrest to death for his failure to carry out his assignment. But Farallone sees a way to give the couple their freedom.

Chaney plays what amounts to a supporting role here as the story centers more on the Forrest and Lilith characters, but as I pointed out, Chaney steals the film with that aforementioned scene in the rain. Raymond Hatton by the way, went on to a lengthy career in "B" westerns in the 30s and 40s usually playing the crusty old sidekick.

Vintage Chaney.

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