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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.


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7.1/10   738 votes »
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Release Date:
4 April 1924 (France) See more »
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 »
2 nominations See more »
(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:
A Tale of Love and Vigilantes See more (28 total) »


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

Did You Know?

Second of four films Lon Chaney made for Goldwyn Pictures.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Top 10 Lost Horror Films (2010) (V)See more »


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 »
A Tale of Love and Vigilantes, 16 July 2014
Author: CJBx7 from United States

THE ACE OF HEARTS (1921) deals with a secret society that plots to eliminate a wealthy industrialist. Three of the members of the group are involved in a love triangle. When one of the men is chosen to perform the assassination, the woman (who originally would not consider a romance) marries him, but then they begin to have second thoughts about their task, with significant consequences for all involved. Directed by Wallace Worsley.

SCRIPT: THE ACE OF HEARTS is quite interesting in that it takes us into the secret world of a vigilante group and makes its members into the main characters rather than the villains. The story is told in several chapters, and each part is concise and focused, without unnecessary details (although the part where Lon Chaney's character waits outside the couple's apartment is a bit too long). There are occasional touches of humor (a bit with a dog, a member's remark about his family) that help to lighten the mood as needed. The movie could have done with a few less title cards in the beginning. Later on, it tells the story visually in a more effective manner. SCORE: 8/10

ACTING: Lon Chaney gives a strong performance as Farallone, an experienced member of the society who forms part of the love triangle. Chaney is usually known for his portrayals of grotesque characters like the Phantom of the Opera. However, he had more conventional roles as well, which showcased his extraordinary abilities. Chaney's performance is commanding, while at the same time allowing us to empathize for Farallone's plight. John Bowers portrays Forrest, a younger man, who is affable and friendly (he is somewhat reminiscent of Richard Barthelmess) and he is effective as well. Leatrice Joy, who was the star of many Cecil B DeMille movies at this time, portrays the central point in the triangle, Lilith, effectively as an attractive yet stern woman who at first denies herself romance for the cause, but then changes into a warmer person once love comes into her heart. Good work by all involved. SCORE: 8/10

CINEMATOGRAPHY/PRODUCTION: Don Short served as the cinematographer on this film. The movie has some striking overhead shots and effective chiaroscuro lighting. The scenes with rain are very moody. One detail I liked was how the title screen, instead of merely saying "THE ACE OF HEARTS", showed the actual ace of hearts card from the deck. Iris shots are also used. The sets are appropriately dark and somber at times, to show the nature of the secret society. In contrast, the restaurant scenes are bright and airy, and quite well composed to show the massive size of the interior. Very well done. SCORE: 8/10

SUMMARY: THE ACE OF HEARTS is something of a forgotten gem from the silent era. The story is different and quite involving, the acting is very good and the production of the film gives considerable visual interest. SCORE: 8/10

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