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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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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:
The Men Who Had Lived Too Long 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)

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

Production CompaniesDistributors

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:
Featured in Settling the Score (2005) (TV)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 »
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
The Men Who Had Lived Too Long, 15 January 2011
Author: wes-connors from Earth

On a windy night, a group of eight men introduced only as a "Certain Brotherhood" meet to decide whether or not to murder the latest subject of their investigation. Among the clandestine group's members are sullen artist Lon Chaney (as Farallone) and his good-looking rival John Bowers (as Forrest). We quickly learn both men are in love with the group's absent ninth member, and only female, lovely Leatrice Joy (as Lilith), who has given the group permission to proceed without her.

While working undercover as a waiter for three month, Mr. Bowers has had the opportunity to observe the group's latest target. When asked his opinion on the man's worth, Bowers states, "Each day this man grows greater in vainglory and cruelty. He has lived too long!" Mr. Chaney, who has been working on the man's portrait, agrees, "He has lived a thousand times too long! Death!" the group votes unanimously to kill their hated enemy Raymond Hatton (as "The Menace").

Their weapon will be a bomb, which can be set to explode in five minutes. The members are aware the job could prove fatal, but consider it an honor to die for "The Cause". To decide who will be responsible for the latest killing, the group employ their regular method. It is explained, "According to our ancient custom, the man who has lived too long will be put to death by that one among us to whom shall be dealt the Ace of Hearts." Expect sacrifice, betrayal, and the unexpected…

"The Ace of Hearts" re-teams star Chaney, director Wallace Worsley and writer Gouverneur Morris; the trio who had just unleashed the marvelously grotesque "The Penalty" (1920) on an unsuspecting public. Wisely deciding not to even attempt performing a similar stunt, they went for a lower key. But, while "The Acre of Heats" has everyone looking more like upstanding citizens, the filmmakers dealt "The Ace of Hearts" from the bottom of the deck. Here, sordidness looks sweeter.

The three lugubrious and emoting star players are all terrorists, and proudly so; whatever you think of the circumstances involving the bombings within the story, we are told that this group routinely carries out these murders. And, however implausible the events on screen seem, they are certainly captivating. Cinematographer Donovan Short gives it a glow-in-the-dark" look. Also note how effectively "extras" Cullen Landis and Raymond Hatton represent good and evil, in the restaurant scene.

********* The Ace of Hearts (9/17/21) Wallace Worsley ~ Lon Chaney, Leatrice Joy, John Bowers, Cullen Landis

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