Socialite Anatol Spencer seeks a better relation that he has with his wife. He sets up the friend of his youth Emilie in an apartment only to have her two-time him. He comforts the near ... See full summary »
Society-girl thrill seeker Lydia causes the death of motorcycle policeman and is prosecuted by her fiancé Daniel who describes in lurid detail the downfall of Rome. While she's in prison she reforms and Daniel becomes a wasted alcoholic.
Socialite Anatol Spencer seeks a better relation that he has with his wife. He sets up the friend of his youth Emilie in an apartment only to have her two-time him. He comforts the near suicide Annie only to have her rob him of his wallet. "Satan" Synne, the "wickedest woman in New York," looks promising but she's only plying her trade to help raise funds for her husband's surgery. He decides to return to his wife, with all her faults, only to find her carousing with his best friend Max. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gloria Swanson admitted in an interview decades later that Wallace Reid's drug addiction scared her while they were making this film, and she avoided socializing with him because of it. See more »
In the flashback sequence where Emilie is on a swing and two mirrors are set up to give repeated reflections of the action, the cameraman bending over his camera is visible a few times when the swing moves out of the way. See more »
Exceptional Film with Wallace Reid and Gloria Swanson
The usual DeMille mix of sex, sin, and moralizing but with tongue firmly in place. Poor Anatol (Wallace Reid) is always "rescuing" women, much to the consternation of his wife Vivian (Gloria Swanson) who always has Max (Elliott Dexter) hanging around her.
The first rescue is of "a bubble-head jazz girl" named Emilie (Wanda Hawley) who is clearly a gold digger, She has poor old Gordon (Theodore Roberts) in her pocket but decides to go after Anatol who thinks he can redeem the poor girl. Meanwhile all she wants is a new victim. There's a great scene of redemption when Anatol tells Emilie she must throw away all her jewels in order to be cleansed. She immediately empties her jewel boxes and puts the empty boxes in a valise. They drive to the river where she throws away the empty boxes. Foolish Anatol believes her but learns the sad truth when he interrupts a wild dinner party Emilie is throwing.
Off to the country for purity and clean air, Anatol and Vivian are rowing in a river when a simple country girl Annie (Agnes Ayres) throws herself off a bridge. They dredge her out and revive her but Annie finds Anatol's wallet on the ground and steals it. After she is "saved" she runs home to husband Abner (Monte Blue) and replaces the money she stole from his church collection box. So much for country purity.
Back in the city Anatol decides to go out on the town, so Vivian decides to wear her :lowest gown" and "highest heals" and go out as well. Anatol falls into the clutches of the notorious nightclub star Satan Synne (Bebe Daniels) who lures Anatol into her den called "the Devil's Cloister." In the middle of vamping him, she gets a couple phone calls. It seems her husband is undergoing an operation for wounds suffered during the World War. When Anatol learns the truth, he gives Satan the money she needs to save her husband.
But back home, he finds Vivian has not come home from her night of clubbing. When she and Max finally come in a 9 AM he demands to know if she's be unfaithful. She refuses to answer. At that moment, a famous hypnotist (Theodore Kosloff) arrives and is compelled by Anatol to secretly put her in a trance and answer his questions. He does, but Max pleads with Anatol that to do this will forever ruin his marriage no matter what the answer is. Will Anatol force the issue? Reid and Swanson are terrific here as the stars, but the fallen women, Hawley, Ayres, and Daniels, all come off well also. Dexter and Blue have little to do. Roberts fumes and Kosloff looks mysterious. And yes that's Polly Moran as the nightclub entertainer.
The film has beautifully colored title cards and boasts nice tinting throughout. This is a must for silent film fans and was an important film for superstars Gloria Swanson, Wallace Reid, and Bebe Daniels.
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