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Nigel De Brulier
Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us.... See full summary »
In many ways this silent classic reminded me of what I liked-- and didn't like-- about a much more recent film, Sling Blade. Both are sensitively observed movies that not only depict but genuinely seem to embody the simpler rhythms of country life. And both ultimately end in a way that may satisfy an audience's bloodlust-- but left me somewhat dismayed that the story had taken that turn. (The violence makes the movie seem much more modern than most films of its time.) That said, there's no denying that this was one of the most accomplished movies of its time; Barthelmess's portrait of eager juvenility is beautifully observed and completely charming, and King's handling is quite sophisticated in the way it tells a story through the eyes of a character who is really secondary to the action through the first half or so.
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