7.4/10
328
10 user 3 critic

Manslaughter (1922)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (novel)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With King Ranjit visiting him, King Sohat sees an opportunity to kill his young cousin and take over his kingdom. One of Sohat's henchmen fells Ranjit with a poisoned arrow, making it look ... See full summary »

Director: Franz Osten
Stars: Seeta Devi, Himansu Rai, Charu Roy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Though betrothed to fellow socialite Richard, Iris weds her chauffeur Tom leaving Richard to marry the family laundress' daughter Shamrock. Class differences lead to divorces and remarriages.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Leatrice Joy, Conrad Nagel, Edith Roberts
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A toreador's familial and social life is threatened when he has an affair.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Rosa Rosanova, Rudolph Valentino, Nita Naldi
The Ring I (1927)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two boxers compete for the love of a woman.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis, Ian Hunter
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After Florence Fallon's father dies unappreciated in the church where he preached for many years, she becomes embittered and loses faith. She teams up with Horsby, a con man, and performs ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Sam Hardy
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: H.B. Warner, Dorothy Cumming, Ernest Torrence
Underworld (1927)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson
Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley
3 Bad Men (1926)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three outlaws come to the aid of a young girl after her father is killed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: George O'Brien, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen
Madam Satan (1930)
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Unfortunately, Bob is an unfaithful husband. But Angela has a plan to win back her husband's affections. An elaborate masquerade ball is to ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Lillian Roth
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort, Estelle Taylor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Daniel J. O'Bannon
...
Evans - Lydia's Maid
John Miltern ...
Gov. Stephan Albee
...
Judge Homans
...
Mrs. Drummond
...
Adeline Bennett
...
Drummond - Policeman
Dorothy Cumming ...
Eleanor Bellington
...
Bobby Dorest
...
Dicky Evans (as Mickey Moore)
...
Butler
Sylvia Ashton ...
Prison Matron
...
Brown
...
Prisoner
Edit

Storyline

Lydia Thorne, a wealthy girl who loves speed and thrills, is unsympathetic when Evans, her maid, is jailed for stealing her jewels. District Attorney Daniel O'Bannon visits Lydia to make her see the error of her own ways, but instead views a scene of Lydia and her friends that reminds him of a Roman orgy. O'Bannon feels it is his duty, therefore, to send Lydia to jail for her own good when her automobile driving causes the death of a motorcycle policeman. Lydia is resentful, and her rebuff of O'Bannon, who has come to love her, causes him such remorse that he turns to drink and dissipation. Meanwhile, Lydia reforms, realizes she loves O'Bannon, and resolves to do charitable work. She and Evans open a soup kitchen after their release, and a chance meeting with O'Bannon starts him on the road to recovery. With Lydia's encouragement he becomes himself again, runs for governor, but withdraws his candidacy to marry Lydia when he sees that her record would be a liability to him in politics. Written by Pamela Short

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For the rich and poor, the beautiful and plain-there's only one law! She has broken it and must pay! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

24 September 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asszony, aki megbűnhődött  »

Box Office

Budget:

$385,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

American Cinematographer magazine published the following letter from cinematographer L. Guy Wilky in its January, 1923, issue: "The list of releases for November gives me credit as being one of the cinematographers for 'Manslaughter.' I desire to state that I had no connection therewith, as my activities are confined to William de Mille productions." See more »

Quotes

Lydia's Chaperon: Make Dan keep an eye on her, Eleanor. If she will show up for anybody, she will for him - but as her chaperon, I won't stay and be party to such goings on!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Everything real – except the men and women"
6 June 2009 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

By 1922, with the jazz age in full swing, DeMille's po-faced preaching was at the point of self-parody. It was probably more his lavish and indulgent depiction of "sin" than his stern condemnation of it that kept the public coming back to the box office. Manslaughter is the archetypal DeMillean prohibition-era morality tale, and one of his last contemporary-set pieces before he moved almost exclusively into the realm of epic, historical fables.

But let's first take a look at how DeMille's formal style is at work here. It's a style he perfected early on in his career and which he never lost no matter how ridiculous his pictures became. What stands out most about Manslaughter is its incredibly precise pacing of the action, with each scene having its own rhythm. We open with a dynamic burst of quick cutting and constant motion. Things become more complex in the following party scene, with the movements of different characters in consecutive shots mimicking each other rhythmically to keep a continuous pace. DeMille uses similar techniques to step up the pulse of the picture within a single sequence. For example in the central court scene there is a quick shot of all the spectators rising to their feet, followed by the shot in which the Drummond's mother tears off Leatrice Joy's veil, the first shot giving impetus to the second. DeMille also makes strong use of space and lighting to give an emotional tone to each moment.

DeMille is unusual among directors with such a showy visual style, in that he always aims, through framing and lighting, to focus us on the actors. And like everything in DeMille's cinema, the performances tend to tread the line between naturalism and theatricality. Unfortunately Leatrice Joy is a little average, especially when compared to Gloria Swanson who had just completed a successful run of pictures with DeMille. Thomas Meighan too is a bit below par, his performance only being good in the meagre context that he is playing a stony-faced killjoy. Nevertheless the language of gesture and expression, always important in DeMille's pictures, adequately conveys their characters' intentions. This effect is spoiled only by the lengthy and over-abundant title cards. Having said that, you've got to love Jeanie Macpherson's way with words, with such gems as "Doesn't this doughnut remind you of a life preserver?" The storyline is of the highest grade DeMille-Macpherson moralist nonsense. It begins by railing against such scandalous transgressions as female boxing and pogo-stick racing, then follows up by making the point that such goings-on can be a gateway to even greater sins, such as accidentally killing a traffic cop. This daft righteousness is all pretty harmless, but what really makes Manslaughter a difficult story to relate to is the implausible motivations of its characters, in particular Thomas Meighan's. It seems bizarre that someone so uptight would even show his face at a jazz 'n' liquor party in the first place, let alone fall in love with one of the flappers "for what she might have been". Unless it's purely a sexual thing, like the minister in Sadie Thompson, but this is never implied and wouldn't really fit any better with the story arc.

It's no wonder that DeMille would soon begin making his points with large-scale spectacles. The stories he was now handling were too silly to have any real dramatic weight, and the most engaging moments of Manslaughter are the frenzied flashbacks of a decadent Rome. It also looks as if those were the scenes DeMille had the most fun staging. As it is, Manslaughter is a decidedly mediocre effort, nicely directed but with the wrong material for small-scale drama.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?