This 1926 silent drama was produced by the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation and was directed by Allan Dwan. It had a cast of many popular silent film stars including Thomas Meighan, Aileen Pringle, Louise Fazenda, Renée Adorée and William Powell. The status of this film is listed as unknown, which sadly suggests it may now be a lost silent. All I can offer the reader is this original review.
"Tin Gods," the picturization of William Anthony McGuire's play of that name, and the most serious film subject to which Thomas Meighan has lent his stalwart presence for some time.
This picture has the advantage of some thoroughly conscientious and capable acting on the part of the principals, and the vehicle itself possesses distinction during several of its New York and South American episodes. It is a question, however, whether the leading male role was suited to Mr. Meighan, who has a habit of keeping a check rein constantly on his emotions, a quality which in the ordinary run of pictorial features is not without merit; but, in this particular adventure, Mr. Meighan had the opportunity to impress the audience, whether by his affection for a South American dancer or a display of anger at his wife's selfishness. It is curious that this was not thought necessary by Allan Dwan, the director of this photoplay, who perhaps may be excused on the ground of having interpreted the character of Roger Drake as a strangely unemotional person. But dealing with ordinary human psychology one expects an outburst from Drake following at least two of the dramatic junctures of this picture.
The incidents that bring about love and the way in which Drake is made to speak to give the girl her reason for committing suicide, are both artificial and strained. One can imagine Drake, after leaving his wife because of her self-centred political aspirations, falling in love with Carita, because she looks after him when he is quarantined with black fever. But apparently all that caused Carita to be interested in Drake before that point was because he, when leaning over a bar intoxicated, gave Carita a dollar and she was able a minute later by a turn of the roulette wheel to increase it to $35.
Whether the play or the pictorial script is responsible for Carita's sudden decision to throw herself from the bridge that Drake has constructed does not matter, for, as it is set forth on the screen, Carita at least impresses one as being the type of a girl who would not give in just because of one sentence she overheard Drake say to his wife. From the way in which she taunted Tony, the keeper of the gambling and drinking place, one would expect Carita to put a knife in Drake rather than put an end to her own life.
Drake's little boy in an early chapter is killed by a fall from a window, after a careless nurse, more interested in Mrs. Drake's political chances than the child, had locked the door of the room. The feeling and the passion that should have been depicted following this tragedy is largely covered by a subtitle.
Aileen Pringle gives an excellent portrayal of the selfish and inhuman Mrs. Drake. Renee Adorée shines from the instant her presence is flashed upon the screen. She impersonates Carita, and her bickering and recrimination with Tony afford much interest. William Powell's characterization of Tony leaves nothing wanting. Hale Hamilton is pleasing in a minor rô1e.
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