This three-reel film was a "special" in 1911, as most films at the time were just one-reel or 10-15 minutes. Just about every actor working at Vitagraph, even comedian John Bunny, appeared in it. The story takes place during the Napoleonic Wars, so the film is unusual that Vitagraph spent a lot of money on costumes to make it look convincing.
For viewers unfamiliar with the "Vanity Fair" story, viewing my be tough slogging. A thousand-page novel was condensed down into a 30-minute silent film. Basically, it is the story of Becky Sharp, an amoral woman who uses men to get what she wants, which is usually money. After she has used them, they die or rot in jail while she pursues another man.
Another problem with the film is that the star, Helen Gardner, seems a little old for the lead part. Because the story is so compressed, we don't really she why she is so attractive to men. A man basically walks into a room and is immediately smitten with her, which is not very convincing.
If you are a fan of early Nickelodeon films, then definitely give this film a look. However, the average viewer will be baffled by the story of this film.
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