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There are so many pretty scenes and so much that is nothing but charming in this Pallas-Paramount picture, "The Wax Model," that it is safe to grade it pretty well up on the list. It is entertainment and entertainment only. In the story there is little that is new and the best parts of it have been pictured in many plots and stories. So much the better. Vivian Martin plays a most engaging little model in London's bohemia. Her mother, an "unfortunate" creature, has finished her part of the child's education by committing suicide and telling her in her last breath that all men are false. The child tries to be a nurse girl, but is too pretty. By necessity she becomes a model, but she doesn't let any of the artists take liberties and becomes known as the city's most charming vixen. Thomas Holding plays a rich English student, rather prudish. His sister (Helen Eddy) is having a statue made by an artist (George Fisher). This man is married, but is goatish. Julie, the model, has taught him his place, but his society patron, Helen, is fooled. The student feels the stir of spring and takes a walk. He stops to look at some ladies' lingerie in a window (this is unfortunate at this juncture and a false step artistically) and from it he is attracted to a wax figure. The student learns of the model from the proprietor of the shop and has soon made her acquaintance. Meanwhile his sister is falling under the spell of the artist. There are many pretty scenes and the student begins to think that the model is not a "good girl." He is so broken up over this that he makes a second visit to the woman's wear shop and forthwith breaks the plate glass window and then the wax model. The rest, even to the happy ending, is melodrama, artistically presented and surely pleasant to watch. Whether this picture will make a strong three-day run or not will depend on the audience. With many an audience it probably will. Barring the unconvincing ultra-sentimentality of the scenes in the woman's wear shop, it is a beautiful picture. The Moving Picture World, February 17, 1917
In romantic Paris, British-born Thomas Holding (as Melville Ilchester)
is entranced by "The Wax Model" in a fashion shop. When he meets the
beautiful French woman who posed for the figure, Vivian Martin (as
Julie Davenant), a courtship begins. Alas, Mr. Hardy becomes jealous
when he sees Ms. Martin with a male admirer. Hardy doesn't believe
Martin's been loyal. She saves her beloved's sister Helen Jerome Eddy
(as Helen Ilchester) from womanizing sculptor George Fisher (as John
Ramsey), but Hardy still doubts Martin's fidelity. Eventually, they
should work out their problems...
This film is among the missing, presently...
Reviewers didn't care for "The Wax Model", although Martin must have attracted some of her many fans. In "Photoplay" (May 1917), critic Julian Johnson wrote, "Unbelievably careless direction has done much to spoil this transparent idyll of a young man who meets the young woman who posed for a wax shop model, finds her as congenial as she finds him, and presently marries her." The writer's only praise singled out Helen Eddy as a "finely gifted young actress." And, later that year, Ms. Eddy was also praised for her performance in Mary Pickford's "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm".
*** The Wax Model (2/1/17) E. Mason Hopper ~ Vivian Martin, Thomas Holding, George Fisher, Helen Jerome Eddy
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