"The Woman in White" is an extremely convoluted melodrama and is one of the most ludicrous ones I've seen, which is saying something considering the many old-fashioned soap operas that I've seen from the silent era and since. It encompasses the usual flaws of the genre: sensational episodes, twists and turns; constant plotting and eavesdropping; classist distinctions superficially condemned yet supported by the underlying narrative that romanticizes the rich heroes and kills the self-sacrificing but dimwitted poor girl; and generally insufferably stupid characters who dig their own graves, but, of course, are only saved in the end by contrivance and the even stupider villains. In one scene, the baddies suggest that they finish their conversation where they can't be overheard; so, of course, they go outside and are overheard overhead by a character on a balcony. You can't escape eavesdroppers in bad dramaturgy. Additionally, the dastardly mustached villain in this film would especially have been well advised to study Occam's razor. Intricate plots can engage me, like anyone else, but they have to have some logic and craft. At least, this photoplay doesn't have an overly insulting or contradictory moral, a too far-fetched sentimental happy ending tacked on, and the acting isn't annoying, which in these respects is more than I can say about some of its fellow melodramas.
The lead Florence La Badie plays dual roles. Clever editing is used for the scene where her two characters meet. La Badie, however, does appear twice within a scene via superimposition, but that's in a flashback-within-a-mirror scene. There are a couple such scenes where La Badie's reflection in the mirror reflects her reflective melancholy mood. Anyhow, there's nothing in the way of the excellent double-exposure photography for Mary Pickford's dual roles in "Stella Maris" (1918) and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1921). Thanhouser, the production company for "The Woman in White", was a rather small producer, which went out of business later in 1917. La Badie also saw an unfortunate end that year when she died in an automobile accident.
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