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The Blasphemer (1921)

This rarely seen, silent religious feature was produced by the Catholic Art Association. After making it big on Wall Street, John Harden boasts that he is the master of his own fate and ... See full summary »

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George Howard ...
Augusta Anderson ...
Mary Harden
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Chinese Opium Den Operator
Margaret Seddon ...
Mrs. Harden - John's Mother
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This rarely seen, silent religious feature was produced by the Catholic Art Association. After making it big on Wall Street, John Harden boasts that he is the master of his own fate and believes in neither God nor the Devil. Needless to say, he pays mightily for this hubris. His family is reduced to poverty, his friends desert him, and things turn from bad to worse until his childhood faith is restored. Written by Anonymous

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faith | hubris | religion | See All (3) »

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Drama

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15 October 1921 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Interesting work of religious propaganda.
23 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'The Blasphemer' from 1921 is an interesting, obscure little film released through a Catholic Film company in the early twenties. The film centers around, John Harden, a successful businessman whose Atheism, blasphemy and infidelity leave him in deep s*@! with the big man in the sky. After denying God, his business empire collapses, followed by his marriage and the relationship with his mistress, ultimately leading to him becoming a street bum. He remains homeless until redeeming himself by seeing the errors of his ways.

Outwardly, the plot seems fairly standard for a religious film. However, the cinematography and story lines take the viewer through bizarre flashback sequences, which are difficult to follow with the title cards, as well as random shots of stained glass windows, superimposed with quotes from the bible, which fit into the sins committed by John Harden's character.

Although, John Harden is a bit of an jerk at times, the plot is preachy and annoying; basically professing that religion, especially, the Christian religion is the only righteous path. If this kind of thing annoys you to no end, I wouldn't recommend watching this, but if you're researching religion from either from a secular point of view, or because you enjoy old-time religious stories, you may enjoy this.

The acting in this film is pretty well done, I honestly have nothing but praise for the people involved in this production. They all emote well, far better, in fact, then some of the acting I've seen in more mainstream productions. I have no gripes with the acting of any of the people who stared in this film, it's too bad none of them were really in any movie other then this.

For a 90 year old film (as of 2011) it is in remarkably good shape. The nitrate has been preserved to a standard almost unlike silent film I have ever seen before. And is worth getting a hold of, if you can find it (I've only ever seen it available on DVD-R). The film does suffer from a lack of a sound track, although the Actors and Actresses do turn a good enough performance to keep a semi-interested viewer entertained.

Recommended, but only for those interested in it as a genre piece, or, time piece. But, take heed; DO NOT MAKE THIS YOUR FIRST SILENT FILM!


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