Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
The first thing that caught my eye was that the leading character in the film was a female, not a male as per the norm of other film noir movies. The opening sequence of events was also a real attention-grabber; it pulled me into the movie very quickly. The use of flashback to narrate Mildred's story was very effective in my opinion. I loved how the inspector fooled Mildred into thinking that her first husband had killed Monte, causing her to relate more and more of her story. The end twist was not completely clear until the last twenty minutes or so of the film. The camera work, especially the use of POV, was very effective in creating an emotional attachment to the film. The plot was well developed, and has a great sense of realism attached to it, particularly in Mildred's character and how she struggles to make her daughter happy. I myself have known people like Mildred and Veda from my experiences at the Saratoga Racetrack, so I thought those two characters were by far the most believable of the whole cast.
The movie "I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" is a very powerful, well written piece of film-making. For such an early film, it delivers all the essential criteria much desired in today's movies: a strong plot, well-developed characters, incredible dialogue, thoroughly developed scenes, along with plenty of action and suspense. I must say that for the duration of the movie I was immediately hooked into the story of James Allen and his struggle to obtain a normal life and put the past behind him. It kind of reminded me in some ways of the character Jean Valjean from the musical Les Miserables; both men wanted to be able to live in society, but were constantly tormented by their pasts.
Despite the racism and criticism that has been associated with this film, it still remains to this day one of the greatest films in the history of the American cinema. It's length can be considered in itself a stepping stone in film-making. Being around three hours is quite an accomplishment for a film even by today's standards. The hand-tinting in the movie, particularly in the scenes of the home and the burning of Atlanta, the colors used (in this case, red and yellow) really heightened the dramatic feeling of that particular scene. The assassination of President Lincoln conveyed such a sense of realism (notice the term realism, not reality) that one would think that the whole event was real, and that there was a camera there at the time (sadly though, there was no camera to record the event). Overall, the movie is still a remarkable testament to the ability of the film crew and production company.
My first impression of The Unknown was made within the first ten minutes of the movie. There is an old quotation: "A picture is worth a thousand words." This movie is a tribute to this quote. Being as how my previous experience with silent movies was spotty at best, I was impressed with how the actors portraying Alonzo, Nanon and Malzabar were able to effectively use nonverbal communication in order to get their points across to one another. Although the cast itself was small and a couple instances of plot lines were a bit iffy, the movie still kept me in anticipation of what was coming next. The Unknown combined the elements of romance, mystery, tragedy and suspense quite nicely to make a picture that would in my opinion still be worth watching even today. The only change that I would make is have the actors speak instead of having words projected onto the screen. Another modification I would make is to perhaps change a piece of score or two. Otherwise, a wonderful film and great example of how less can be more in the film industry.