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One can scarcely shake off its influence
deickemeyer28 April 2015
This remarkable play, presented as a lesson in Christian charity, was received by a mixed audience with a spontaneous outburst of applause. Such approval is rarely shown after a motion picture exhibition by an audience of that character, and indicates a keen appreciation of what is truly artistic in moving pictures. The bell tolls in an old tower but there is no response in the hearts of the people. The sanctuary is deserted, the altar is veiled, the lamps are extinguished, and the heart of the old priest is depressed. A young priest goes out among the toilers and revelers and tries to lead them into the fold by imitating Christ's example. He meets with hardened selfishness among those laboring for a livelihood, and insufferable egotism among those engaged in the pursuit of pleasure. He returns completely discouraged, but is followed by a Magdalene of today, a woman as "despised and rejected of men" as was the greatest character in human history. The church fails because it considers what we have been, and not what we are, but the aged priest finds pathetic consolation, the effort was not in vain if one soul was saved. This simple and poetic idea seemed to reach dull hearts, and its exquisite presentation is creditable to author, actors and producers alike. Thoughtful persons who see this film will ask the question seriously, is this, or is this not "The Way of the World" before it disappears from the screen and its memory will haunt them many an hour afterward. It is a graphic sermon, a sermon so strong and preached with such a direct appeal that one can scarcely shake off its influence. Do those busily engaged in the work of the world turn away from the proffers of good? Do those in the lower depths of degradation also turn away? One almost answers yes to this silent question, and yet, even here, one penitent was found, and perhaps in the actual world the proportion would be even greater. One doesn't like to condemn the world. It is not all self-absorbed. It is not all given to degrading pursuits. There are many unselfish people who are ready to pause in their work and aid others; and even in resorts like the one depicted there are some who are not bad. At least, one may harbor the comforting thought without danger of receiving an impression that is far wrong. The setting of the picture is particularly good. The San Gabriel Mission in California is utilized as a background. - The Moving Picture World, May 7, 1910
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The 35 Year Old D.W. Griffith
Single-Black-Male31 October 2003
A religious story that is supposedly beautifully constructed, but then whose perspective is that from? Do viewers think it is beautifully constructed or just biographers? It starred Christine Miller, who is also an unknown to me.
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