6.5/10
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4 user 2 critic

Sold for Marriage (1916)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 16 April 1916 (USA)
A poor Russian girl's beauty leads her unscrupulous uncle to bring her to the United States. There he is going to sell her into a marriage with a rich old man she has never met. But her ... See full summary »

Director:

Christy Cabanne (as William Christy Cabanne)

Writer:

William E. Wing (story and scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Lillian Gish ... Marfa
Frank Bennett Frank Bennett ... Jan
Walter Long ... Col. Gregioff
Allan Sears Allan Sears ... Ivan (as A.D. Sears)
Pearl Elmore Pearl Elmore ... Anna
Curt Rehfeld Curt Rehfeld ... Dimitri (as Curt Rehfelt)
William Lowery ... George (as William E. Lowery)
Fred Burns Fred Burns ... A Policeman
Mike Siebert Mike Siebert ... The Undesirable Suitor
Frank Brownlee ... Nicholas
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Storyline

A poor Russian girl's beauty leads her unscrupulous uncle to bring her to the United States. There he is going to sell her into a marriage with a rich old man she has never met. But her lover, an returning immigrant visiting Russia from the U.S., sails on the same ship. When they arrive he learns, to his surprise, that the American police, unlike those of his native country, are not oppressors of the poor, but friends that will aid in securing the release of his beloved Maria. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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User Reviews

 
Light Gish Vehicle
18 August 2009 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

"Sold for Marriage" is a breezy little feature starring Lillian Gish. Gish plays a Russian, who's uncle and aunt try to sell her hand in marriage to the wealthiest bachelor, despite Gish being in love with a poor boy. Although the subject matter might sound sensational or melodramatic, the treatment is light and the pacing is fluid. Much of it comes off more as comedy rather than drama. Most of the credit for that must go to Gish. Allan Sears, as her uncle, also gives an amusing performance to what otherwise could have been a melodramatic heavy. The rest of the cast is dull background—seemingly incapable of any comic expressions, or clueless to the tone set by Gish and Sears.

If not for Gish, this would surely be a completely forgettable picture. This is the first film from the 1910s that I've seen of hers where D.W. Griffith didn't direct, and it's a nice change of pace. Here, she sports dark hair and peasant clothing—ridding herself of the prim, ideal virgin or mistreated heroine doomed to some melodramatic climax (often, an attempted rape) before being rescued at the last minute. She is quite comically deadpan in her facial expressions, but also her entire posture and body language seems different from her roles in melodramas. She slouches, scurries and is generally perkier. For the demonstration of Gish's versatility with this performance alone, from one of the best actresses of the silent era or ever, it was worth seeing "Sold for Marriage".


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

16 April 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marfa of Russia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fine Arts Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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