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The Unbeliever (1918)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 11 February 1918 (USA)
A wealthy young American, bred to class distinction and racial intolerance, enters the Marines during the First World War. In the course of his training and his experiences in the trenches ... See full summary »


Alan Crosland


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marguerite Courtot ... Virginie Harbrok
Raymond McKee ... Philip Landicutt
Erich von Stroheim ... Lt. Kurt von Schnieditz
Kate Lester ... Margaret Landicutt
Frank DeVernon Frank DeVernon ... Uncle ''Jemmy'' Landicutt
Mortimer Martine Mortimer Martine ... Eugene Harbrok (as Mortimer Martini)
Blanche Davenport Blanche Davenport ... Madam Harbrok
Harold Hollacher Harold Hollacher ... Pierre Harbrok (as Harold Hallacher)
Darwin Karr ... Lefty
Earl Schenck Earl Schenck ... Emanuel Muller
Gertrude Norman Gertrude Norman ... Marianne Marnholm
Lew Hart Lew Hart ... Hoffman
Thomas Holcomb Thomas Holcomb ... Commanding Officer (as Major Thomas Holcomb)
J.F. Rorke J.F. Rorke ... Lt. Terence O'Shaugthnessy (as Lieutenant J.F. Rorke)
Moss Gill Moss Gill ... Albert Mullins (as Sergeant Moss Gill)


A wealthy young American, bred to class distinction and racial intolerance, enters the Marines during the First World War. In the course of his training and his experiences in the trenches fighting, being wounded by, and being hospitalized with Germans, he comes to a recognition of the equality and brotherhood of men. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Drama | War


Not Rated






Release Date:

11 February 1918 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Edison Company, despite being a pioneer film company, was unable to sustain success with feature films. The company suffered from a myriad of problems, including chronic inability to retain talent, distribution issues and the stigma of being virtually at the center of the losing end of the infamous Patent War, which led to the creation of the film industry in Hollywood in 1913. Edison would produce only one more film after The Unbeliever (1918) and shut down all production by March, 1918. See more »


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Great WWI Melodrama
22 February 2005 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

An excellent melodrama from World War One, with von Stroheim as an over-the-top Hun who rips the hair from Belgian children, knocks down grandmothers, shoots them, tries to rape women and destroys German soldiers' musical instruments with the statement "You are here to fight, not to fiddle!" -- the Man You Love To Hate in full roar. The story itself, is about an aristocratic Long Islander who finds God and a love of his fellow man in the clean dry trenches. It is, in essence, fairly typical of the sort of war film made in the era and its prettying of the battlefield in understandable in the context of propaganda.

This movie, sometimes credited as the last release of the Edison film unit, is magnificently directed by Alan Crosland, who would go on to direct THE JAZZ SINGER and other good movies: he is another of the under-appreciated silent directors. I wrote 'magnifcently' and I mean it. The story is told clearly and interestingly with every shot well composed and fine use of cutting speed to increase tension. If you have any taste at all for silent movies, you need to see this one.

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