1911-1920

Cornelius Hintner – Die Würghand aka The Strangling Hand (1920)

“Dame Rose ( Dame Carmen Cartellieri ) is a liberal and impudent youngster who sells flowers in selected and important places for aristocrats. There she is obliged by her greedy brother Toni ( Herr Eugen Preiss ) to flirt with old and rich aristocrats ( having in mind that Dame Rose is also a thin girl, that’s a inversely proportional situation for this German count… ). She catches the eye of banker Bergern ( Herr Fritz Helmers ).
Who has a young and handsome nephew, Baron Stein ( Herr Hans Rhoden ). Dame Rose promptly falls in love with Stein so she continues her flirtation both men at the same time. Read More »

Alice Guy – Making an American Citizen (1912)

Ivan Orloff and his wife decide to emigrate to America with a group of several others.
Ivan is used to treating his wife roughly, and on arrival in America, he forces her to carry their baggage, while he repeatedly prods her with his cane.
A passer-by rebukes Ivan, and forces him to carry the load. But this is only the first of several lessons that Ivan will learn in his new country. Read More »

Fred Niblo – Sex (1920)

Plot Outline: A broadway actress uses her sex appeal to ruin a marriage only to dump her lover for a richer prospect.
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Raoul Walsh – Regeneration (1915)

Raoul Walsh had just come off The Birth of a Nation both as one of Griffith’s assistant directors and as an actor (most prominently as John Wilkes Booth), when he made this film. In his autobiography, Walsh credits Griffith with “teaching” him not only about much of the art of fiction filmmaking, but also about production management technics that aided him in taking full advantage of many of New York City’s most pictorial exterior locations. The locations play an important role in adding to the naturalism of an otherwise highly melodramatic plot with the high society young woman turned heroine social worker (much overplayed by a major star of the 1910s, Anna Q Nilsson) and the regeneration of the one-time Lower Manhatan gang leader. The wonder of this film is the performance of the male “star”, Rockliffe Fellowes, who played in over a dozen nearly unremembered films until he died in 1950. His performance is so subtly varied and electrically alive that one is reminded of Brando in his early 1950s films. Read More »

Germaine Dulac – La cigarette AKA The Cigarette (1919)

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Quote:
A Parisian museum director believes his wife has lost interest in him and so places a poisoned cigarette in the box on his desk – thus allowing chance to decide the moment of his death. Read More »

Alfredo De Antoni – Il processo Clémenceau (1917)

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Quote:
It is ironic that the very few references to this excellent film that I was able to find online all referred simply to the fact that this was Vittorio De Sica’s first film!? And, it is true of course that the young De Sica appears in the film briefly as the son of the Clemenceaus, but the film has so much more to offer… Based on Alexandre Dumas fils’ novel, the film stars Francesca Bertinini as Iza in this tragedy of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage. At 107 minutes, this was a lengthy film for 1917. It is divided into two parts, chronicling the life of Iza as a girl or young woman, and her life as an adult. The story is told through the pen of her husband, and this is in several ways important in appreciating the subtle weight of what could on the surface look like a “typical” Diva film of the era, but which does in fact carry more psychological weight, and was inspired by the more complex dramas that Asta Nielsen starred in during the early teens. Read More »

Lawrence B. McGill – How Molly Malone Made Good (1915)

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This 1915 film stars Marguerite Gale as the title character, a journalist trying to make her name by interviewing celebrities for the New York Tribune. Picture quality is quite good, although the print is a little dark on the whole. A number of celebrities play themselves, including noted drag performe Julian Eltinge, and burlesque star Mabel Fenton. Read More »