Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Blanche Sweet and Charles Hill Mailes
THE PAINTED LADY (1912). Director: D. W. Griffith.

In this short silent film the older of two sisters (Blanche Sweet) is plain and retiring in contrast to her younger and more vivacious sibling (Madge Kirby). Sweet summons the courage to go to a fair, and there encounters a nice-looking stranger (Joseph Graybill). Sweet is smitten, but the stranger is less interested in romance than he is in robbing her father (Charles Hill Mailes). Sweet becomes completely unhinged when she shoots the burglar and unmasks him as the man she's fallen for and hoped to have a future with. This is a decidedly downbeat melodrama which has an interesting premise but isn't long enough to develop it satisfactorily. Nevertheless, Sweet gives a good and sensitive performance and the movie is strangely compelling. One of D. W. Griffith's better silent films was Battle of the Sexes.

Verdict: Sweet memories. **1/2.

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