Big Silent Fan wrote:Thanks again to YouTube's suggestions, I watched C. B. DeMille's Forbidden Fruit (1921), a modern day twist to the Cinderella Story. It's a serious look at the social ills of society with in-your-face intertitles. Two examples:
"There is no Law of God or Man, which forces a wife to stand by a Husband who offers her only degradation---and deny the man who offers her Honor and---Love"
The Law provides healing for the big "wounds" of Matrimony---but none for it's scratches. Yet a Human Being can die of a Pin-Prick!
The film runs a proper 90 minutes and the careful tinting (sometimes in gold) made the characters in this sepia-like print almost look lifelike. It would be another year before Technicolor released it's first full length color film, The Toll of the Sea." This certainly was a great effort as well.
As if that were already more than enough, the fairytale scenes have that over the top DeMille extravagances with costumes and beautiful sets were the floor shined like a mirror.
is a remake of DeMille's stunning The Golden Chance
, with a lot of the absolute degradation of
the original version missing -- while in the earlier period, DeMille was occasionally interested in showing the audience the dirt and despair of poverty, here it is attributed to greed and laziness on the part of Agnes Ayres' husband, Clarence Burton, and Theodore Kosloff's butler, who had served many of the best families in New York and two years in Sing-Sing. Yet there is a careless greed among the wealthy: Theodore Roberts, who is only interested in keeping Forrest Stanley around so he can make a business deal, regardless of the truth, and Kathlyn Williams, who really doesn't care a fig for anyone or anything except that Miss Ayres doesn't leave with her jewels. Only Mr. Stanley and Miss Ayres seem touched by any emotion but greed, and this makes this, in many ways, a fairy tale. The sequences in which we see Miss Ayres as Cinderella and Mr. Stanley as Prince Charming seem not to be commentaries on the main body of the movie. If anything, the reverse is true, and the movie seems more an exegesis of the fairy tale for the modern (1921) audience.
The print on YouTube was in glorious condition, with many sections not only tinted, but toned, lending a sumptuous visual element quite alien to the modern view of silent movies. DeMille's movies were Famous Players-Lasky's (later Paramount) prestige movies, and they spared no expense in their presentation. DeMille made an effort to save his early films, and this is a very good one from this period.