18 August 2003 | claudecat
has its moments
This early Griffith short is available on a Library of Congress videotape called "Origins of the Gangster Film". It's not the most gripping tale ever filmed, but certainly has its good moments. Mary Pickford (looking much more womanly than she ever did in her later years) plays the wife of a petty crook who is trying to go straight. Both she and male lead Elmer Booth are very likeable, although their acting is not as clear and developed as you'll see in later silent films. Because of its early date, all the characters are shown from head to toe, theater style, and there may be moments when you'll wish Griffith would invent the closeup already. But the story has some fast-paced action and tension, and the realistic sets and costumes give the movie an authentic "working class" feel.