18 November 2018 | boblipton
The copy of of this movie that I just looked at wasn't in great shape -- there's sprocket damage throughout and a lot of decomposition in the last few minutes of the print -- but Robert Israel's sentimental score was, as usual, spot on.
Harry Holden runs the threadbare End of the Trail Mission in the poorest neighborhood in town. He has called together a congregation of the weary and worn out. Among them, Wanda Hawley, clouted and tossed out by the man she thought was her husband, and dapper Norman Kerry, lured by Miss Hawley's hymn singing. Kerry is a clubman whose income is provided by provided by burglary. Impelled by his feeling for Miss Hawley, and the earnestness of Holden, he provides funds for the mission. When one of the nicest members of the congregation, Bert Woodruff, is knocked down by a speeding car, Kerry goes on a job to raise funds for Woodruff's care -- and is ratted out by David Kirby.
The movie's blatant sentimentality is hard to overcome -- were Miss Hawley less beautiful, would Kerry's erratic redemption have taken place? However director Emmet J. Flynn offers a view of the broken down that excuses the conventional story, and also an excitingly shot action sequence with interesting camera angles.
It's unlikely this movie would have been made available were it not for the presence of Rudolph Valentino in a small, uncredited role as a member of the Mission, but if that's what it took to get this film mostly restored and available, that's fine. The vast majority of silent features is unavailable. It's good to see any from this period, when vinema was about to enter the fascinating 1920s, and particularly this one directed by Mr. Flynn. the only other movie of his I have seen in the 1922 MONTE CRISTO, where he also showed a sure hand in directing his actors.