28 June 2015 | mpickfordfan
Still A Lost Silent Drama
As of writing this review, in the year 2015, Quincy Adams Sawyer still remains a lost silent film. All I can offer the reader is this original synopsis along with some original reviews of this Metro Pictures produced drama. I hope a copy does survive and resurfaces for the many fans of the art of silent cinema. This film boasted a huge cast, including Lon Chaney, Blanche Sweet, Barbara La Marr, Elmo Lincoln and Louise Fazenda along with many other silent actors and actresses.
Obadiah Strout ( Lon Chaney ) is an attorney of dubious ethics in the town of Mason's Corner's, where he is handling the estate of Mrs. Putnam's late husband. Nathaniel Sawyer, a friend of the Putnams, believes that Strout is withholding some valuable bonds from the widow, so he sends his son Quincy ( John Bowers ), a young attorney, to investigate. Lindy Putnam ( Barbara La Marr ), the village vamp, is delighted to have the handsome Quincy in town, and she immediately tries to win his charms, much to the chagrin of Strout. Abner Stiles ( Elmo Lincoln ), the blacksmith, committed a murder years before, and Strout convinces him that Quincy is there to investigate Stiles. Deacon Pettengill's ( Edward Connelly ) blind niece, Alice ( Blanche Sweet ), returns home from a visit in Boston where she had once met Quincy. The two are reunited and a strong friendship soon blossoms. Stiles picks a fight with Quincy, but the young attorney has considerable boxing skill and gives his attacker a well-deserved beating. Lindy is insanely jealous of Alice, and Strout goads her into a plot to get rid of her rival. Alice and Lindy go on a picnic aboard a ferry boat and, thinking Quincy is with them, Stiles cuts the steel cable, sending the boat racing towards the waterfall. Lindy and the ferryboat boy swim for safety, leaving Alice to die on the boat. Quincy dashes for a bridge where he boards the boat, and as they approach the falls, Quincy tells Alice that he loves her and that they will die together. The ferry gets caught in the rocks at the edge of the falls, and Quincy carries Alice to safety. When she awakens, she realizes that the shock has restored her sight. Deacon Pettengill, believing that Strout has killed his daughter, grabs a revolver and goes after him. Stiles realizes that Strout has been using him to his own ends, and when the deacon arrives, Strout lies dead at the hands of Stiles.
"It is not a subtle story and everything turns out just as you would wish it, but it is a vastly entertaining picture containing about all the elements that good showmanship has shown audiences desire." ---Moving Picture World.
"Lon Chaney and Elmo Lincoln do good work as the villains. But it seems that the good work of nearly everyone in the cast, which is as near all-star as one can assemble, is overshadowed by the fearful hokum purveyed in the story." ---Variety
"The picture would be a lot better than it is if it were only a little less superficial and if the subtitle writer had not done all in his power to destroy it...For instance, Lon Chaney is the villain. Now, if there is any one who can be more palpably and pointedly a villain than Mr. Chaney he hasn't appeared in the studios as yet. Surely he needs no introduction. Yet he is introduced in a subtitle which says, in effect, 'Ladies and gentlemen, we now present the villain of our piece, an evil fellow, believe us, who has designs on the heroine because she has just inherited a large sum of money. Look--Lon Chaney, the villain.' And then there's nothing for Mr. Chaney to do, but illustrate the subtitle. His best acting can add no revelation to it. So it falls flat. " ---The New York Times