Silent Movie Trivia #18: Annabelle Lee (1921)

Wait a sec. They took a Poe verse about death and tombs and the sea and made a film that was secretly about… U.S. labor laws? How? Why?

If this is political propaganda, all I can say is that they are doing it wrong. Not only did it go entirely over my head, I didn’t even have a clue that there was supposed to be political propaganda inside the film. I have failed as a pundit but you probably knew that already.

You can be forgiven for drawing a blank when Annabelle Lee is mentioned. This obscure film has no big names in front of or behind the camera. Ostensibly based on the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, the film bears almost no resemblance to its source material.

In fact, the film has only two claims to your attention. First, the Martha’s Vineyard scenery is divine. Second, the intertitles are so hilariously overwrought that it is great fun to read them in stentorian tones just to see who bursts out laughing first.

(You can read my review here.)

Availability: Annabelle Lee was released on DVD by Grapevine.