A well-constructed melodrama made during the craze for “social” pictures in the 1910s, Children of Eve has visual flair to spare and a powerful performance from star Viola Dana.
To call this a tearjerker is an understatement. Director John Collins is practically carving onions under our eyeballs. Save it for a day when you need a good cry or if the outside world just seems too darn sunny. One of very few Collins pictures available to the general public, by the way. (In keeping with our depressing theme, he died during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Poor Viola Dana became a widow at twenty-one.)
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Viola Dana goes undercover in a factory owned by her father in order to expose unsafe working conditions. She is killed in a fire that breaks out due to those same unsafe working conditions.
Read my full-length review here.
If it were a dessert it would be: Ice cream. Just lots of ice cream. Ice cream you can stuff in your face as you cry your eyes out.
Availability: Released on DVD and Bluray by Kino Lorber as part of its collection The Devil’s Needle: Tales of Vice and Redemption. Fascinating stuff and a fabulous title to show off if you ever run into someone who complains of politics and social issues in modern films. They were always there, honey bun, they were always there.
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I like be Viola Dana and would love to see this film because it sounds like a statement to the horrible conditions many women were in which was sadly showcased in the shirtwaist fire from 1911
Yes, the film draws heavily on that tragedy. People who want to go back to the “good old days” are nuts.
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