A dark, gritty and stylish tale of dishonesty, conscience and capital punishment directed by… Cecil B. DeMille? Yes, things are very dark indeed in the tidy little drama.
It’s about a bookkeeper who fakes his own death after embezzling from his employer. Basically, It’s a Wonderful Life in reverse as he discovers that everyone he loves is actually better off with him out of the picture. And he may be wanted for his own murder. Strong performances and stylish direction make this a must-see, especially if you’ve never seen DeMille’s darker silent material.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.In the first unselfish move of his life, he allows himself to be executed so that his wife (who has remarried) will not be accused of bigamy.
You can read my full-length review here. I also cover the myth that The Whispering Chorus was a bomb and its lack of success was the reason DeMille embraced kitsch.
If it were a dessert it would be: Orange Peel Campfire Brownies. Embraces the grit and comes away with something nice.
Availability: Released on DVD as an accompaniment to Old Wives for New.
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