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(Jun 21, 2011)
An early depiction of the hardships faced by immigrants, producer Thomas Ince's drama stars George Beban as a gondolier who comes to New York to prove himself to his girlfriend's father. Beban earns enough money to bring the woman over and marry her, but heartbreak awaits as they try to adjust to their new home. Clara Williams, Leo Willis also star. 72 min. Standard; Soundtrack: music score; bonus short "The Egyptian Mummy" (1915). Silent with music score.
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The acting is generally quite good and understated for the time, the cinematography
has some nice lighting effects, and moving shots (and one amazing close up, where
the camera shakes with a character's anger).
On the other hand, the melodramatic story feels predictable, along with having
a giant plot hole at its center, and some other annoying, easily avoided contradictions
and logic gaps.
Certainly this story -- a struggling Italian immigrant and his bride in the slums of
New York, coming to America to fulfill their dreams, but finding disillusionment and
despair -- must have resonated with a lot of people at the time. I just wish the story
had the subtlety of the acting and images.
But this is a good, solid, important early film, for film lovers and film students.