December 9, 2015
A Fool There Was.
Review #763: A Fool There Was.
Theda Bara (The Vampire), Edward José (John Schuyler, The Fool), Mabel Frenyear (Kate Schuyler, The Wife), Runa Hodges (The Child), May Allison (The Wife's Sister), and Clifford Bruce (Tom, The Friend) Directed by Frank Powell.
We are near the end of the year, so I decided to touch upon a movie released 100 years ago in 1915, making it the earliest film ever reviewed on this show. What is interesting is that this is one of only four feature films (along with two short comedies) starring Theda Bara that still survives today, with most of her films having been destroyed in the 1937 Fox vault fires. Bara's nickname of "The Vamp" came about do the popularity of this film, representing her reputation for playing "vamps", has evolved into the femme fatale. One notable inter-title is "Kiss me, my fool!", which was likely considered risque in the 1910's. This was based off a play (by Porter Emerson Browne) that was inspired by a Rudyard Kipling poem. As for the movie itself, it's okay. It kinda drags in the beginning with regards to the setup for the main characters, but at least the movie runs okay at an hour. Bara is certainly interesting as the lead, having a distinctive look and flair to her. It's certainly easy to see how she became so popular back in the day, though the studio promotion of her (giving her an elaborate fake biography of her being from an exotic land, though she was actually born in Cincinnati) also certainly helped. The movie is certainly an interesting capsule into the 1910's, and while I wouldn't say it's good, I would at least recommend it for any silent film buffs looking to watch the woman known as The Vamp.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.