June 20, 2010

78. The Whispering Chorus (1918)

 The Whispering Chorus was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, who was 37 at the time. It is the story of a man who struggles to support his wife and elderly mother. One day he gives in and steals money but can't put up with the guilt, so he fakes his own murder and tries to live as a wayward man, while his wife moves on and prospers. 

Raymond Hatton (31) played the leading role of John Tremble, and he was like a spectacular chameleon. In the beginning of the film he looked like a mix between Vincent van Gogh and James Dean.

 Edythe Chapman (55) played Tremble's mother

 Kathlyn Williams (39) played the gentle and empathetic wife and occasionally looked like Isadora Duncan in her later years.

 John tried to gamble but lost

 That lovely Mr Elliott Dexter (also appeared in DeMille's Romance of the Redwoods) played George Coggeswell, a man who worked in the same company as John and was on the rise in terms of status.

 What I didn't get was, what did John use all his stolen money on ? It was never explained. He just ran away from his old life and then did odd jobs like working at the docks where he got hurt.

 I think Noah Beery (36) played the part of a guy who took John under his wing. The two of them lived together in a seaside shack for a couple of years in the film.

 Meanwhile Coggeswell is elected as a Governor and proposes to Jane Tremble, who has been working at his company since the (assumed) death of her husband.

 John's mother can't forget about him and has a feeling he's still alive

 an undercover cop tricks John into gambling

 after getting in trouble with The Law, he moves on

 to China Town

 the princess of an Opium den seduces him

while at the same time his wife gets married to the governor

 years go by and John still thinks about his mother while trying to scrape up some money

 Jane and the governor are talking about having a baby

 John takes a chance and visits his mother. I think he looked very beautiful at this point. Like an emaciated Bob Dylan.

 counting off days to his execution

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