on 3 September 2014
Kino have done an excellent restoration job; the image and sound quality are quite good, considering.
The film itself is, frankly, pretty terrible. Fortunately it's only about an hour long, as I can't imagine many people today greatly enjoying a viewing. At the time though, it wasn't long since people had paid just to view a panorama or diorama, so it was no doubt a great experience.
The main interest now, I think, is for the film and the general historian. For a few short years, Theda Bara was one of the world's greatest stars, so it's a good thing to have seen at least one of her films. For this I am grateful to Amazon and Kino.
The best thing is the general sense of history. The cast of a 30s picture could walk into a modern office and the women's clothes arouse not much comment, the men's hardly any; that is not so here. The attitudes, too, are of another era: the man's friends who 'cut him dead' socially; the doctor's wife who won't stay in the same hotel as 'that woman'; the telegram dismissing the man on account of his 'disreputable conduct'; the wife who feels her place is at her husband's side, even after he has treated her so badly. It may have been made in 1914, but for me the sense is of having got in a time machine set for the Victorian age.