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The Fettered Woman (1917)

The Fettered Woman (1917) Vitagraph Co. of America. A Blue Ribbon Feature. Distributor: Greater Vitagraph (V.L.S.E., Inc) Director: Tom Terriss. Scenario: Garfield Thompson. Camera: Joseph Schelderfer. Cast: Alice Joyce, Webster Campbell, Donald McBride, Lionel Grey, Templer Saxe. 5 reels This film appears to be LOST

Review from Variety
Review from the New York Dramatic Mirror
Review from Moving Picture World
Review from Photoplay

Review from Variety, November 2, 1917

Angelina Allende Alice Joyce
James Deane Webster Campbell
Jack Wolver Donald McBride
Tobe Lionel Grey
Adolph Bink Templar Saxe

Vitagraph's Nov. 5 release under the Blue Ribbon Brand is "The Fettered Woman," from the pen of Robert W. Chambers, directed by Tom Terris. While the denoument [sic] is evident very early in its progression, the story is, nevertheless, an interesting one, and quite a departure from conventional lines. A once prosperous village has gone to decay and Angelina's father commits suicide, leaving her only 3,000 acres of unsaleable land and no cash. Reared in refinement, the girl's future is a serious problem to her. A couple of unscrupulous real estate sharks persuade her to come to New York under the pretext of selling her property to a syndicate. They endeavor to get her to sign away her land and one of them covets the girl. They take her to a public restaurant and one of the men attacks her. The other interferes, there is a quarrel between the men, and one is shot in the arm. They swear the girl did the shooting and she is sent to a reformatory for three years. Being a high strung girl and chafing over the injustice she suffers great anguish, but finally is released. On her return to the little village she is shunned as a jailbird and lives alone on the vast estate. She advertises for summer boarders and a young man from the city comes there for his vacation. From that point on, although there are a number of interesting events, the finish is apparent. Mr. Terris has done some excellent work in his direction and the selection of the locations are in keeping with the narrative. Alice Joyce as the unfortunate girl gives her usual intelligent interpretation of a rather difficult role and the remainder of the cast is all that could be desired. A program feature that is certain to please.


Review from the New York Dramatic Mirror, November 10, 1917


Five-Part Drama by Robert W. Chambers. Produced by Greater Vitagraph Under the Direction of Tom Terriss.

The Players.--Alice Joyce, Webster Campbell, Donald McBride, Lionel Grey, Templar Saxe.

Personality of Alice Joyce. Celebrity of the author--Robert W. Chambers. A charming love story played with a delicacy that renders sit appealing and convincing.

"The Fettered Woman," made into a photoplay from Robert W. Chambers' novel "Anne's Bridge," is, apart from the somewhat lurid villain element of its plot, a film offering a rare sweetness and charm.

The story is of Angelina Allende, who is left an orphan by the suicide of her father, a real-estate visionary who has beggared not only himself but his friends in a vain attempt to "boom" the deserted hamlet of Anne's Bridge. Receiving news of his death, Angelina returns home, where she is presently inveigled into a trip to New York by two men, one of whom wants the property and the other of whom wants Angelina. In a restaurant scene which follows, Bink, the elder of the conspirators, makes advances to Angelina, is repulsed and then is shot by Wolver his fellow conspirator. The police enter, Angelina is accused of the shooting, and she is sentenced at length to a three-years' term in a home for delinquent girls.

Emerging at the expiration of her sentence, she returns to Anne's Bridge. Here, in the lonely days that follow, she advertises for boarders and is at last rewarded by the appearance of James Deane. It is here that the love story begins; and it progresses until Angelina is cleared, through Deane's efforts, and, finally, is free to marry him.

There is a quality of lonely sweetness in the dark witchery of Alice Joyce's face which makes her performance of Angelina register so truly. Webster Campbell, as James Deane, is a wholesome young hero, while Donald McBride and Templar Saxe are abundantly sinister in their respective roles of greater and lesser villains.

Exhibitors should advertise the fact that the story is by Robert W. Chambers--indorsement [sic] which is sufficient in itself


Reviews from Moving Picture World, November 17, 1917

"The Fettered Woman"
Alice Joyce Excellent in Five-Part Vitagraph Blue Ribbon Feature Made from Mildly Interesting Story by Robert W. Chambers.
Reviewed by Edward Weitzel.

THERE was a time when a story by Robert W. Chambers meant vigorous situations and careful workmanship. Of late years quantity and not quality has been his motto. "The Fettered Woman" is not one of his best works, although, contrary to custom, it does not deal with the unhampered mortals that spend their time in the pursuit of pleasures as it is understood in certain artistic circles of New York. The five-part Vitagraph Blue Ribbon Feature version of the story, starring Alice Joyce, starts off in real melodramatic fashion. Angeline Allende, the heroine, has been raised in a little town known as Anne's Bridge. After the death of her father she finds herself the owner of a dilapidated old house and several thousand acres of worthless land. She falls into the hands of a pair of real estate swindlers and is induced to go to New York to dispose of her property. Both men try to make love to her, and plot her ruin. They quarrel over her and Angelina is falsely accused of shooting one of the men. She is convicted on the flimsiest kind of evidence and sent to a reformatory for three years.

After serving her term she goes back home, but the neighbors are ready to believe the worst of her and give her the cold shoulder. Forced to earn her living in some way, she advertises for summer boarders. A nice looking young chap from the city comes to Anne's Bridge, in answer to the "ad," and promptly falls in love with the girl. When he learns her story he takes the next train back to New York, hunts up the swindlers, gets the truth from them without any trouble, and goes back to Anne's Bridge with the proof of Angelina's innocence. Wedding bells finish. There is very little suspense in the story, and the director was obliged to put in a lot of local color, helped out by a white Polly and a handsome shepherd dog. But there is one thing he refrained from using that does him credit: Angelina is living all alone when she decides to take boarders. The city chap is the only one she has, but no reference is made to the remarks of the neighbors on the subject. One resolute old gossip to start things and the melodramatic punch that would follow is not difficult to imagine. But the neighbors mind their own business, and Angelina and her lover are not molested.

Alice Joyce contrives to put a great deal of quiet charm into the character of the heroine. Webster Campbell is also well adapted to the role of the city chap, and the spectator is honestly glad when the romance turns out happily for the two. Donald McBride, Lionel Gray and Templar Saxe impress favorably in their allotments, and director Tom Terriss has worked in quite a bit of picturesque scenery during the action of the story.

THE FETTERED WOMAN (Five Parts--Nov. 5.)--The cast: Angelina Allende (Alice Joyce); James Deane (Webster Campbell); Jack Wolver (Donald McBride); Tobe (Lionel Grey); Adolph Bink (Templar Saxe). Directed by Tom Terriss.

Anne's Bridge, a one-time prosperous village and its unused chemical factories, represent the former fortune of Angelina Allende's father. He and his daughter still live in the old estate which comprises 3,000 acres of land, on which he is trying to borrow money, as he has only $600 left in the bank and his daughter is in college. An unscrupulous real estate broker refuses the loan, but suggests that if he could have Angelina the loan might be forthcoming. Ordered from the house, the agent points to a rife and suggests that the old man would be doing the community and his child a favor if he used the weapon on himself. An hour later Anne's Bridge is shocked by the suicide of Allende.

The real estate broker seeks to force his attention on Angelina, on her return from college, but she loathes him. He induces her to go to New York on a pretense that a syndicate is prepared to buy her acres. His plan is to get her to sign away all title and thus get her in his power. With another man, and a woman posing as his wife, they take Angelina to a cafe when he attacks her in a private dining room The other man intereferes and is shot. By perjured testimony they escape and Angelina is sent to a Samaritan home for three years.

Returning to Anne's Bridge she is shunned as a jail bird by the older people and feared by the children, whom she loves. She advertises for summer boarders, but gets only one, a young New Yorker attracted by the trout streams on the Allende estate. He falls in love with Angelina and asks her to marry him, but she refuses on account of her prison record, which she keeps a secret. She loves him, nevertheless. He returns to New York and learns the truth. Then he returns to Anne's Bridge and finds he has removed the only barrier to their happiness.

Review from Photoplay, February 1918

Here is Alice Joyce in an awkward utilization of Robert Chambers' book "Anne's Bridge," with all the Chambersesque cleverness successfully extracted. As it stands pictorially, it is a semi-sordid tale of a girl wrongfully sent to prison, and then shunned by her neighbors, living out her life alone on her vast tract of worthless land.

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Last revised August 26, 2005