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The Foolish Virgin (1916)

The Foolish Virgin (1916) Clara Kimball Young Film Corp. Distributor: Lewis J. Selznick Enterprises, Inc.; Selznick Pictures. Director: Albert Capellani. Scenario: Albert Capellani. Camera: Jacques Monteran, Hal Young, and George Peters. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Conway Tearle, Paul Capellani, Catherine Proctor, Sheridan Tansey, William Welsh, Marie Lines, Agnes Mapes, Edward Elkas, Jacqueline Morhange. Romantic young schoolteacher marries a stranger who turns out to be a thief, and who's mother tries to kill him. 5-7 reels. This film is apparently LOST

It was remade in 1924 with Elaine Hammerstein.

Reviews from Moving Picture World
Review from Photoplay

And courtesy of Joan Myers, some reviews from the New York Dramatic Mirror

December 28, 1916, page 28
December 30, 1916, page 34
December 28, 1916, picture, page 25

Reviews from Moving Picture World

December 30, 1916

"The Foolish Virgin"
Clara Kimball Young is Seen in a Selznick Production Notable for Direction and Acting--Story Hardly Above Ordinary
Reviewed by George Blaisdell

Characterized by splendid direction and acting is "The Foolish Virgin," the Selznick picture featuring Clara Kimball Young. Albert Capellani has adapted and produced this story by Thomas Dixon in his own style--one is tempted to say in his inimitable style. Throughout the nearly seven reels one sees the hand of the master craftsman. Subtitles are scarce; for that matter no more than are shown are needed. There are two or perhaps three times in the course of the story when one is measurably stirred or moved, but not markedly so.

Mr. Capellani springs one distinct surprise. He keeps the spectator in the dark as to the character of Jim Anthony, the supposed mechanic who marries the romantically inclined school teacher. The fact that he is a thief is not revealed until it is discovered by his wife. The disclosure emphasizes the "reversion to type," a not unnatural manifestation by a son of the dissolute father, and of a mother who in later life takes up the making of illicit liquor and who also becomes a good customer of her own distillery

Miss Young as the dreamer of wonderful dreams who marries the first "knight" that appears on her horizon carries her part with her usual charm and distinction. Conway Tearle is Anthony, the husband who goes out and makes good after his narrow escape from death from a knife in the hands of his mother. Paul Capellani is the North Carolina doctor who brings back to life the injured Anthony, protects and cars for Anthony's wife during the years of regeneration, and submerges himself on the return of the man reconstructed. William Welch, Edward Elkas and Catherine Proctor are others in the cast who distinguish themselves by their work.

"The Foolish Virgin" is a good picture. It is carefully staged. Marked by especially clever touches are the scenes of the large schoolroom in the opening of the story. In spite of the realism in the first reel, wherein is shown the squalid environment of the boy who as a man is later to bulk big in the story, the subject is wholesome. It conveys its lesson, too, to those young women who rush into a marriage without investigating the antecedents of their prospective husbands.

January 6, 1917

THE FOOLISH VIRGIN. (Five Parts--December). The cast includes Clara Kimball Young, Catherine Proctor, Sheridan Tansey, William Welsh, Conway Tearle, Marie Lines, Agnes Mapes, Edward Elkas and little Jacqueline Morbaye. Directed by Albert Capellani.

Mary Adams, a young school teacher, when not engaged in her work, dreams of the days when the world was peopled by knights and beautiful ladies in distress. She is so imbued with the spirit of romance that when a strange young man rescues her from a street ruffian she idolizes her hero, picturing him as a regular Sir Galahad. Mary's rescuer is Jim Anthony, a mechanician with inventive talents. His invention is stolen and, embittered by the experience, Jim becomes a burglar. Mary, knowing nothing of this, falls in love with and marries him.,

Anthony is a product of the slums and in his wanderings has lost track of his mother. Learning that she is living in the mountains of Carolina, Jim persuades Mary to go with him to visit her. He takes with him a bag of jewelry, the plunder gained in his recent robberies.

The young couple find Anthony's mother living alone in a hut. The old woman has become a wretched creature. She fails to recognize her son, who asks for a night's shelter for himself and his wife. While unpacking, Mary discovers the jewelry and confronts Jim, who confesses his crime.

Horrified by the discovery, Mary orders Jim from the room and locks herself in. She goes to sleep on a couch in the main room. The old woman finds the jewels and her cupidity leads her to attempt to murder the man she does not know as her son.

Mary finds Jim unconscious from his wound and hurries to the village for medical aid. She keeps away from him and on his recovery he returns to the city and makes restitution of the stolen property. A reconciliation is brought about several years later.

Review from Photoplay, v. 11 no. 4, March 1917

The Shadow Stage, by Julian Johnson

"The Foolish Virgin," with Clara Kimball Young, is little less than a disaster, considering the prominence of the star, the resources of the company, and the fine record of the director. How did Capellani happen to perpetuate so tiresome a thing?

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Last revised November 24, 2012