What No Man Knows (1921) Harry Garson Productions Distributor: Equity Pictures Director: Harry Garson. Story-Scenario: Sada Cowan. Camera: Sam Landers. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Lowell Sherman, Dorothy Wallace, William P. Carleton, Jeanne Carpenter, Dulcie Cooper, Edward M. Kimball. 6 reels.
A 35mm. print of reels 1-5+ (assembled from three incomplete nitrate prints and missing some final scenes) is located at the Library of Congress, and a videotape from that print is available from the Great Lakes Cinephile Society
What No Man Knows
(Clara Kimball Young--Equity--6,200 Feet)
M.P.W.--A novelty that will appeal to the women. There is plenty of red-blooded action, however. The scenario is well handled and the settings are true to the life they depict.
N--Clara Kimball Young displays her talent in heart interest story.
W.--What No Man Knows" is one of those stories in which the ending is inevitable and obvious all the way. Star's name will attract.
Clara Kimball Young Attends Detroit Opening of Equity's "What No Man Knows" (By Wire to Moving Picture World)
CLARA KIMBALL YOUNG is making the first of a series of three personal appearances at John H. Kunsky's Madison Theatre this week in connection with the first showing anywhere of her latest production for Equity release, "What No Man Know." Like its predecessors, this production is from the pen of Sada Cowan and presents a novelty that will appeal particularly to the woman. There is plenty of red-blooded action, however. The scenario is well handled and the settings are true to the life they depict.
Where, in her past four pictures, Miss Young was cast in the role of a beauteous society butterfly, with jeweled gowns and a strong inclination to become entangled in social jams. "what No Man Knows" takes her entirely out of this sphere. It is the tale of a woman with wealth an a heart filled with love for suffering little ones. She loves and is loved by a man who finds himself married to a woman of questionable reputation. The plot concerns the doing of these two, the erring wife and a sweet little girl adopted from an orphan home. Miss Young in many scenes shows that she can wear rags with the same grace she wears elaborate gowns. There are some exceptionally good newspaper shots, taken in the plant of the Los Angeles Examiner. They are used to built up the well known "press time" theme.
Supporting Miss Young are Lowell Sherman, William P. Carlton, Dorothy Wallace and little Jeanie Carpenter. Sherman, in a heavy role, and little Jeanie in a sympathetic child part, do exceptional work. The picture is in 6,200 feet. Harry Garson, who directed, is also here. J.S.
Publicity made much of the fact that this film is set in a lower socioeconomic milieu than most of Young's other films, but, contrary to the notice above, she at no time wears rags. In fact, she appears to be a wealthy woman doing a bit of slumming. However, she wears none of her usual high fashion ensembles--the best gowns are on Ms. Wallace--and one wonders if this could have been an economy move, along with the lower class settings. The film is reasonably entertaining, but Young has the initial handicap of being introduced by exceptionally annoying titles attesting to her saintliness, so has that much more to overcome to achieve audience sympathy. She also overacts more than usual. One key plot point that doesn't ring true is why a woman like her, living in quite comfortable rooms, would have one of those nosy, narrow minded landladies that seems to belong in a working class boarding house. One is, however, treated to the unusual site of Lowell Sherman as a bum. Father Edward M. Kimball has a substantial part.
Print Viewed: Video from the Great Lakes Cinephile Society. The missing last reel is bridged by titles. Quality is excellent, the best available video of Young, and worth it just to be able to see her face clearly. Nice organ score by Bob Vaughn. A bonus is newsreel footage of Young making a personal appearance in Detroit to promote the film.
Last revised October 14, 2005