The Lure of Jade (1921) Robertson-Cole Co. Director: Colin Campbell. Scenario, Marion Orth. Camera: Dev Jennings. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Thomas Holding, Arthur Rankin, Leon Bary, Hardee Kirkland, L.C. Shumway, Clarissa Selwynne, Togo Yamamoto, Goro Kino. 6 reels. This film appears to be LOST
|One of Polly's more exotic costumes, but she still looks like she means business.
(Thanks to Shawn Stone for this picture)
|An ad for the film|
A Robertson-Cole feature starring Pauline Frederick in a rather different kind of South Sea Island drama by Marion Orth. The smooth direction is by Colin Campbell. Offered at Loew's State first half of the current week it was disclosed as a skilfully written and splendidly acted story that should have appeal to women.
Miss Frederick wears a thrilling assortment of bizarre frocks and has opportunity for a lot of vivid emotional acting of the kind she can make thoroughly effective. It's all hectic melodrama, obvious and theatrical, but it does deliver a dramatic "punch" and its situations develop plausibly. Besides these qualities it has a good deal of the picturesqueness that goes with the locale.
In this case it is not a deserted island of the romantic South Seas, peopled by absurd barbarous natives, but a big naval base which has its own white society and a hotel of some magnificence. Hither come a naval officer and his wife, Capt. and Mrs. Copley, to meat the vengeance of Sada, now proprietress of "The Sea Gull," a tavern and gambling place. Back in America Sada was the daughter of an American admiral, who had been ruined by the scandal mongering tongue of Mrs. Copley. The gossip had killed Sada's father and driven her from the station, a wanderer.
Sada plots revenge. During the Captain's absence, she persuades an English remittance man of good birth, who is in love with her, to trap Mrs. Copley by arranging a rendezvous in her (Sada's)bungalow, where she will expose her to the world as a faithless wife. The plan goes through, but at the moment when she is about to spring the trap, the victim's son, crazed by tropical fever, comes upon the scene and shoots down the Englishman whom he believes is his mother's betrayer. Sada, rather than have her vengeance fall upon the guiltless boy, assumes the burden of the crime, and the finale shows her going into the distance guarded by native police, presumably to silent punishment for the murder.
There are a few gaps in the progress of the story. For instance, it does not appear how the boy learns where his mother is, nor is any motive established for the shooting. In other places the threads are not neatly tied, but in unrestrained romancing of this sort of sentimental tale it does not do to examine details too closely. It is sufficient that the sentimental appeal is hammered home as it is here. As the presiding spirit of "The Sea Gull" Miss Frederick wears many gorgeous robes of an outlandish design but bizarre grace, and the settings are exceedingly picturesque.
Altogether a colorful story keyed to the appreciation of the less sophisticated fans, which is to say the majority. Why the title, "The Lure of the Jade," does not appear. It is just a label with an intriguing sound and has no conceivable bearing on the tale.
"The Lure of Jade"
Pauline Frederick Does Excellent Work in Screen Tragedy With Unhappy but Logical Ending--Robertson-Cole Picture.
Reviewed by Jessie Robb.
The fact that the innocent indulgence of Sara Vincent's love of jade provides the motivating cause of the ensuing tragedy, gives the title to this Robertson-Cole picture, starring Pauline Frederick. The title is strongly suggestive of Chinese mystery and glamour which is not embodied in the picture. The characters are those of high naval officers, their wives and daughters. That people of this class would so readily believe the malicious scandal told by a jealous woman seems somewhat far-fetched but the good direction and sincerity of acting makes this promise plausible. From this episode, which is in the nature of a prologue, the tragedy is cumulatively developed with a smooth continuity to the climax.
Miss Frederick is more convincing as the bitter, revengeful woman than as the young girl. Her work is marked by intelligence, understanding, and a fine repression. She is ably supported by Clarissa Selwynne as the jealous wife and an excellent cast.Cast:
|Sara Vincent||Pauline Frederick|
|Captain Louis Corey||Thomas Holding|
|Allan Corey (his son)||Arthur Rankin|
|Stuart Beresford||Leon Bary|
|Rear Admiral Vincent||Hardee Kirkland|
|Captain Willing||L.C. Shumway|
|Alida Corey||Clarissa Selwynne|
|Sara's servant||Togo Yamamoto|
|Willing's servant||Goro Kino|
From the Story, Houses of Glass, by Marion Orth.
Scenario by Marion Orth.
Directed by Colin Campbell.
Photographed by Dev. Jellings.
Length, 6 Reels.
Sara Vincent, daughter of Rear Admiral Vincent, is popular at the naval post. She has a passion for collecting jade of which she has a fine assortment. Several years ago when at the Philippines, Sara had met Captain Corey. They had fallen in love, but as Corey was engaged Sara had insisted that he marry his fiancee. The Coreys are stationed at the post and Alida is intensely jealous of Sara.
At a party Captain Willing, who is being transferred, laughingly boasts of the superiority of his jade collection and invites Sara to see it. They are locked in his rooms by his dissatisfied servant. To avoid being seen by his brother officers, who are calling, Sara leaves by the bedroom window. Alida sees her and at once spreads a scandal. The next day Sara is ostracized. Her father tries to stop the scandal but is seized with apoplexy and dies.
Fifteen years later Sara is the owner of the "Sea Gull," a South Sea Island resort. To this island come Alida and her nineteen year-old son, Allan. Sara sees them and plans revenge. She uses Beresford, a remittance man, who is infatuated with her. He meets Allan and Alida and by subtle flattery wins the latter. Allan drifts into the "Sea Gull" and becomes enamoured with Sara.
Beresford inveigles Alida into a compromising situation. As Sara is telling her of her revenge Allan enters. The boy is half crazed with drink and fever. He kills Beresford. Sara takes the blame. Meanwhile Corey has arrived. He endeavors to assist Sara but she refuses help and goes to prison alone.
Program and Exploitation Catchlines: Pauline Frederick Rises to Dramatic Heights in Tale of Revenge and Self Sacrifice.
The Lure of Jade
Pauline Frederick--Robertson-Cole--6 Reels
M.P.W.--Pauline Frederick does excellent work in a screen tragedy with unhappy but logical ending.
T.R.--Pauline Frederick does some of the best work of her career in this one from Robertson-Cole. And she has good material to work with.
N.--Pauline Frederick has emotional opportunities in unconvincing story.
W.--Unusually fine performance of star saves unconvincing story.
Last revised, December 25, 2008