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Salvage (1921)

Salvage (1921) Robertson-Cole Co. Director: Henry King. Story: Daniel F. Whitcomb. Camera: J.D. Jennings. Cast: Pauline Frederick, Ralph Lewis, Milton Sills, Helen Stone, Rose Cade, Raymond Hatton, Hobart Kelly. 6 reels. This film appears to be LOST

Lobby Card A lobby card from the film. Thanks to Derek Boothroyd for this

Review from Variety
Review summaries from Moving Picture World

Review from Variety, June 17, 1921


An ambiguous title for this Robertson-Cole feature, starring Pauline Frederick, that ran 85 minutes at the New York Monday night. It has a direct appeal for woman, with its "motherhood' foundation and a couple of small children, but is rather boring to the males watching it.

Miss Frederick is the disappointed mother who nearly lost her life through childbirth, with the wealthy father having the baby boy hidden, telling his wife the babe died, through the attending doctor informing the new father his offspring had a deformed leg and could never walk.

Another story runs through of a young man who loves his baby girl and his wife, though the wife is wrong and does not deem her child more than a bother. This father is sent to prison for knocking down a man who was escorting his wife home. The father would not disclose his identity to save the future of the child, so accepted the prison sentence, which seemed rather severe for the punishment inflicted.

The two-handed story is blended in toward the finish, with the tale then having Milton Sills as the former convict playing opposite Miss Frederick, Ralph Lewis is the wealthy husband who passes out, restoring the child, made normal by an operation, to the mother, and leaving his wealth to mother and son, with the assumption the mother will marry the ex-convict, since the latter's wife committed suicide due from drink, before the jail released him.

It isn't as morbid as it sounds, just an illustrated lecture on mother-love that never can be understood by a man but which seems to hold some sort of a charm for nearly all women, whether they are pro or con on the subject.

Nothing in the script called for exceptional playing, which left it easy for the seasoned principals. The drink-besotted female player, name unknown, had an awful make-up at times, when the character did not call for pallidness, while the lighting effects nearly as often gave Miss Fredericks a terrible aged look, though at other times and in the proper lights she was quite attractive. The children players were bright, but there was too much of them.

No novelty of direction was tried for. None was needed. It is just a straightaway story, plainly and directly told, with the 85 minutes making it seem twice as long, but still, though minus any action of consequence, "Salvage," with that title meaning nothing to the box office or the picture itself, will pass along, particularly in the neighborhood houses. The Fredericks name will send it in likely and the story will hold it, with nothing else.


Consensus of Published Reviews from Moving Picture World

June 25, 1921

Pauline Frederick--Robertson-Cole--4,745 feet

M.P.W.--The emotional twists and turns in "Salvage" are more ingenious than convincing. However, the story enables Pauline Frederick to give a fine portrayal of a dual role.

N.--Pauline Frederick scores in heavy and morbid picture.

T.R.--It is the art of Pauline Frederick that makes this rather ordinary story of a feature photodrama.

W.--Pauline Frederick splendid in mother love role

E.H.--It is a story of mother love with many emotional scenes and some humorous bits to relieve the tense situations.

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Last revised, December 25, 2008