Monday, November 30, 2015

Traffic in Souls (1913)

A criminal gang, led by a respected philanthropist, tricks young women into a life of degradation. The sister of a victim and the police save the day.

Here is the granddaddy of exploitation films, the first American film to deal with sexuality. White women of virtue being forced into a life of sin! Something must be done of it! Here starts the tradition of decrying a terrible evil all the while tantalizing the audience with it. Not bad work if you can get it.

Not a lot to say about this one. It was a smash success, made tons of money for Universal, and had a Broadway opening. Historically interesting, but something of a snoozer. The sets were framed like a stage play and the title cards mostly described the action rather than depicting dialog. There were interesting scenes where the criminals used hidden microphones and stuff, but still a little clumsy, even by 1913 standards. AMRU 2.5.

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