Silents, Please! presented by Louis Bluver
Notable for its female-led creative team, Dorothy Arzner (story), Adela Rogers St. John (screenplay) and Dorothy Davenport Reid (direction), The Red Kimona is a landmark “social conscience” film from the silent era. Based on the true story of Gabrielle Darley, the film proclaims itself to be a “startling human document.”
Priscilla Bonner plays Darley, a small-town girl who finds escape from her cruel home life in the arms of a handsome stranger. Soon she finds herself working as a prostitute in New Orleans, desperately clinging to the belief that he really loves her. When she discovers him buying an engagement ring for another woman, she shoots him. Her murder trial becomes a cause célèbre and Gabrielle finds herself befriended by a rich society woman who professes deep concern for the unfortunate girl. After the acquittal, she goes to live with Mrs. Smith, intending to start a new life, but finds that her benefactor has little use for her once the newspaper men have gone. Unable to find an honest job because of her notorious past, Gabrielle becomes homeless and penniless and nearly returns to prostitution before looming international crises and a handsome man from the past point her way forward. (Dorothy Davenport Reid, USA, 1925, 80 min., silent with pre-recorded musical score)
Presented as part of National Silent Movie Day. More info at: www.nationalsilentmovieday.org/
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