Best Drama Movies of 1916
Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages
The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.
The Devil's Needle
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE (1916, dir: Chester Withey) stars silent superstar Norma Talmadge as Renee, a French artist's model who uses morphine as an escape from the dull reality of her life. She recommends it to a neurotic artist played by Tully Marshall (Queen Kelly), because "it kindles the fires of genius." The artist quickly becomes addicted to the drug and the quality of his work begins to disintegrate. He takes on a new model, marries her, and starts her on the same path of moral degradation, until a guilt-ridden Renee decides to intervene in order to save them both. According to silent film historian Kevin Brownlow, THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE was banned by the state of Ohio, but the censor board reversed its decision after recognizing the positive message beneath the film's scandalous surface. This special edition was mastered from a 35mm preservation print of the 1923 re-release version. The only known surviving copy, the element suffers significant nitrate decomposition during some scenes.
Stephen Brice, a young lawyer in Civil War-era St. Louis, falls in love with Virginia Carvel, the daughter of his benefactor. But she is loyal to the South and Brice is committed to Lincoln's cause. In the course of the war, their convictions separate them, and Virginia becomes engaged to her cousin Clarence Colfax, a Confederate officer. Brice becomes an officer under General Sherman, and eventually finds himself faced with the captured Colfax, facing execution for spying. Brice must decide whether or not to intercede in his rival's behalf.
The Dumb Girl of Portici
Fenella, a poor Italian girl, falls in love with a Spanish nobleman, but their affair triggers a revolution and national catastrophe.
A Daughter of the Gods
A sultan agrees to help an evil witch destroy a mysterious beauty if the witch will bring his young son back to life.
Little Mary Sunshine
Just after Bob's fiancée breaks off their engagement, he meets young Mary, whose mother has just died, and the two of them comfort each other.
He Did and He Didn’t
A doctor, very much in love with his beautiful wife, comes to suspect that her visiting childhood friend Jack is more than just a friend. Jack's intentions are honorable, but everything he does tends to show his actions in a suspicious light, especially when burglars invade the house and Jack and the wife are caught together in their nightclothes.
A young working girl must support her family on only five dollars a week. The strain of trying to feed, house and clothe her mother, her father and three sisters finally gets to be too much, and she winds up selling her body for a pair of shoes.
The Children in the House
Where Are My Children?
Walton, the District Attorney, yearns to have children. Soon after defending an author on trial for publishing indecent literature, Walton discovers a secret his wife and her socialite friends have been hiding from him.