Best Drama Movies of 1918
A Dog's Life
The Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city.
Stella Maris is a beautiful, crippled girl, who is cared for by a rich family. They shield her from the harsh realities of the world, so that she has no idea of the cruel things that some people do. Unity Blake is a poor orphan all too familiar with the harsh realities of the real world. These two young women both fall in love with John, love which is complicated by the fact that he is still married to (though separated from) a bad wife.
The Ghost of Rosy Taylor
George Periolat plays a dual role in this film, initially as Joseph Sayles a sickly old man who has taken his daughter, Rhoda (played by Mary Miles Minter), overseas after a quarrel with his family. She yearns to return home, but he has disowned his past. After his death, Rhoda ventures to America on her own. She nearly becomes destitute for a lack of money but happens upon some questionable fortune as she takes on the chores of Rosy Taylor after inadvertently finding an envelope with money in it. Rosy had been hired as a housekeeper (thus the money), but has passed away before actually showing up for employment.
Mickey, an orphan who has been brought up in a mining settlement, is sent to New York to live with her aunt.
The Safety Curtain
Puck is a music hall dancer, married to an abusive husband. One night the music hall catches fire. Puck is rescued by an army officer and her husband perishes. Puck marries the officer and they begin a new life in India, until a man from her past finds her and makes demands.
The Sinking of the Lusitania
Winsor McCay recreates the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania by a German U-boat in this propaganda piece designed to stir up anti-German sentiment during World War I.
The Blue Bird
Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the diamond, the children become aware of and conversant with the souls of a Dog and Cat, as well as of Fire, Water, Bread, Light, and other presumably inanimate things. The troupe thus sets off to find the elusive Blue Bird of Happiness.
Having tackled Carmen, Cleopatra, and Madame Du Barry, the screen's foremost vamp, Theda Bara, was of course destined to play Salome as well. Her performance came complete with a shoulder length black wig and a silly-looking paper mache head of John the Baptist (portrayed, until his unfortunate decapitation, by Albert Roscoe). Bara played the character like she had any of her earlier so popular vixens but the studio, Fox, had no real confidence in their waning star's drawing power and released the film without much fanfare in the middle of summer.
M'liss, a feisty young girl in a mining camp, falls for Charles Gray, the school teacher. Charles is implicated in a murder of which he is innocent, and the two must fight to save him from a lynching.
Sincere but struggling sculptor Tommasso (Caruso--bushy moustache, gawky) works in an ornamental plaster shop, but his masterpiece on the side is a bust of his cousin Caroli (Caruso--no moustache, polished), who is the Metropolitan Opera's leading tenor. Tommasso hopes to marry his model Rosa, but her father, restaurant owner Pietro, wants her to find someone more settled and money-conscious, such as the greengrocer Lombardi down the street. Tommasso, he says, throws away his money, such as for a pair of tickets to take Rosa to the opera to see his famed cousin. After the opera, the cousins cross paths in the swanky Galeotto's restaurant, but when neither recognizes the other, Tommasso is generally mocked and Rosa believes him a liar and unworthy. Tommasso must recover his reputation and make a sale, preferably the Caroli bust to his cousin, in order to win Rosa back.