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.
La Morte Che Assolve
In La morte che assolve, we see Elextra Ragio in two roles: Maddalena, a mother repudiated by her cruel husband Falco, a professional loan shark, and their daughter Erica, who is adopted by an American lady. As an adult, Erica is subjected to the advances of Count Giancarlo, who had once saved her life, and has to face a distressing encounter with the father who abandoned her. Melodrama brings out family values, and the supreme value of love.
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.
Palestine, under the rule of Rome. Salome, daughter of Herodias and both niece and stepdaughter of King Herod, becomes infatuated with the prophet John the Baptist, who publicly denounces the depravity of the royal family and proclaims the arrival of a new messiah. (Film presumed lost.)
The Whispering Chorus
John Trimble has embezzled and obtains another identity by having a mutilated body buried in his place. He is later arrested for murdering himself. During the trial his mother, before dying from shock, asks him to keep his identity secret since his wife is now married to the Governor and expecting a child.
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.
Take a Chance
It's a classic boy-meets-girl story, boy-loses-girl, boy gets mistaken for an escaped convict and ruthlessly chased by armies of cops across the countryside in a thrill-packed stunt-addled climax.
Hearts of the World
A group of youngsters grow up and love in a peaceful French village. But war intrudes and peace is shattered. The German army invades and occupies village, bringing both destruction and torture. The young people of the village resist, some successfully, others tragically, until French troops retake the town.
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.
The Heart of Humanity
The story centers around Nanette, an American girl living in a small Canadian village, who is in love with John Patricia, the eldest of five brothers. The war interrupts their romantic idyll, as everyone goes overseas to Belgium and France. Nanette becomes a Red Cross nurse and is terrorized by the evil Prussian Lt. von Eberhard.
A wealthy young American, bred to class distinction and racial intolerance, enters the Marines during the First World War. In the course of his training and his experiences in the trenches fighting, being wounded by, and being hospitalized with Germans, he comes to a recognition of the equality and brotherhood of men.
The Life Story of David Lloyd George
A biopic of Britain's Great War Prime Minister.
The Woman Suffers
The Woman Suffers is a complicated silent melodrama of revenge and sexual betrayal, only part of which survives. In the first two reels, which have been lost, a woman caught in an abusive marriage runs away with her infant son from her drunken husband. He falls on a knife and dies and she collapses in the bush. The child wanders off and is found by one family; the mother is rescued by another family and is unaware that her son lives.
'Blue Blazes' Rawden
Rawden, a lumberjack in the North woods, fights with crooked dance hall owner 'Ladyfingers' Hilgard over the affections of Babette DuFresne. Hilgard is killed. When Hilgard's mother and younger brother arrive in the remote logging town, Rawden attempts to ease their suffering by creating the fiction that Hilgard had been a well-loved man who died naturally. But when young Eric Hilgard learns the truth of his brother's death, he comes gunning for Rawden.
The Star Prince
The Star Prince has fallen to Earth and because of his cruelty towards a beggar, he is turned into a grotesque pauper. He goes on a quest to find his mother, meeting a wicked witch and princess on his way. He falls in love with the princess, but an evil dwarf tries to force the princess to marry him. The Star Prince rescues the princess and is thus turned back into his original form and marries the beautiful princess.
The Floor Below
Patricia O'Rourke, a good-natured prankster who works as a copy girl for the Sentinel , angers her co-worker Stubbs and is about to lose her job when the managing editor offers her one more chance. Her assignment is to explain the clue that links the Hope Mission, a derelict home run by millionaire Hunter Mason and his secretary, Monty Latham, with a series of local robberies. When Hunter discovers Patricia in his office, he assumes that she is a crook in need of reforming and takes her into his home to be cared for by his mother.....
Der Märtyrer seines Herzens
The film traces the individual stages in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven.
A Society Sensation
A wealthy society playboy falls in love with the daughter of a poor fisherman. After Valentino shot to fame, A Society Sensation was cut down to a meek 24 minutes so the lead would be in every scene. Title cards tried to make up for the lost scenes.
The Forbidden City
The daughter of a Chinese mandarin is sentenced to death for her secret marriage to an American. Their child, raised in the mandarin's palace, grows up and escapes to seek her father, now a high-ranking official in the Philippines.
A married society couple (Dorian and Warren) persuade an unmarried pair (Valentino and Myers) to take their places at a party while they pretend to be the servants.
Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley
Amarilly comes from a large family in a working-class neighborhood. She is happy with her family and her boyfriend Terry, a bartender in a cafe. But one day she meets Gordon, a sculptor who comes from a rich family, and she begins to be drawn into the world of the upper class.
The Married Virgin
In order to save her wealthy father from disgrace and a possible prison sentence, a daughter agrees to marry the gigolo who's been blackmailing him...
This WWI home-front comedy is the earliest surviving film of King Vidor, who would later go on to make such classics as The Big Parade and The Crowd. A two-reeler, it's a propaganda comedy involving a little boy who can't wait to go fight against the Kaiser, and who sets an unrelentingly patriotic (and militaristic) example for his draft-age, feminized brother and peace-lovin' mother.
Yukio is illegal in the United States and is used by a gang of spies for their plans. Yukio must steal secret documents from an admiral. When he's submitting the documents to the gang, he realizes what he has done and claims the documents back. A struggle follows.
The Risky Road
Ida May Park started in the film business as a scriptwriter, but in 1917 Universal announced that Park would direct films with actress and producer Dorothy Phillips for the company’s Bluebird brand. Park’s films often had a strong female perspective and The Risky Road is no exception. The story of a country girl who comes to the city to work, but falls for a rich man and undeservedly gets a bad reputation, the film was marketed as “the drama every woman should see”. The surviving fragment, showing the despair of Phillips’s character, is a real cinematic gem that leaves one yearning for more material of the film to be discovered. In 2008, a tinted nitrate fragment, with Swedish intertitles at the opening of the second reel, was deposited at the Archival Film Collections of the Svenska Filminstitutet. From the fragment, a 35mm B&W duplicate negative was made, from which this print was struck using the tinting of the nitrate as color reference.
Cecilia of the Pink Roses
Cecilia is a spunky Irish girl from a struggling family, faced with the imminent death of her mother.
The agent of an absentee landlord resorts to underhand means in order to evict tenants from land that could be more profitably used for cattle. Adapted from the 1879 novel of the same name.
The Soul of Buddha
Theda Bara plays a Javanese priestess who elopes with an English military officer (Hugh Thompson). Bara's Bavahari becomes a celebrated dancer but is murdered onstage by a vengeful Buddhist priest (Victor Kennard).
The House of Mirth
Wharton creates a portrait of a stunning beauty who, though raised and educated to marry well both socially and economically, is reaching her 29th year, an age when her youthful blush is drawing to a close and her marital prospects are becoming ever more limited. The House of Mirth traces Lily's slow two-year social descent from privilege to a tragically lonely existence on the margins of society.
The Fall of the Romanoffs
The overthrow of Czar Nicholas II in Russia was such big news that the then-fledgling art of cinema couldn't help but jump on it immediately and create a couple of dramatizations.
Lest We Forget
A story of the First World War, told in semi-documentary style, focusing on the iniquities of the German war machine, and with its dramatic center the sinking by a German U-boat of the passenger liner Lusitania in 1915.
A wayward wife abandons her husband but finds redemption by preventing a railway accident and finding her way back to him.
The Beloved Blackmailer
The girlfriend of the son of a rich railroad tycoon, attempts to help him escape the clutches of his well-meaning, but over-bearing mother whilst encouraging her own father not to give up on his business, by instigating a staged kidnapping and black-mailing scheme.
Rich Man, Poor Man
Born and raised in poverty, Marguerite Clark has learned to expect very little out of life and thus is rather surprised to learn that she is the niece of a wealthy financier. Alas, this puts a crimp in her romance with a handsome young architect, who has long despised the financier for causing the downfall of the architect's father.
The Greatest Thing in Life
A lost film. Leo Peret has a small quiet tobacco shop in Greenwich Village. Edward Livingston, a wealthy young clubman and man-about-town, comes in frequently ostensibly to buy cigarettes but in reality to talk to the daughter Jeannette, and he is soon in love with the little shop girl. Leo is homesick for his native France, but lacks the funds to make the passage. Edward, learning of their plight, sends $1,000 with a note saying that the money is payment for a good deed. Leo accepts the money and he and Jeannette embark at once.
Little Orphant Annie
Annie, left orphaned after the death of her mother, goes to live in an orphanage where she tells her fellow orphans stories of ghosts and goblins. The matron of the orphanage finds Annie's closest relative, the abusive Uncle Thomp. Her uncle who puts her to hard work doing hard labor on his farm, belittling her all the while. Big Dave, a neighbor and tough cow-poke sees this and comes to her aid. Dave becomes her protector. Eventually Annie goes to live with Squire Goode and his large family. There, she entertains the children of the household with her stories, but sees her abusive aunt and uncle as her chief tormentors. She tells stories of how the goblins will take away the children if they are not good. Each story she tells is illustrated. War breaks out and Dave, who Annie adores, enlists. Uncle Thomp, hearing that Dave has been killed in action, takes pleasure in telling Annie the news. Broken-hearted, Annie falls ill and dies in bed, surrounded by family.
Lord Nelson's life, loves and death.
The Eyes of Julia Deep
The Eyes of Julia Deep is a 1918 silent comedy-drama film starring Mary Miles Minter, directed by Lloyd Ingraham. The film is based on the short story by the same name, written by Kate L. McLaurin. It is one of the few films starring Minter which are known to have survived.
The Great Love
Jim Young of Youngstown, Pennsylvania, reads of the German war atrocities and decides to enlist in the British army, thus becoming a forerunner of the American forces that are subsequently to leave for the battlefields of Europe. He begins active training at a camp outside London. While enjoying a few hours of leave, he meets Susie Broadplains , a young woman from Australia. She is flattered by his attentions and their friendship soon blossoms into love. However German plotters plan to destroy an arsenal at night and Sir Roger is inveigled into driving an automobile along a London road with its lights turned skyward to guide the Zeppelins. Jim, wounded and home on furlough, detects Sir Roger on the lonely road, follows and traps him in his cottage. Sir Roger turns his pistol on himself rather than be taken alive. Susie finds the "great love" in service for the cause of democracy and her country, with a greater love in sight.
The Passing of the Third Floor Back
The Great Adventure
Ragna "Rags" Jansen has found local success and acclaim in her small town as an actress, but dreams of stardom on Broadway.
The Yellow Ticket
Anna Mirrel, a young Jewish girl in Czarist Russia, is forced to degrade herself in order to visit her father, whom she believes to be ill. She obtains a yellow passport, signifying that she is a prostitute.
The Rose of Rhodesia
A man steals a huge diamond and sets off a chain of events that ends in tragedy for a Zulu prince.
Little Miss Hoover
Little Miss Hoover is a 1918 American silent romantic drama film directed by John S. Robertson and stars Marguerite Clark. The film is based on the novel The Golden Bird, by Maria Thompson Davies.
The Deciding Kiss
The first part is pathetic and shows Eleanor Hamlin (Edith Roberts) severing home ties with her grandparents to be "adopted" by a party of idle rich on the cooperative plan. The parties adopting her are single, and one of them, Beulah Page (Winifred Greenwood), has her own ideas on the subject of raising the young - these ideas absolutely precluding the main requisite, love. A copy exists at the Archives du Film du CNC.