Movie 50min

The World, The Flesh And The Devil (1914)

A crooked lawyer schemes to dispossess the heir to a baronetcy.
Not rated.

Director F. Martin Thornton
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $48,600
(Alternative) The World, The Flesh & The Devil
(USA, June) World Film
Based on Play Children Court Crime Drama Melodrama Pact with the Devil Silent Film Temptation The Devil

IN England, where "The World, the Flesh and the Devil" was produced and first shown, it was an immense success, it was hailed as possessing an entertaining capacity greater than any picture of the season. This is a broad statement to make, but after witnessing it, one can affirm that it is on a par with the best pictures produced, in regard to the entertainment furnished, besides all other details; this likewise is a broad statement, but a true one. It combines the melodrama and tragedy with a strong moral lesson, a lesson that is terrible, striking and convincing.

Nicholas Brophy (Frank Esmond) the poor wretch who has sold himself to the devil, is a modern Richard III in every action. Nothing can stop him from compassing his ends; he is willing to sacrifice his honor, the lives of any who step in his way, and where he does not take their lives, he ruins them. Richard III did exactly the same thing. Their careers only differ in their terminations - Richard was killed, Brophy took his own life. Both discovered that happiness and riches fail to come with the sacrifice of the lives of others.

If the picture is taken apart and each separate scene discoursed on, a book might be employed in their description. A few of the many that stand out more than the others are the fight in the mill, which is vividly realistic, and the subsequent escape of Robert and Beatrice by means of the mill wheel. The court scene in which Gertrude denounces Brophy, is significant and impressive.

The scene in which Dyke finds his daughter and realizes that Brophy killed his wife, is filled with wonderful acting on the part of Charles Carte, who takes the part of Dyke. A number of others follow close after these, and no scene is at all dry or uninteresting.

The main plot is old in one way, but almost entirely new in another. As soon as the story gets under way, one becomes so engrossed in it that at the end one needs a reminder to cause him to realize that it's over. The picture as a whole is one of those that make a lasting impression on the mind, and one that will bear seeing more than once.

Others important in the cast, besides the two mentioned, are Frances Midgley, Warwick Wellington, Rupert Harvey, Nell Carter, Stella St. Audrie and M. Ayer Lyons, who is the devil. He appears before Brophy several times to encourage him in his misdeeds.

The first reel is rightfully a prologue, in which Sir James Hall thinks that his two sons, one his rightful heir and the other illegitimate, have been exchanged, but in reality they were not. At the beginning of the third reel many years have passed, and the illegitimate son pretends he is the other, until finally he is found out.

The picture was produced by the Kineto, Limited, and written by Laurence Cowen.

Source: The Motion Picture News, June 13, 1014

An intensely unhappy woman hatches a plot to switch the babies of a poor family and a rich family. But the nurse hired to pull off this transfer refuses to go through with it, leaving each baby with its proper family. When the babies are grown, the man from the poor family (who has been led to believe that he did come from the rich family) goes to the house of the other and throws him out. The remainder of the movie deals with the frustrations of mistaken identity.

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Frank Esmond - Nicholas Brophy
Stella St. Audrie - Caroline Stanger
Wellington Briggs - Sir James Hall
Rupert Harvey - Robert Hall
Gladys Cunningham - Mrs. Brophy
Jack Denton - George Grigg
Charles Carter - Rupert Stanger/Dyke
Roger Hamilton - Wylde
Frances Midgeley - Gertrude Grant
Mercy Hatton - Lady Hall
H. Agar Lyons - The Devil
Laurence Cowen - Author (Play)
Laurence Cowen - Writer
F. Martin Thornton - Director
Show all