Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)

  • The Whispering Chorus (1918) - Plot Summary - Silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. About John Tremble (Raymond Hatton), cashier who has a problem of what I would call "his conscience" - voices that whisper good and BAD ideas in his head about actions he should take (hence, the "whispering chorus"). Dissatisfied with working to "make a rich man richer" while he makes only $25 a week, he goes out on Christmas Eve to get his brave, patient wife Jane (Kathlyn Williams) a new dress she is longing for, then instead decides to gamble the money in a poker game in hopes of getting enough extra money to replace his own shabby overcoat - unfortunately he loses the money. But the voices still whisper and soon enough they tease him into embezzling cash from his office and juggling the books to cover his crime. Next day he reads in the papers that an investigator, handsome Coggeswell (Elliott Dexter) is being put on the job to investigate his company's books for some sort of possible crime the company may be involved in. Tremble panics and runs away and hides out in this deserted waterfront shack. A dead body washes up and hence Tremble's "bright" idea - exchange clothes with the body to make it appear to be him, then clobber the body over the head and leave an accusing note to make it appear John Tremble was murdered! He shaves off his beard and disappears, hiding himself away on the river docks, the body is found and John Tremble declared dead. The hunt is on for the murderer, Coggeswell offers Jane a job in his office, and Tremble stays in hiding and gradually becomes a tramp in ragged clothes and hair turned gray. Two years later and Coggeswell is elected governor. Of course, he and Jane have fallen in love, but they can't marry 'cause somehow Tremble's eldery mother has a premonition that her son is still living.

    Review - This film is an excellent drama, very melodramatic, with an unusual story that really captures the attention. This is on the same DVD as "Old Wives for New" and features a brightly tinted print that looks good, though I thought just a bit lacking in sharpness (just oh so slightly fuzzy). Excellent orchestral score accompanies this film, done by the Mont Alto Orchestra. Rating - * 9/10 stars *

    Director: Cecil B. DeMille
    Film Genre: Melodrama
    Film Runtime: 86 minutes


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RATINGS KEY:

10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed




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