Bit of Jade (1918)

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It is hard to fully assess the quality of director Edward Sloman's silent films because so few still exist, though critics of the time commented on his ability to draw natural, unaffected performances from his actors. All that remains of such films as A Bit of Jade are a handful of stills and a collection of yellowed studio synopses and reviews. Starring in this American-Mutual five-reeler was 16-year-old Mary Miles Minter, here cast as the present owner of a valuable and "enchanted" jade necklace. It is said that whosoever wears the necklace will win the man of her choice as her husband. When Minter comes into possession of the jade, however, the man of her dreams, played by Allan Forrest, believes that she stole it. Forrest is proven dead wrong, and the film ends with an effusion of wedding bells and orange blossoms. Director Sloman once described Mary Miles Minter as "the best-looking youngster I ever saw, and the lousiest actress," but he was contractually bound to guide Minter through two subsequent films, including the excellent (and still extant) The Ghost of Rosy Taylor.