Experience (1921)

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In spite of the fact that George V. Hobart's play was merely a trite and overdone story parading as a moralistic allegory, it made loads of money. When it was finally made into a film, it became even more preachy and self-important. Youth (Richard Barthelmess) meets Ambition (E.J. Ratcliffe) and leaves Love (Marjorie Daw), his mother, and his small-town roots for the big city. There, in his search for Experience (John Miltern), he meets Pleasure (Lilyan Tashman) and hangs out at the Primrose Path with the likes of Temptation (Nita Naldi) and Intoxication (Helen Ray). Back home, Youth's mother dies, and Love tries unsuccessfully to reach him. When Youth's money runs out his newfound friends all leave him and he sinks into a life of drug addiction, aided by Habit (Agnes Marc). As he is about to rob the home of Wealth (Charles Stevenson), he hears a church choir and comes to his senses. Accompanied by Experience he returns home, where he starts life over again with Love. Thankfully, allegories -- which were very popular in the 1910s -- pretty much had died out by the early '20s.

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Keywords

ambition, beauty [physical], criminal, fashion, love, party, wealth, youth