Idle Hands (1921)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Gail Kane, one of the icons of World War I melodramas, made her long awaited screen comeback in this underworld drama produced in 1920 but not released until June of the following year. When stage-struck Marjorie Travers (Nellie Burt) vanishes in Chinatown, her older sister Gloria (Kane) appeals to Mayor Henry Livingston (Thurston Hall) for help. Unfortunately, the mayor assigns Commissioner Deering (William Bechtel) to investigate the disappearance, unaware that Deering is the head of the underworld. At one point Gloria and her sister become prisoners of Deering's drug-addicted son (Paul Lane), but both girls are rescued in the nick of time by Mayor Livingston, who has suddenly seen the light. A sordid melodrama, Idle Hands became something of a cause célèbre when Kane sued the producers, Park-Whiteside, for breach of contract. She was awarded $2,719 in damages but her screen career was all but ruined by the suit.

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Keywords

arrest, business, career, commissioner, criminal, drugs, kidnapping, kingpin, marriage, mayor, proposal [romantic], rescue, sister, son, underworld, visit