Sin Flood (1922)

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This character study was adapted from Henning Berger's play, Synafloden, which was known as The Deluge in its English translation. Stratton's Cafe is located in the town of Cottonia, near the banks of the Mississippi River. Since it is below river level, Stratton (Will Walling) has water-tight doors installed. One day the flood alarm sounds and Stratton locks up his cafe. Inside are Billy Bear, a young broker (Richard Dix), Poppy, the chorus girl he once loved (Helene Chadwick), and a number of other people, including a tramp, an alcoholic street preacher, a shyster lawyer, two cotton traders who are enemies, and an out-of-work actor. When they all realize they will probably die of suffocation, they undergo a shift in consciousness. Everyone reforms and forgives their fellowmen in the spirit of brotherly love. Finally they decide to face the flood head on and fling open the doors. To their surprise, the water has receded and all is well. Not surprisingly, everyone immediately reverts to their old, wicked selves -- at least that's the way it was in the play. In the film version, Billy Bear and Poppy hang onto their ideals and head off to get a marriage license.

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