The Straight Road (1914)

Genres - Drama  |  
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Although he had not yet reached his 30th birthday, Allan Dwan had directed at least 225 films before he helmed the 1914 multireeler The Straight Road. The film was adapted from a play by the prolific Clyde Fitch, with only a few cinematic liberties taken by the workmanlike Dwan. Gladys Hanson plays Mary O'Hara, an orphaned tenement girl who yearns to escape her shabby surroundings. Several libidinous gentleman offer to "help" Mary in return for services rendered, but she virtuously sticks to the "straight road." Ultimately, she is rewarded with a happy and lasting marriage to handsome Bill Hubbell (William Russell). The film was praised for the authenticity of its Lower East Side settings, and especially for a mid-film prizefight sequence. Incredibly, Allan Dwan would have to wait for the mid-1950s formulation of the "auteur" theory before film historians fully appreciated the length and breadth of his talents.

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Keywords

bar [pub], love, orphan, struggle, tenement