The Warrens of Virginia (1915)

Genres - Romance  |   Countries - USA  |  
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1915 was a big year for civil war films -- this powerful five-reeler was released around the same time as D.W. Griffith's landmark Birth of a Nation. The Warrens of Virginia was yet another collaboration between film producer Jesse Lasky and stage producer David Belasco. It had originally been a book, then a Belasco stage play. The playwright was William C. DeMille, who also wrote the screenplay. It was directed by DeMille's younger brother, Cecil, and was one of the best of his early directorial efforts. The story concerns Ned Burton (House Peters), who leaves his Southern girlfriend, Agatha Warren (Blanche Sweet), to fight for the Union forces. He becomes a special agent and Agatha, who is wavering between her loyalty for the Confederacy and her love for Burton, gives him shelter. By the war's end, the couple settles their differences and all is well. Mildred Harris has a bit part here; a few years later, she would have a starring role in the DeMille feature Fool's Paradise. Harris is primarily known as the first wife of comedian Charlie Chaplin. Cecil B. DeMille's continuing faith in her (she worked for him off and on until 1944) suggests that perhaps history has underrated her acting talents.

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Keywords

war, agent [representative], ambush, brother, love, officer, Southerner