The Witching Hour (1921)

Genres - Drama  |  
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This drama, made a year before William Desmond Taylor was mysteriously murdered, is one of the few films he directed which are known to survive. It was adapted from the play by Augustus Thomas. Jack Brookfield (Elliott Dexter) runs a gambling establishment and one night, when the hall is dark, he entertains a number of friends, including his former sweetheart, widow Helen Whipple (Mary Alden) and her grown son, Clay (future film director Edward Sutherland). Clay has a superstitious aversion to a precious stone known as a cat's eye, and one of the other guests, who has one on his lapel, taunts him with it. Clay, driven to distraction, finally kills the man with an ivory paper cutter. The district attorney, who loves the same girl as Clay, makes sure the young man is convicted of murder. Helen and Brookfield take the matter to Judge Prentice (Winter Hall) of the Supreme Court. The district attorney's motives are called into question, and Clay is acquitted. Judge Prentice cures Clay of his aversion to cat's eyes, and Brookfield proposes to Helen.

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Keywords

acquittal, fear, frame-up, killing, marriage, obsession, superstition, telepathy