This adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's controversial novel Uncle Tom's Cabin had a certain degree of novelty value by virtue of the fact that its star, Marguerite Clark, was cast as both the tragic Little Eva and the mischievous African American slave child Topsy. While the brunt of the film's dramatic content fell upon Eva's shoulders, Topsy handled the comedy relief, which though regarded as hilarious in 1918 might not play quite as well in today's more racially sensitive times. The film's highlight was the death of Little Eva, which offered the curious spectacle of Marguerite Clark watching herself "expire." Unlike previous versions of Uncle Tom's Cabin, which were either studio-bound or filmed in New York, this adaptation was largely lensed on location along the Mississippi River.
by Hal Erickson synopsis