One Exciting Night (1922)

Genres - Comedy, Mystery  |   Release Date - Oct 2, 1922 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 143 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

At the time he made this confusing blend of melodrama, mystery, and comedy, D.W. Griffith was in financial trouble. This picture, written by Griffith under the pseudonym of Irene Sinclair, was originally meant to be a small, relatively low-budget (by Griffith standards) production which would hopefully turn a nice profit. And that's what it was -- for a little while. It was previewed and ready for release when the filmmaker decided that it lacked the spectacular climax that often marked his films. His advisors desperately tried to talk him out of it, but he went back into production and created a costly storm scene that, in spite of its high price tag, did not look quite real. It did little for the film, which was, in any event, one of Griffith's weakest features. Carol Dempster stars as Agnes Harrington, an orphan born in South Africa who is adopted by an aristocratic woman of the South and brought to the U.S. Although Agnes' adoptive mother has arranged for her to marry J. Wilson Rockmaine (Morgan Wallace), she really loves John Fairfax (Henry Hull). Fairfax invites her, the adoptive mother, and Rockmaine to stay at his country estate, which has been empty for quite a while. Or almost empty -- bootleggers have been hiding there, and just before the guests arrive, the gang's leader is killed and a huge sum of money is hidden away. A detective comes around to investigate, and there are all sorts of mysterious goings-on. Fairfax seems to be the prime murder suspect, but the real killer is exposed at the height of a hurricane -- it's Rockmaine. After discovering that she is actually the daughter of wealth, Agnes finds comfort and happiness with Fairfax. While this picture received indulgent reviews and performed decently at the box office, its final exorbitant cost only served to put Griffith further into debt.



adoption, childbirth, death, hunting, investigation, killing, murder, rags-to-riches, safari