Starring Blanche Sweet and House Peters
MOVING PICTURE WORLD
May 1, 1915
Blanche Sweet's second experience with Lasky Company -- her first was in "The Warrens of Virginia" -- is in every way satisfying, for "The Captive," a five-part picturization of a play by Cecil B. DeMille and Jeanie MacPherson, she has a role of possibilities well in keeping with her personality and histrionic method. This time she is cast as Sonya Martinovitch, a Montenegrin peasant girl of an elementary, subdued nature; but underneath the rather coarse surface there lies a vein of feminine tenderness and plenty of fire and passion, once they are aroused. It rests with Miss Sweet to bring out the varied qualities of Sonya as she is influenced by the handsome Turkish soldier, made a prisoner in the Balkan War and detailed by the Montenegrin government to cultivate the farm occupied by the peasant girl and her little brother. All the men of the family are fighting their country's battles.
Much of the interest in the picture centers in the expressive by-play of Miss Sweet and House Peters, playing the Turk, a man of noble birth who at the point of a pistol is forced to do the bidding of an ignorant girl. The humor arising out of the odd situation is natural, as is the gradual alteration in the attitude of Sonya toward her prisoner. In numberless little ways, she shows the growth of a passion, the meaning of which she scarcely realizes at first, and equally effective is her portrayal of the character under the stress of a fully recognized emotion. The able acting of the two principal players saves several scenes from the charge of being superfluous in the development of the plot.
The story in itself is rather scant for five reels and suffers at the end form an anti-climax and a fortuitous meeting that serves to unite the lovers. But to counterbalance shortcomings, there is the excellent acting already mentioned, and the charm of picturesque settings perfectly photographed. The atmosphere of the production is out of the ordinary and of a fine artistic quality, due to a wise choice of locations, care in the furnishing of interiors and painstaking direction. Theodore Roberts, Gerald Ward, Jeanie Mac Pherson, Page Peters and Billy Elmer are in the cast.
For more information, see "The Captive" as one of our "Featured Silent Films"
Return to reviews page