A FOOL THERE WAS
Starring Theda Bara, Edward José and May Allison
MOTION PICTURE NEWS
January 23, 1915

Perhaps the highest word of praise that can be cited concerning this picture is that it is powerfully absorbing in all its parts. No six-reel picture witnessed by the writer has surpassed it in its gripping and tenacious qualities, which it may be judged is no mean comparison.

Based on Rudyard Kipling's great poem, "The Vampire," the picture's greatest appeal lies in the terrible weakness of the man and the fateful fascination and relentless heart of the woman - the Vampire.

As a play, "A Fool There Was " enjoyed a tremendous success on Broadway, with Robert Hilliard in the role of the Fool. Edward Jose, who takes this part in the film version, is practically sure of making the same tremendous hit, as the manner in which he grasps the many heavily dramatic opportunities which his part has presented him, stamp him as one of the greatest character actors which the screen boasts of.

Theda Bara, in the opposite principal part of the Vampire, has an equally important part, which she plays with great skill. As she appears on the screen hardly a better personality could be found for the role. The rest of he cast is equal to any occasion that presented itself; their acting is a finished as that of the two leads, and without their able assistance the picture would lose much of its dramatic value.

Frank Powell directed the picture, which is his second for the Box Office Attraction company. In this he has made just as big as success as he has with "Samson." The work is of a totally different nature, and by his success in both of the works, he has shown himself a master of screen direction, if that fact has never been established before.
The photography is good in all scenes, and the lighting is appropriate at all times. The scenes in which the Fool is seen hopelessly dragging himself about on the floor of his once gorgeous house, driveling with drink and lust are tinted a dim red, and materially enhance the dramatic effect.

In the beginning of the first reel we see the man who is later the Fool, in the midst of a very happy family. He is rich and influential, beloved by all who know him and respected by the entire country. Because of his popularity and ability, he is commissioned to go abroad on a mission for his nation. Circumstances prevent his wife and girl from accompanying him. On board ship he meets the Vampire, who has been responsible for the ruination of a score of men, and who has set her heart on procuring the man for her plaything. She accomplishes her desire (on the screen) by the profuse use of kisses and the absence of the accustomed styles in women's fashions.

Thereafter the Fool becomes her slave. Back in America his friend comes to take him home - he will not go. His wife comes, but when he has about decided to depart with her, the temptress appears. The Fool's decision is immediately changed by being taken in a warm embrace and feeling the woman's lips pressed against this own.

And the story ends with the man dead on the floor, with the Vampire kneeling by him, gloating and smiling.

Aside from the fact that it will do the very young little good, and perhaps harm, to witness the film, it is exceedingly excellent. It will practically absorb all classes; it is convincingly and powerfully acted; bears the marks of excellent direction, and is photographed well, and little more could be asked.


A FOOL THERE WAS
Starring Theda Bara, Edward José and May Allison
VARIETY
March 12, 1915

"A Fool There Was" is the product of the Fox Film Corporation. The picture is in six-reels and is a close adaptation from the play of the same name. The strong man caught in the meshes of a wicked woman makes an interesting theme. The life of the man and woman as shown in the picture during their time in Italy would make any fellow forget all about the old home. The two leading players are Edouard (sic) José and Theda Bara. Miss Bara as the vampire scores easily. José did better when elderly. The remainder of the cast has been well chosen. The women are exceptionally attractive. Mabel Frenyear as the wife impresses, and May Allison as the sister is petite and atractive. In direction the picture has been well taken care of. A bit of mixed-up business enters when the characters are said to be in Italy in one instance, and again in London. Explanation would have removed all doubt as to who kept up the beautiful home while the husband was away with the other woman. The scene in the vampire's apartment at the ending of hte picture is rather broad.


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