Starring Gloria Swanson
August 30, 1918

In "Shifting Sands" with Gloria Swanson, Triangle has a picture of good average, as pictures go, with a plot perhaps a little more original than some, and not more improbable than many. One is called upon nowadays to imagine, believe and take for granted so much on the screen it sometimes becomes difficult to distinguish the abnormal from the dull-as-ditchwater.

Marcia Grey is a struggling artist, and like all such in films has a sick sister and an unpaid rent bill. The rent collector insults her, there is a struggle, and he drops his wallet. Missing it, he calls a policeman, by way of revenge, and returns to the flat where he accuses Marcia of theft. Unable to defend herself, she is tried, convicted and ultimately "does time." Released from prison she joins the Salvation Army and engages in welfare work.

In due time she meets John Stanford, a wealthy and philanthropic patron whom she had known slightly before, and marries hims. But into her life comes the rent collector, now a German spy of imposing appearance. He takes up his abode with Marcia and her husband to obtain Government secrets from Stanford, who is in the Intelligence Department. Marcia sees no resemblance between this polished gentleman and the lowly collector, although the picture fans can tell at a glance. But when she finally detects him tampering with her husband's safe, he exposes his identity and apparently browbeats her into aiding his schemes. Bringing her to a rendevous of his confederates one night the police enter and put them under arrest. It then appears that Marcia has been working with the Secret Service all the time. So her husband, who was beginning to doubt her, is reassured, and they start all over again.

It does not require extraordinary histrionic gifts to depict the conventional "wronged girl" but Miss Swanson gets all she can out of the part. Joe King as the husband and Harvey Clark as the German spy both do good work. The picture should prove a good average attraction.

Return to reviews page