The Silent Command1923
The Silent Command is a 1923 American silent drama film directed by J. Gordon Edwards featuring Bela Lugosi as a foreign saboteur in his American film debut. The film, written by Anthony Paul Kelly and Rufus King, also stars Edmund Lowe, Alma Tell, and Martha Mansfield. The film depicts the story of Benedict Hisston (Lugosi), who is part of a plot to destroy the Panama Canal. Initially unable to obtain necessarily intelligence from Richard Decatur (Lowe), a captain in the United States Navy, he enlists the aid of femme fatale Peg Williams (Mansfield). Decatur pretends to be seduced into the conspiracy, costing him his career and estranging him from his wife (Tell), but he ultimately betrays the saboteurs in Panama and stops their plan. He returns home to the Navy and his wife, and to popular acclaim for his heroics.
The film was produced in cooperation with the Navy and was intended as a propaganda film to encourage support for a larger navy. The Silent Command was shown at the opening of several Fox Theatres locations and was sometimes marketed in conjunction with naval recruitment efforts. It received generally positive reviews from contemporary film critics, although modern appraisals consider the film mediocre.
The Silent Command began Lugosi's career in the American film industry. The film's focus on his eyes, at times in extreme close-up, helped to establish his image for later roles. Unlike most Fox Film productions of the silent era, several copies of The Silent Command have survived. It has been released in multiple home video formats, and is now in the public domain and available online.
|Verleih:||Fox Film Corporation|
|Regie:||J. Gordon Edwards|
|Drehbuch:||Anthony Paul Kelly|
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