Sunday, March 2, 2014

Silent Sundays: Ace of Hearts (1921)

“Don’t take life to heart. Hear that wind! Who knows but the world may end tonight.”

            Ace of Hearts begins with a secret society of eight men and one woman who come together to decide the fate of those they deem should not live. Part of this group are two men, one named Farallone (Lon chaney) and Forrest. The woman is named Lillith (Leatrice Joy) whom Farallone and Forrest both love.
            The group comes together one night and decides “The Man Who Has Lived Too Long” needs to be killed. As per their custom Lillith deals a deck of cards to each man and whoever receives the ace of hearts is to carry out the assassination. Forrest receives the card. Lillith offers to marry Forrest if it will give him the courage to carry his mission for “the cause”. Farallone’s heart breaks when he hears this because he so desperately loves her. That night Lillith marries Forrest and they go back to his apartment. Farallone stays outside the apartment all night.
            The next morning Lillith finds she really loves Forrest and does not want him to carry out the assassination. She begs him not to go but his pride and sense of duty gets the best of him. That is until he is actually given the bomb with which he is to kill The Man Who Has Lived Too Long. Forrest has been posing as a waiter where the man goes every morning and is to place the bomb under his chair. He loses his confidence when he sees a young couple at the next table talking about running away together to get married and holding hands. Forrest backs out of his assignment.
            The other members now have to kill Forrest for backing out. He will not know when or where he is to be killed. Again they chose who will carry out the deed by dealing the deck of cards. Farallone receives the ace of hearts. Since he loves Lillith so much and he knows how much Forrest means to her he cannot kill her husband. Instead Farallone sets the bomb off in the building where the society meets killing everyone including himself.

            I found Ace of Hearts to be terribly boring. Farallone was not a good character to me he seemed like a love sick baby who had nothing else in his life. I am not sure if I did not like Lillith because she was a poor character or if it was because of Leatrice Joy’s horrendous acting. Ace of Hearts I can only recommend watching if you really like Lon Chaney otherwise skip it.