Sunday, August 30, 2015

Silent Sundays: Annabelle Lee (1921)

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“Annabelle to me is the sunshine and beauty of life. I love her! Money can’t buy that love- Money can’t destroy it!”

            A young man named David Martin has a soul of a poet but works as a fisherman in Massachusetts. He lives with his mother in a small house near a very rich Lee family. Annabelle Lee goes down to the Martin’s home to visit David’s mother and she also visits David down by the docks. Their friendship soon becomes more. Colonel Lee, Annabelle’s father, is not happy about the relationship because David cannot provide for Annabelle the way she is used to. They both tell the colonel that money cannot make them as happy as they make each other. The colonel comes up with the idea for David and Annabelle to be apart for an entire year without communicating. The couple agrees because they know their love is strong.
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            David is frustrated with the divide between the poor and the rich. His mother reminds him that his father had gone down with his ship that had valuable cargo on it. He decides to go out and find that cargo. After months of getting a crew together he sets off. Before he left he gave Annabelle a couple of poems he wrote for her. She reads them over and over and even gives them to a publisher she knows.
            While David is away his mother and Annabelle keep a light burning in the window. David is having a bit of a hard time with some of the crew particularly a guy named McGurt. McGurt is a nasty man who is becoming unsettled with not having alcohol and not having been on land in months. The crew feed off his agitation and they mutiny against him. They throw David off the ship along with the Asian cook.
            Mrs. Martin receives a letter that David has gone missing from his ship and is considered dead. Annabelle is heartbroken. She walks down to the cliff side and looks for David. Soon Colonel Lee and Mrs. Martin are encouraging Annabelle to move on. The man who has published David’s poems is in love with her and wants to marry her. Annabelle tells the man that she does like him but she still needs more time to get over David.
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            It is a very good thing that Annabelle waits. Help eventually arrives for David. He does not send a letter home to tell his mother he is alive. He surprises them. Mrs. Martin has moved in with the Lees so he heads to their house. Annabelle and David’s love is stronger than it was when they separated.

            This silent version of Annabelle Lee is supposed to be loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe poem. It is a poem everyone has heard bits and pieces of. I liked this film I liked the way it was filmed and the story. I really liked how Annabelle’s love for David did not waver. I feel like if this was any other film the girl would have given up and moved on to another man and then there would be this whole big debacle. Annabelle Lee is a very good silent film that I recommend watching if you like silent films. It runs for fifty-five minutes and you can view it in full on YouTube