A rare opportunity to see silent-movie legend star Lon Chaney Sr. in a
sympathetic role that doesn't rely on elaborate make-up or physical contortions.
Following WWI, the Committee, a group of vigilante assassins, asks the question "Who has lived too long?" and target several prominent robber barons whose fortunes were built on the backs of the downtrodden. Two zealots, Farallone (Chaney) and Forrest (John Bowers), infiltrate the private and public lives of influential men so they can take the full measure of their perfidy. Forrest, who's moonlighting as a waiter at a cafe frequented by the Committee's latest target, is assigned to carry put the next assassination through a random deal from a deck of cards. The person who draws the ace of hearts will be the killer. Farallone pines for Lillith (Leatrice Joy), the Committee’s sole female member, but she marries Forrest instead, Unfortunately for the happy couple, marital bliss softens them both; the sight of a loving couple seated near his target makes it impossible for Forrest to carry out his assigned assassination. The Committee takes a dim view of equivocation, so Forrest is now a marked man. Will Farallone take advantage of the situation and woo the soon-to-be-widowed Lillith, or will he selflessly arrange the lovers' escape? The Committee is in for a surprise when Farallone draws the next ace of hearts. Unlike his fustian co-stars, Chaney delivers a fiercely quiet performance devoid of silent-era excess. Ruth Wightman screenplay gets its message across — love trumps duty — but Chaney's artistry elevates the material above its cliches; his efforts are beautifully showcased by the expressive cinematography and Turner Classic Movie's addition of a new and exemplary music score.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A rare opportunity to see silent-movie legend star Lon Chaney Sr. in a sympathetic role that doesn't rely on elaborate make-up or physical contortions. Following WWI, the Committee, a group of vigilante assassins, asks the question "Who has lived too lon… (more)