The Fatal Legacy (1913) Poster

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A big picture in many ways
deickemeyer18 November 2017
A two-part special offering and, indeed, a big picture in many ways. It deals with a curse, drink, that has fastened itself on a family and pictures for us the devastation it works on three generations. Without sentimentality, it develops its theme in a sternly tragic way, the only way possible. The picture shows us the destruction and the ruins; but doesn't preach a syllable; and it shows these things in an uprightly artistic way, that is, without making any lesser appeal by dragging in the sordid or that which is sensational merely for the sake of sensation. So its effect on the thoughtful spectator is an impression of life at once dignified and tragic to the point of solemnity. If it didn't convince, it could never do this. The picture we think a highly commendable one. Of the staging of the picture, hardly too much can be said. It is set in genteel life, we should judge in Maryland or Virginia, and the rooms, furniture, verandas, lawns, etc., are suggestive and go very well with the story. The players are excellent, but James Vincent, as Henry Halleck, plays a fine, tragic figure that is quite convincing and, as he has drawn the man, full of quiet power. The story is fair; it might have been stronger; for there is too much similarity in the fate of the first two brides and then there are gaps that need filling in, to explain the fall of Jack, of the second generation, for instance. That photography is absolutely perfect in most scenes and is truly good at the worst, as in the fox hunt scenes, which, by the way, are full of quality. - The Moving Picture World, September 27, 1913
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