|Official Release Date||Jul 03, 2012|
|Starring||Norma Talmadge, Tully Marshall|
|Director||Chester Withey, Frank Beal, John Collins|
|Running Time||167 Minutes|
descriptionTHE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTION is comprised of threefeature films that dared to address incendiary subject matter: drug abuse, prostitution, and the exploitation of labor. By folding these explosive issues within layers of melodramatic storytelling, the filmmakers were able to dodge public criticism while making their political views even morecompelling. These films were among the first to demonstrate the cinema's potential as a persuasive cultural force. THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE stars silent superstar Norma Talmadge as Renée, a French artist's model who uses morphine as an escape from the dull reality of her life. She recommends it to a neurotic artist played by Tully Marshall (Queen Kelly), because "it kindles the fires of genius." The artist quickly becomes addicted to the drug and the quality of his work begins to disintegrate. He takes on a new model, marries her, and starts her on the same path of moral degradation, until a guilt-ridden Renée decides to intervene in order to save them both. According to silent film historian Kevin Brownlow, THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE was banned by the state of Ohio, but the censor board reversed its decision after recognizing the positive message beneath the film's scandalous surface. This special edition was mastered from a 35mm preservation print of the 1923 re-release version. The only known surviving copy, the element suffers significant nitrate decomposition during some scenes. THE INSIDE OF THE WHITESLAVE TRAFFIC is one of the most notorious films of the silent era, as it not only centered on the theme of forced prostitution, "It goes in for the utmost fidelity in picturing the evil which has been its inspiration" (Variety).
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