Scen.: Lois Weber, Doris Schroeder. F.: Ben Kline. Int.: Jane Mercer (Jewel), Claude Gillingwater (Mr Everingham), Jacqueline Gadsden (Eloise Everingham), Frances Raymond (Madge Everingham), Robert Frazer (Dr. Ballard), Eva Thatcher (Mrs Forbes), Ralph Yearsley (Zeke Forbes), Fred Thomson (Nat Bonnell), Beth Rayon (Susan). Prod.: Universal-Jewel. Pri. pro.: 17 settembre 1923 35mm. L.: 140 m. (frammento). D.: 7’ a 18 f/s. Bn.
A fragment of Weber’s 1923 feature A Chapter in Her Life, about a young girl’s quest to redeem a family burdened by alcoholism. Rejoining Universal after the collapse of her production company, Weber chose to adapt Clara Louise Burnham’s best-selling 1903 novel promoting Christian Science, a project she had first brought to the screen in her 1915 feature Jewel. While some critics complained of the film’s “saccharine Pollyanna theme” (“Variety”), Marcia Landy finds a powerful treatment of domesticity and interiority. “What we see in A Chapter in Her Life is a hermetic bourgeois world centering on imprisoned femininity, with fantasy and fairy tale used to portray emotional discontent” (Marcia Landy, 1923: Movies and the Changing Body of Cinema, in American Cinema of the 1920s: Themes and Variations, edited by Lucy Fischer, Rutgers University Press, 2009).