Raoul Walsh

T. it.: Le colonne della società; Sog.: dal dramma “Samfundets stotter” (I pilastridella società, 1877) diHenrik Ibsen; Int.: Henry B. Walthall (Karsten Bernick), Mary Alden (Lona Tonnesen), Juanita Archer (Betty), George Beranger (Johan Tonnesen), Josephine Crowell (madre diKarsten), Olga Grey (Madame Dorf); Prod.: Raoul Walsh per Fine Arts Film Company; Pri. pro.: 27 agosto 1916 35mm. L.: 1088 m.; D.: 52′ a 18 f/s. Imbibito / Tinted. 

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Norwegian shipping magnate Karsten Bernick prides himself on his value to society, and forgets that, in order to maintain his high standing, he has to rely on lies and dishonesty. Years before achieving wealth and social status, he had an affair with Madame Dorf, resulting in a daughter. At the time, Karsten, who was about to leave the Country, convinced his brother-in-law Johan to accept responsibility as the child’s father. Later, when Madame Dorf died, Karsten adopted the child, but remained terrified that one day the child might find out the truth. Years later Johan decides to return to Norway hoping to clear his name. Desperate that his secret will be revealed, Karsten decides to kill Johan by putting him on his most unseaworthy ship. But the plan backfires when Johan boards a different vessel, and Karsten’s son Olaf stows away on the unsafe one. Fate favors the rescuers, who are able to save Olaf, but Karsten, unable to continue lying, finally confesses to being his adopted daughter’s real father.

Note: The Thanhouser Co. made a short film of Ibsen’s play in 1911, and Douglas Sirk directed Stuztzen der Gesellschaft, a German adaptation of the play in 1935 for R.N. Film der Ufa.

Kim Tomadjoglou, American Film Institute

Copy From

Restored by
Restoration carried out at

Print restored by the Library of Congress at L'Immagine Ritrovata from a nitrate positive tinted print