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The Beloved Blackmailer (1918) HD online

The Beloved Blackmailer (1918) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Comedy / Romance
Original Title: The Beloved Blackmailer
Director: Dell Henderson
Writers: Harry O. Hoyt,Clara Beranger
Released: 1918
Duration: 50min
Video type: Movie
The spoiled, somewhat "mama's boy" young son of a railroad magnate and the pretty young daughter of the magnate's partner set out to stop their respective fathers from their constant quarreling. In the process they find themselves falling for each other.
Cast overview:
Carlyle Blackwell Carlyle Blackwell - Bobby Briggs
William T. Carleton William T. Carleton - Alexander Briggs (as W.T. Carleton)
Isabel Berwin Isabel Berwin - Mrs. Briggs (as Isabelle Berwin)
Evelyn Greeley Evelyn Greeley - Corinne Norris
Charles Dungan Charles Dungan - George Norris
Jack Drumier Jack Drumier - Spike Brogan
Rex McDougall Rex McDougall - Wesley Martin (as Rex MacDougal)

One of 18 films Carlyle Blackwell starred in with Evelyn Greeley.

Reviews: [2]

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    This film is an odd mix of two plots that uneasily exist in one movie. Filmed in Ft. Lee and maybe upstate NY (?), story has a pampered rich boy (Carlyle Blackwell) arranging for a phony kidnapping to escape his overbearing mother. But his maybe girlfriend (Evelyn Greeley) makes the same kidnapping arrangement, but hers is to blackmail Blackwell's father (who has potentially ruined HER father) into manipulating railroad stocks so her father can regain his fortune. Blackwell is unaware of her scheme. Anyway, hidden away at a piney lodge, Blackwell undergoes a manly workout amongst a bunch of thugs and eventually rescues Greeley from some unwanted attention (she's staying at a nearby lodge so she can spy on him). Blackwell (a tragic romantic figure in THE RESTLESS SEX with Marion Davies) is surprisingly funny in some of the slapstick stuff; Greeley comes across less well. Her character isn't very likable. Blackwell and Greeley teamed up for a whopping 18 films, including her 1922 swan song in Bulldog Drummond. Anyway, the location shooting is quite striking, and I'm sure it's familiar to some of today's buffs.
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    Most here have heard, no doubt, of the screen team of Myrna Loy and William Powell. Screen teams are remembered by most people because those teams were popular enough to be used more than once or twice. Sometimes a lot more. But - how many here have heard of the screen team Carlyle Blackwell and Evelyn Greeley? Well, last night I watched the comedy "The Beloved Blackmailer" (1918) starring both of them. It's hard for us to fathom today, ninety some years years past the fact, but Carlyle Blackwell, hugely popular matinée idol of the late teens and early twenties, and Evelyn Greeley, ditto, made eighteen full-length, feature films together over a short five year period! Greeley retired from films in 1922 after her last effort with Carlyle, an early version of "Bulldog Drummond".

    This one concerns a mollycoddle (and that's the word used in the film! - before Fairbanks, note) who needs manning up. His father is a railroad tycoon, and his mother a mommy, but an incredibly socially important one. Carlyle Blackwell is their "baby". One note here: all the characters who play parents in this film - and who would be between 50-55, look like today's 65-75, with snow white hair, etc. It was disconcerting when I thought about it! Anyway... Carlyle Blackwell's father, played by William T. Carleton, and his partner, played by Charles Dungan, have a serious disagreement. Now his partner's daughter, played by Evelyn Greeley, has a thing for Carlyle Blackwell, and visa versa, it would seem. Through humorous manipulations Blackwell becomes a sort of he-man and she wins him enough to become his wife, but not before some really over-the-top manipulations, including blackmail - all this to stop the two partners - the fathers of the main characters - from quarreling.

    This was a fun romp. It was meant to be. It's nothing more than a Saturday afternoon's matinée film in modern dress for the high school and college set of the day. This was filled with spoiled rich kids, the kind of folk Fitzgerald wrote about, although here they're portrayed humorously. As a viewer, though, one can sense the kind of characters that would make up what eventually would come to be known as The Jazz Age.

    The introductory title says this is "in five parts". Well, the parts never showed, and the film didn't last more than 48-52-3 minutes, so it's ever so slightly truncated, probably "put back together" from reels that sat and deteriorated at the ends for a while. It's in really great condition, and it's wonderful to see a matinée style show instead of the blockbuster that is all that is known today from that era.

    Carlyle Blackwell reminded me constantly of Ivor Novello, both in looks and mannerisms. Novello was gay, however, something Blackwell wasn't. Blackwell was married five times! Based on his hairstyle alone, he looks taken with himself, and was good looking enough that I'm sure the women threw themselves at him his entire career. He ended up going to Britain and becoming a producer of film, including being a silent producer of Hitchcock's first total directorial effort, "The Pleasure Garden", and then being the producer of "The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog", which starred, coincidentally, Ivor Novello. He retired in 1930 at the age of 46 and lived until 1955 - this after an acting career of nearly 200 films.