The Avenging Conscience (Sinister Cinema, 1999). [Category: Early Film & TV]

It's 1914, but already you can see many film conventions in this long-for-its-time D. W. Griffith movie. A young man finds that his troubles are just beginning after he kills his creepy eye-patched uncle/guardian who won't let him marry the woman he loves. Ghosts! Hallucinations! Blackmail by a slimy Italian! A frantic gun battle! Suicides! Religious visions! Fortunately, it turns out to be all just a dream (phew!). Some of the conventions seen include foreshadowing (with the subtitles cueing us to "remember this character" in case we don't get it), a comic subplot involving wacky servants, and, yes, padding. You can really see why D. W. Griffith is known as an influential director in this entertainingly melodramatic film. A 1914 D. W. Griffith film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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