Within the Law (1923)

81 or 85 mins | Melodrama | 29 April 1923

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HISTORY

An 8 Nov 1922 FD news brief indicated that director Frank Lloyd planned to meet actress Norma Talmadge in NY in late Nov 1922 to begin principal photography at “The Tombs,” a correctional facility in New York City, as well as at the Auburn prison in Auburn, NY. Filmmakers also intended to shoot scenes in the New York subway, a location that the 25 Nov 1922 FD claimed had never before been used in the making of a feature film. By mid-Dec 1922, Talmadge and Lloyd had returned to Los Angeles, CA, to continue production at the Metro Pictures Corporation studios. The 15 Dec 1922 Var pointed out that Metro would “henceforth be home” for Talmadge, who, along with her husband Joseph M. Schenck, had previously produced her pictures at United Studios. The Feb 1923 Photodramatist described some of the many sets that were built for Within the Law, including a large department store, various home interiors, the “Mulberry Street” police station, and a recreation of The Tombs. Frank Ormstrom served as art director, according to a 13 Jan 1923 Motion Picture News brief.
       Various contemporary sources, including the 6 Jan 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review, reported that actress Margaret Leahy had been cast “in an important role” opposite Talmadge. Leahy had come to Hollywood, CA, in late 1922 after winning a London beauty contest organized by Norma Talmadge, who was interested in discovering new talent. However, an Apr 1923 column in Motion Picture Magazine noted that Leahy had been “released” from the cast of Within the Law. Distributor Associated First National ... More Less

An 8 Nov 1922 FD news brief indicated that director Frank Lloyd planned to meet actress Norma Talmadge in NY in late Nov 1922 to begin principal photography at “The Tombs,” a correctional facility in New York City, as well as at the Auburn prison in Auburn, NY. Filmmakers also intended to shoot scenes in the New York subway, a location that the 25 Nov 1922 FD claimed had never before been used in the making of a feature film. By mid-Dec 1922, Talmadge and Lloyd had returned to Los Angeles, CA, to continue production at the Metro Pictures Corporation studios. The 15 Dec 1922 Var pointed out that Metro would “henceforth be home” for Talmadge, who, along with her husband Joseph M. Schenck, had previously produced her pictures at United Studios. The Feb 1923 Photodramatist described some of the many sets that were built for Within the Law, including a large department store, various home interiors, the “Mulberry Street” police station, and a recreation of The Tombs. Frank Ormstrom served as art director, according to a 13 Jan 1923 Motion Picture News brief.
       Various contemporary sources, including the 6 Jan 1923 Exhibitors Trade Review, reported that actress Margaret Leahy had been cast “in an important role” opposite Talmadge. Leahy had come to Hollywood, CA, in late 1922 after winning a London beauty contest organized by Norma Talmadge, who was interested in discovering new talent. However, an Apr 1923 column in Motion Picture Magazine noted that Leahy had been “released” from the cast of Within the Law. Distributor Associated First National Pictures stated that Leahy had more of an “aptitude for comedy” than for drama, and that she had been reassigned to work with Buster Keaton on Three Ages (1923, see entry).
       News items in the 24 Feb 1923 Motion Picture News and 3 Mar 1923 1923 Exhibitors Herald noted that cast and crew had recently traveled to San Francisco, CA, to film “final scenes.” Six weeks later, the 14 Apr 1923 Moving Picture World announced that Within the Law would open 29 Apr 1923 at the Strand Theatre in New York City. FD noted, in the 27 Apr 1923 “Cuts and Flashes” column, that the picture screened at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY, a few days prior to the NY opening. Reviews were generally favorable, commending Talmadge’s strong performance, in particular. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
3 Mar 1923.
---
Exhibitors Herald
5 May 1923.
---
Exhibitors Trade Review
6 Jan 1923.
---
Exhibitors Trade Review
12 May 1923.
---
Film Daily
8 Nov 1922
p. 2.
Film Daily
25 Nov 1922.
---
Film Daily
27 Apr 1923.
---
Motion Picture Magazine
Apr 1923.
---
Motion Picture News
13 Jan 1923.
---
Motion Picture News
24 Feb 1923.
---
Moving Picture World
14 Apr 1923.
---
Photodramatist
Feb 1923.
---
Variety
15 Dec 1922
p. 43.
Variety
3 May 1923
p. 23.
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 April 1923
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 April 1923
Production Date:
late November or early December 1922--early March 1923
Copyright Claimant:
Joseph M. Schenck Productions
Copyright Date:
18 April 1923
Copyright Number:
LP18875
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81 or 85
Length(in feet):
8,034
Length(in reels):
7 , 8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Unjustly convicted of theft, shopgirl Mary Turner is determined to have revenge on Edward Gilder, her employer and prosecutor. When her term is completed and she finds no job open to her, Mary joins Aggie Lynch in blackmailing wealthy men with threats of breach-of-promise suits. Eventually Dick Gilder, her enemy's son, falls victim to Mary's designs, and though she falls in love with him she is determined to carry out her plans. Dick is nearly framed for a murder committed by Joe Garson; Helen Morris confesses to the theft for which Mary was imprisoned; and Mary finally admits her love for ... +


Unjustly convicted of theft, shopgirl Mary Turner is determined to have revenge on Edward Gilder, her employer and prosecutor. When her term is completed and she finds no job open to her, Mary joins Aggie Lynch in blackmailing wealthy men with threats of breach-of-promise suits. Eventually Dick Gilder, her enemy's son, falls victim to Mary's designs, and though she falls in love with him she is determined to carry out her plans. Dick is nearly framed for a murder committed by Joe Garson; Helen Morris confesses to the theft for which Mary was imprisoned; and Mary finally admits her love for Dick. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.