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HISTORY

The 2 Oct 1918 Wid’s Daily announced that director James Kirkwood had just begun work on the production, his first for Fox Film Corp. It was also the company’s second picture starring Evelyn Nesbit, a former showgirl and model who gained notoriety twelve years earlier when her husband, Harry Thaw, murdered her ex-lover, architect Stanford White. According to the 19 Oct 1918 Motion Picture News, filming took place at Kalem Studios in Fort Lee, NJ. Casting was still in progress. Fox reportedly allocated a large budget for the film, which was to be released through the company’s “Standard Pictures program.” The Jan 1919 Motion Picture noted that Nesbit took a five-day hiatus from the production due to “camera eyes,” also known as “Klieg eyes,” a condition caused by overexposure to bright stage lights.
       I Want to Forget opened 15 Dec 1918. The 29 Dec 1918 Wid’s Daily advised exhibitors that the somewhat irrelevant title was an attempt at exploiting Nesbit’s scandalous past, as was the casting of her young son, Russell Thaw. Several critics dismissed the film as a standard wartime melodrama, although they were impressed with Nesbit’s performance. Both the 3 Jan 1919 Var and Apr 1919 Picture-Play argued that the actress deserved better screen vehicles.
       The story included in the copyright descriptions is entitled "The Fires of Redemption." ... More Less

The 2 Oct 1918 Wid’s Daily announced that director James Kirkwood had just begun work on the production, his first for Fox Film Corp. It was also the company’s second picture starring Evelyn Nesbit, a former showgirl and model who gained notoriety twelve years earlier when her husband, Harry Thaw, murdered her ex-lover, architect Stanford White. According to the 19 Oct 1918 Motion Picture News, filming took place at Kalem Studios in Fort Lee, NJ. Casting was still in progress. Fox reportedly allocated a large budget for the film, which was to be released through the company’s “Standard Pictures program.” The Jan 1919 Motion Picture noted that Nesbit took a five-day hiatus from the production due to “camera eyes,” also known as “Klieg eyes,” a condition caused by overexposure to bright stage lights.
       I Want to Forget opened 15 Dec 1918. The 29 Dec 1918 Wid’s Daily advised exhibitors that the somewhat irrelevant title was an attempt at exploiting Nesbit’s scandalous past, as was the casting of her young son, Russell Thaw. Several critics dismissed the film as a standard wartime melodrama, although they were impressed with Nesbit’s performance. Both the 3 Jan 1919 Var and Apr 1919 Picture-Play argued that the actress deserved better screen vehicles.
       The story included in the copyright descriptions is entitled "The Fires of Redemption." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
4 Jan 1919
p. 425
Motion Picture
Jan 1919
p. 94
Motion Picture News
19 Oct 1918
p. 2562
Motion Picture News
26 Oct 1918
p. 2679
Motion Picture News
9 Nov 1918
p. 2869
Motion Picture News
21 Dec 1918
p. 3745
Motion Picture News
4 Jan 1919
p. 144
Moving Picture World
14 Dec 1918
pp. 1252-1253
Moving Picture World
4 Jan 1919
p. 114
Picture-Play
Apr 1919
p. 279
Variety
20 Dec 1918
p. 35.
Variety
3 Jan 1919
p. 40
Wid's Daily
2 Oct 1918
---
Wid's Daily
29 Dec 1918
pp. 9-10
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITERS
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 December 1918
Production Date:
began late September or early October 1918
Copyright Claimant:
William Fox
Copyright Date:
15 December 1918
Copyright Number:
LP13140
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Prior to the declaration of World War I, dancer Varda Deering was a member of the Austrian secret service, but later became a loyal citizen of the United States. In America, she captivates many men but cares for none of them until she meets Lieutenant John Long. At first, he regards Varda as little more than a social butterfly, but gradually comes to recognize her goodness and falls in love with her. While John is away on a war-related diplomatic mission, Varda agrees to aid the U.S. Secret Service in procuring classified documents from August Von Grossman, an agent whom she had known in Austria. Von Grossman threatens to reveal Varda's past unless she accepts his lecherous attentions, and she pretends to accept his terms as she secures information for her adopted country. When John finds Varda in the German's arms, he dismisses her as unfaithful, but she later helps him to penetrate the German spy headquarters. As they escape with the secret papers, the car carrying their pursuers is hit by an express train. Varda explains everything to John, who proves most ... +


Prior to the declaration of World War I, dancer Varda Deering was a member of the Austrian secret service, but later became a loyal citizen of the United States. In America, she captivates many men but cares for none of them until she meets Lieutenant John Long. At first, he regards Varda as little more than a social butterfly, but gradually comes to recognize her goodness and falls in love with her. While John is away on a war-related diplomatic mission, Varda agrees to aid the U.S. Secret Service in procuring classified documents from August Von Grossman, an agent whom she had known in Austria. Von Grossman threatens to reveal Varda's past unless she accepts his lecherous attentions, and she pretends to accept his terms as she secures information for her adopted country. When John finds Varda in the German's arms, he dismisses her as unfaithful, but she later helps him to penetrate the German spy headquarters. As they escape with the secret papers, the car carrying their pursuers is hit by an express train. Varda explains everything to John, who proves most understanding. +

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.