A Romance of the Underworld (1918)

Drama | 30 June 1918

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HISTORY

Many of the scenes were filmed in New York's Lower East Side, while interior scenes were shot at the Biograph studios. Noted prize fighters Kid Broad and Kid Lewis appeared in the film. It was also reviewed at five reels. This was the first film produced by the Frank A. Keeney Pictures Corp. It had its premiere in Brooklyn on 2 Apr 1918, and although it is listed on state rights release charts in Apr, it appears that it was not released until the Sherry Service distributed it on 30 Jun.
       Another adaptation of Paul Armstrong's play was produced by Fox Film Corp. in 1928. That film, entitled Romance of the Underworld , was directed by Irving Cummings and starred Mary Astor and Ben Bard. (See ...

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Many of the scenes were filmed in New York's Lower East Side, while interior scenes were shot at the Biograph studios. Noted prize fighters Kid Broad and Kid Lewis appeared in the film. It was also reviewed at five reels. This was the first film produced by the Frank A. Keeney Pictures Corp. It had its premiere in Brooklyn on 2 Apr 1918, and although it is listed on state rights release charts in Apr, it appears that it was not released until the Sherry Service distributed it on 30 Jun.
       Another adaptation of Paul Armstrong's play was produced by Fox Film Corp. in 1928. That film, entitled Romance of the Underworld , was directed by Irving Cummings and starred Mary Astor and Ben Bard. (See Entry).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
2 Feb 18
p. 724.
ETR
16 Feb 18
p. 869.
ETR
13 Apr 18
p. 1538.
MPN
23 Nov 18
p. 856.
MPW
20 Apr 18
p. 429.
MPW
11 May 18
p. 899.
MPW
13 Jul 18
p. 172.
NYDM
27 Jul 18
p. 127.
Variety
5 Apr 18
p. 42.
Wid's
21 Jul 18
pp. 11-12.
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 June 1918
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
6-7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Doris Elliott, who has grown up in a convent, moves to New York to live with her brother Richard, who belongs to a drug trafficking ring controlled by unscrupulous ward boss Michael O'Leary. Unaccustomed to life in the Lower East Side, Doris remains ignorant of the pervasiveness of crime and corruption in the area until her friend, Mamie Bronson, whose brother, "Dopey Benny," is addicted to drugs, confesses that O'Leary has raped her. Later O'Leary enters Doris' home and attempts to rape her, and in the struggle that ensues O'Leary is shot when her brother unexpectedly arrives. Finding O'Leary dead and Richard unconscious, the police arrest Doris, and she is tried for murder. Defense lawyer Thomas McDonald, who has been working to expose the politician, is losing his case when Dopey Benny testifies that he killed O'Leary to avenge his sister's assault. Doris, who had thought Richard the killer, is acquitted, after which she marries ...

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Doris Elliott, who has grown up in a convent, moves to New York to live with her brother Richard, who belongs to a drug trafficking ring controlled by unscrupulous ward boss Michael O'Leary. Unaccustomed to life in the Lower East Side, Doris remains ignorant of the pervasiveness of crime and corruption in the area until her friend, Mamie Bronson, whose brother, "Dopey Benny," is addicted to drugs, confesses that O'Leary has raped her. Later O'Leary enters Doris' home and attempts to rape her, and in the struggle that ensues O'Leary is shot when her brother unexpectedly arrives. Finding O'Leary dead and Richard unconscious, the police arrest Doris, and she is tried for murder. Defense lawyer Thomas McDonald, who has been working to expose the politician, is losing his case when Dopey Benny testifies that he killed O'Leary to avenge his sister's assault. Doris, who had thought Richard the killer, is acquitted, after which she marries Thomas.

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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.