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HISTORY

Items in the 18 March 1916 Motography and Motion Picture News announced that filming was underway on Hearts Aflame (this picture’s working title), director Burton L. King’s first production since his recent move to Metro Pictures Corp. This also marked the first Metro picture for lead actors Dorothy Green and Clifford Bruce, as noted in the 29 April 1916 Motography. Shooting took place at the Popular Plays and Players, Inc. studio on West 35th Street in New York City and was completed by 1 April 1916, according to that day’s Motion Picture News, which referred to it as Souls of Flame. The 29 April 1916 Motography used the title Souls Aflame. A final title change to The Devil at His Elbow was indicated in a 28 July 1916 Variety advertisement, which listed Harry Revier as Burton L. King’s supervisor.
       Theatrical release occurred on 31 July 1916. A positive review in the 6 August 1916 [Minneapolis, MN] Star Tribune stated that the film “draws with a sure hand a picture of what drink and a woman can do to a strong man.”
       According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant. ...

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Items in the 18 March 1916 Motography and Motion Picture News announced that filming was underway on Hearts Aflame (this picture’s working title), director Burton L. King’s first production since his recent move to Metro Pictures Corp. This also marked the first Metro picture for lead actors Dorothy Green and Clifford Bruce, as noted in the 29 April 1916 Motography. Shooting took place at the Popular Plays and Players, Inc. studio on West 35th Street in New York City and was completed by 1 April 1916, according to that day’s Motion Picture News, which referred to it as Souls of Flame. The 29 April 1916 Motography used the title Souls Aflame. A final title change to The Devil at His Elbow was indicated in a 28 July 1916 Variety advertisement, which listed Harry Revier as Burton L. King’s supervisor.
       Theatrical release occurred on 31 July 1916. A positive review in the 6 August 1916 [Minneapolis, MN] Star Tribune stated that the film “draws with a sure hand a picture of what drink and a woman can do to a strong man.”
       According to the Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database, this film is extant.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chat [Brooklyn, NY]
5 Aug 1916
p. 16
Motion Picture News
18 Mar 1916
p. 1570
Motion Picture News
1 Apr 1916
p. 1890
Motography
18 Mar 1916
p. 655
Motography
29 Apr 1916
p. 981
Motography
2 Sep 1916
p. 570
Moving Picture World
12 Aug 1916
p. 1144
Star Tribune [Minneapolis, MN]
6 Aug 1916
p. 38
Variety
28 Jul 1916
p. 21
Wid's Daily
10 Aug 1916
p. 744
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Hearts Aflame
Souls Aflame
Souls of Flame
Release Date:
31 July 1916
Premiere Information:
Brooklyn, NY, opening: 9 Aug 1916; Minneapolis, MN, opening: 10 Aug 1916
Production Date:
Mar 1916
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Popular Plays and Players, Inc.
1 August 1916
LP8845
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Engineer John Ashton is preparing a new submarine for the government, but has only a few days left to complete it. Thinking it will help him stay alert, he starts drinking, even though his fiancée, Grace Sealey, urges against it. After days of drinking and no rest, John finally falls asleep and dreams that Grace has broken off the engagement because of his drunkenness, that he has been shanghaied by a freighter captain and that he has married Meg, a prostitute. Then John completes the submarine, but it sinks at its launching. He blames Meg, because she had kept him drunk, thinking that he only loved her when he was intoxicated. Just as he is about to kill her, John wakes up, swears off whiskey forever and marries Grace ...

More Less

Engineer John Ashton is preparing a new submarine for the government, but has only a few days left to complete it. Thinking it will help him stay alert, he starts drinking, even though his fiancée, Grace Sealey, urges against it. After days of drinking and no rest, John finally falls asleep and dreams that Grace has broken off the engagement because of his drunkenness, that he has been shanghaied by a freighter captain and that he has married Meg, a prostitute. Then John completes the submarine, but it sinks at its launching. He blames Meg, because she had kept him drunk, thinking that he only loved her when he was intoxicated. Just as he is about to kill her, John wakes up, swears off whiskey forever and marries Grace immediately.

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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.