Flesh and Blood (1922)

73 mins | Melodrama | July 1922

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HISTORY

According to the 19 Aug 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review, when the character “Li Fang” tells a Chinese fable to Lon Chaney’s “David Webster,” the story is presented in color. However, the two-color “insert,” reportedly featuring only Chinese actors, was not present in the print viewed for the record. There were also no credits except for the title card: "Flesh and Blood Featuring Lon Chaney, Part 1."
       Part of the film was shot in Los Angeles, CA’s old Chinatown, later razed when Union Station was built in the late 1930s.
       In back-to-back scenes, David Webster performs a melody on the violin for his daughter, “Marjorie—the Angel-lady,” and she sings the song at the piano with her fiancé, “Ted Burton.” She refers to the Victorian parlor song as “Just A Song At Twilight,” but its real title is “Love’s Old Sweet Song.”
       Although the nature of “Fletcher Burton’s” financial crime against David Webster is never discussed, the lettering on his office door describes his business as “Stocks & Bonds.”
       Western Pictures Exploitation Company, which distributed the independently-made Flesh and Blood, announced in a 20 Oct 1922 FD advertisement and in the 28 Oct 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review that the “reputable production” was “widely booked” in first-run theaters in every major city. The film’s box office receipts “compared favorably with the foremost productions of the ... More Less

According to the 19 Aug 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review, when the character “Li Fang” tells a Chinese fable to Lon Chaney’s “David Webster,” the story is presented in color. However, the two-color “insert,” reportedly featuring only Chinese actors, was not present in the print viewed for the record. There were also no credits except for the title card: "Flesh and Blood Featuring Lon Chaney, Part 1."
       Part of the film was shot in Los Angeles, CA’s old Chinatown, later razed when Union Station was built in the late 1930s.
       In back-to-back scenes, David Webster performs a melody on the violin for his daughter, “Marjorie—the Angel-lady,” and she sings the song at the piano with her fiancé, “Ted Burton.” She refers to the Victorian parlor song as “Just A Song At Twilight,” but its real title is “Love’s Old Sweet Song.”
       Although the nature of “Fletcher Burton’s” financial crime against David Webster is never discussed, the lettering on his office door describes his business as “Stocks & Bonds.”
       Western Pictures Exploitation Company, which distributed the independently-made Flesh and Blood, announced in a 20 Oct 1922 FD advertisement and in the 28 Oct 1922 Exhibitors Trade Review that the “reputable production” was “widely booked” in first-run theaters in every major city. The film’s box office receipts “compared favorably with the foremost productions of the year.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald
11 Nov 1922
p. 62.
Exhibitors Trade Review
19 Aug 1922
p. 806.
Exhibitors Trade Review
28 Oct 1922
p. 1406.
Film Daily
27 Aug 1922
p. 9.
Motion Picture News
29 Jul 1922
p. 557.
Moving Picture World
19 Aug 1922.
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Moving Picture World
16 Sep 1922.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1922
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black & white with color sequences
Duration(in mins):
73
Length(in feet):
5,300
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Unjustly imprisoned for fifteen years, David Webster escapes with the help of Li Fang, an influential figure in Chinatown who owes him a debt of gratitude. Webster has two missions: To avenge former business partner Fletcher Burton’s forgery that sent him to prison, and to see his wife and daughter. Since Detective Doyle knows Li Fang is hiding him somewhere in Chinatown, Webster disguises himself as a crippled beggar in order to move about. When he visits his wife, he arrives in time to see her casket being placed in a hearse and Marjorie, his grown-up daughter, weeping. He learns from the landlady that his wife was named “Vaughn”—an attempt to avoid the disgrace of her husband’s crime. Li Fang informs Webster that Marjorie believes he died years ago and knows nothing of his imprisonment. Discovering that Marjorie works at the Tenth Street Mission, where she is known as the “Angel-lady,” he befriends her, but does not reveal his identity. When she learns he can play the violin, she asks him to perform “Just A Song At Twilight,” a favorite of her mother’s. As Webster plays the tune, Marjorie cries, and old memories stir within him. From Marjorie, he learns that Fletcher Burton has donated $80,000 for a new settlement house for the local poor. Furthermore, she is in love with his son and business partner, Ted Burton, and they plan to announce their engagement at the settlement house’s dedication the following day. However, Fletcher Burton orders Marjorie to give up his son because she is “not good enough” for him. When she confides this information to Webster, he determines to get his revenge. He evades Det. Doyle, but ... +


Unjustly imprisoned for fifteen years, David Webster escapes with the help of Li Fang, an influential figure in Chinatown who owes him a debt of gratitude. Webster has two missions: To avenge former business partner Fletcher Burton’s forgery that sent him to prison, and to see his wife and daughter. Since Detective Doyle knows Li Fang is hiding him somewhere in Chinatown, Webster disguises himself as a crippled beggar in order to move about. When he visits his wife, he arrives in time to see her casket being placed in a hearse and Marjorie, his grown-up daughter, weeping. He learns from the landlady that his wife was named “Vaughn”—an attempt to avoid the disgrace of her husband’s crime. Li Fang informs Webster that Marjorie believes he died years ago and knows nothing of his imprisonment. Discovering that Marjorie works at the Tenth Street Mission, where she is known as the “Angel-lady,” he befriends her, but does not reveal his identity. When she learns he can play the violin, she asks him to perform “Just A Song At Twilight,” a favorite of her mother’s. As Webster plays the tune, Marjorie cries, and old memories stir within him. From Marjorie, he learns that Fletcher Burton has donated $80,000 for a new settlement house for the local poor. Furthermore, she is in love with his son and business partner, Ted Burton, and they plan to announce their engagement at the settlement house’s dedication the following day. However, Fletcher Burton orders Marjorie to give up his son because she is “not good enough” for him. When she confides this information to Webster, he determines to get his revenge. He evades Det. Doyle, but Li Fang is taken to police headquarters for interrogation. At the office of Burton & Burton, Webster corners his enemy and obtains a signed confession. At that moment, Ted and Marjorie enter, and Ted announces that he is marrying Marjorie whether his father approves or not. Fletcher Burton realizes that Marjorie is the daughter of the man he disgraced, and gives the young couple his blessings. Satisfied that his daughter will be happy with Ted, Webster rips up the confession and returns to prison. “I went out a hunted and marked man,” he declares. “I came back--free!” +

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.