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The Craving
Also known as Delirium in the USA; Als Het Verstand Zegeviert in the Netherlands
(1918) American
B&W : Five reels
Directed by Francis Ford

Cast: Peter Gerald [?] [Alla Kasarib, All Kasarib or Ala Kasarib]?, Mae Gaston [Beulah Grey], Francis Ford [?] [Carroll Wales or Carroll Wayles]?, Duke Worne [?] [Dick Wales or Dick Wayles, his brother]?, Jean Hathaway [?] [Mrs. Wales or Mrs, Wayles, their mother], W.A. Hoffman

The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated, production; distributed on State Rights basis by M.H. Hoffman. / Scenario by Francis Ford, from a screen story by Francis Ford. Assistant directors, Jack Ford (John Ford) and Joseph A. McDonough. Cinematography by Edward Gheller. / © 7 June 1918 (as Delirium) by The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated [LP12518]. © 31 December 1918 by Bluebird Photoplays, Incorporated [LP13233]. Released 10 September 1918. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. / The film was acquired by Universal in December 1918 from Argosy Film Company. The film was rereleased in the USA by Bluebird Photoplays, Incorporated, through The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated, on 13 January 1919. Braff-Universal n. 1535 lists the production as directed by John Ford in error. The film was released in the Netherlands as Als Het Verstand Zegeviert by Filma Amsterdam.

Drama: Social.

Synopsis: Synopses available in AFI-F1 n. F1.0836, and in Hirschhorn-Universal p. 30.

Reviews: [Variety, 27 September 1918, page 42] A strange picture is this Universal feature, “The Craving,” in which Francis Ford plays a fantastic, drink-sodden creature. There is not much plot, nor is there a lesson tangibly taught. The picture is a fantasy, dealing with the sins of the flesh, and the power of the mind. Tricks and illusions are shown on the screen, but the photography is not particularly extraordinary. The picture was shown at the Broadway Theatre. / Carroll Wales (Francis Ford) is a chemist who has discovered the formula for a high explosive. This secret All Kasarib wishes to learn. He uses his ward, May Gaston, who is under his hypnotic power, to tempt Wales with liquor, knowing that he has formerly been addicted to drink, but had overcome it. / Wales returns to his former mode of living. Kasarib gains the ascendency over him and learns the secret. Wales’ spirit is taken on an imaginary trip over battle grounds and through scenes of lust to show him the pitfalls that await slaves of the flesh. So Wales awakens a changed man. He goes to the laboratory of Kasarib, where ther [sic] is a struggle, during which an explosion kills Kasarib. And the ward and he are then released from Kasarib’s influence and free to marry each other. / Several novel effects are secured in the illustration of some of Wales’ hallucinations. He toys with wine glasses and bottles in which women dance in wild abandon, and he curiously picks the wriggling figures up in his fingers. But one wonders what it is all about. / Mr. Ford does his best work when he is supposed to be drunk, although the picture affords little chance for acting. Mr. Ford did his own directing.

Survival status: Print exists in the EYE Film Instituut Nederland film archive [35mm positive (Dutch intertitles)].

Current rights holder: Public domain.

Keywords: Alcohol: Champagne, Alcoholics, Alcoholism - Explosions - Explosives - Fights - Guardians - Hypnotism: Hypnotists - Indians - Inventions - Inventors - Laboratories - Nudity - Secret formulas - Visions - War: World War I (28 July 1914-11 November 1918) - Wards

Listing updated: 20 September 2015.

References: AFI-F1 n. F1.0836; Braff-Universal n. 1535; Hirschhorn-Universal p. 30 : ClasIm-224 p. 44; Variety-19180927 p. 42 : Website-AFI.

Online viewing: European Film Gateway website.

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