InformationProgressive Silent Film ListLost FilmsPeopleTheaters
TaylorologyArticlesHome VideoBooksStoreSearch
Nosferatu on Blu-Ray Disc
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Inside of the White Slave Traffic
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2014 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
The Inside of the
White Slave Traffic

(1913)
 

This early exploitation film, produced under the guise of a reformist social drama, has garnered a somewhat exaggerated reputation over the years. While The Inside of the White Slave Traffic (1913) is populated with the early 20th century versions of pimps and prostitutes, they are present by knowing implication rather than by overt expression. As would be expected, whether in modern or contemporary times, the salaciousness of the film exists far more in the mind than in the reality of the action.

Establishing first the day-to-day life of white slave procurer George Fischer (Edwin Carewe), the film then follows the unfortunate descent of Annie (Virginia Mann), a “good girl,” into the underworld of sexual slavery. Jettisoned by her shamed, moralist father and abandoned by her seducer, Annie is duped by pimp Sam Brand into traveling to New Orleans, where she is coerced into prostitution. She defiantly escapes her pimp by fleeing to Denver, but Annie is blacklisted by the underground system. In Houston it is the same story. She is eventually easily traced by Sam and is drawn back into the world of prostitution, but she is soon arrested, jailed and rehabilitated.

Now working a legitimate job as a clerk in a department store, Annie is soon distressed by her low pay and returns to Sam and a life of ongoing prostitution. Surviving prints of the film then jump to her inevitable demise, anonymously buried in a pauper’s cemetary.

While surviving prints of the film are spare of plot, we can reasonably assume that there originally was more substance to the tale of this four-reel feature film.

We love the documentary quality of the scenes that were shot on the streets of New York City. The people are those of the neighborhood, with daytime bustling around them, elevated trains, and rows of businesses. Shots of storefronts invite close scrutiny of signage and products that were commonplace then and a historical curiosity now. Now and again, one’s attention may be spirited away by examination of a gate railing or a chewing gum dispenser, no longer manufactured in its fashion and rarely seen today in its original historical context.

While some independent silent era productions were painfully hampered by a shortage of talent and meagre budgets, The Inside of the White Slave Traffic can still be entertaining and enjoyed by today’s audiences. The storyline, while predictable to modern viewers, is serviceable and the film’s production values are of average quality for its time. — Carl Bennett

2012 Kino Classics Blu-ray Disc edition

The Devil’s Needle and Other Tales of Vice and Redemption (1913-1916), black & white, 194 minutes total, not rated,
including The Inside of the White Slave Traffic (1913), black & white, 28 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K994, UPC 7-38329-09942-8.
Pillarboxed 16:9 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, one single-sided Blu-ray Disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops, standard BD keepcase in cardboard slipcase, $39.95.
DVD release date: 3 July 2012.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 8 / additional content: 8 / overall: 7.
This Blu-ray Disc edition has been mastered in high-definition from a good but incomplete 35mm print held by the Library of Congress. While quite detailed, the original nitrate print is also quite worn with many vertical scratches to the celluloid film base indicating that this print has been projected many times in its lifetime. Some of these scratches could have been removed from the image by wetgate transfer, but we suspect that there would also have been some loss of image detail. The source print is also compromised by a few incidents of sprocket damage of the picture area, clear tape from the repair of some sprocket holes and several print breaks, picture instability, schmutz and spare instances of dust and speckling, and other assorted defects that even include the embossing of the name G.T. Post several times in the print on the splices in the upper picture area. One instance of additional footage, transferred from a good 35mm B print duplicate positive, has been inserted into the presentation to replace a section missing from the A print. The B print features less image detail but also has far less print wear. The conflated presentation is still incomplete.

The 35mm nitrate source print image replicated in this Blu-ray Disc edition includes a depth of focal clarity that would often be obliterated in substandard duplicate and reduction prints. The quality of this HD presentation is such that many aspects of motion picture production can effortlessly be examined, including the subtle facial expressions of the actors, the quality of studio and location cinematography, lighting techniques, makeup techniques, and the details of set dressing and props. Eagle-eyed viewers will be able to note that Annie is paid by the Denver pawnbroker in “Stage Money” bills.

The film’s presentation is accompanied by the great and powerful Ben Model performing his original music score on digital piano. As always, the music is appropriate to the film’s action and compositionally pleasing.

The disc’s supplemental material includes outtakes from the fire sequences of Children of Eve (8 minutes) and raw surviving footage of The Inside of the White Slave Traffic at 24 frames-per-second (19 minutes).

Without doubt, this is the best-looking home video edition of The Inside of the White Slave Traffic available and it is recommended.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region-Free Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
2012 Kino Classics DVD edition

The Devil’s Needle and Other Tales of Vice and Redemption (1913-1916), black & white, 194 minutes total, not rated,
including The Inside of the White Slave Traffic (1913), black & white, 28 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K994, UPC 7-38329-09942-8.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops, two-disc standard DVD keepcase, $39.95.
DVD release date: 3 July 2012.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD edition has been mastered in high-definition from a good but incomplete 35mm print held by the Library of Congress. While quite detailed, the original nitrate print is also quite worn with many vertical scratches to the celluloid film base indicating that this print has been projected many times in its lifetime. Some of these scratches could have been removed from the image by wetgate transfer, but we suspect that there would also have been some loss of image detail. The source print is also compromised by a few incidents of sprocket damage of the picture area, clear tape from the repair of some sprocket holes and several print breaks, picture instability, schmutz and spare instances of dust and speckling, and other assorted defects that even include the embossing of the name G.T. Post several times in the print on the splices in the upper picture area. One instance of additional footage, transferred from a good 35mm B print duplicate positive, has been inserted into the presentation to replace a section missing from the A print. The B print features less image detail but also has far less print wear. The conflated presentation is still incomplete.

The film’s presentation is accompanied by the great and powerful Ben Model performing his original music score on digital piano. As always, the music is appropriate to the film’s action and compositionally pleasing.

The disc’s supplemental material includes outtakes from the fire sequences of Children of Eve (8 minutes) and raw surviving footage of The Inside of the White Slave Traffic at 24 frames-per-second (19 minutes).

Without doubt, this is the best-looking DVD edition of The Inside of the White Slave Traffic available and it is recommended.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
Other SHORT DRAMA FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Inside of the White Slave Traffic   ||   Top of Page

The Big Parade on Blu-ray

Devil's Needle on BD

Metropolis on Blu-Ray Disc

Chaplin at Keystone

Josef von Sternberg DVD