Fool There Was, A

1870. A FOOL THERE WAS (19T5-USA). With THEOA BARA, EDWARD JOSE. Inspired by the poem “The Vampire,” by RUDYARD KIPLING. In the second decade of the century, Theda Bara (a Cincinnati-born actress whose real name was Theodosia Goodman, and whose movie moniker was an anagram of “Arab Death”) was one of the most famous of all Cinema stars. In this stirring psychoÂlogical drama, the first feature in which she had a starring role, Bara created a character which was one of the most celebrated of the time: the Vamp (a shortening of “vampire”), a beautiful, exotic, sexÂually provocative but deceitful woman who would charm and then casually discard and irrevocably destroy any and all unsuspecting males who would fall victim to her allure. That man here is John Schuyler, a millionaire Wall Street lawyer and statesman who enjoys an idyllic life with his devoted wife and adorable young daughter. Schuyler is at the pinnacle of his career. In fact, he has just been named by the President of the United States as a special envoy to England. As he sails across the ocean, Schuyler becomes the latest victim of a woman, played by Bara, who is nameless and is known only as The Vampire: a femme fatale whose previous male friends are either rotting in prison or have been driven to suicide. Schuyler is intoxicated by The Vampire’s raw sexuality. He falls desÂperately in love with her, forsakes his family and respectability, and begins heading down a path that surely will lead to his destruction. Whenever a desperate lover crawls to The Vampire and begs her to leave him be, she commands him “Kiss me, my fool!”: a phrase which, back in 1915, was to become as popular as the actress who uttered it. “Silent” film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 86 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Melodrama