Heart Of Humanity, The

1223. THE HEART OF HUMAN ITY (1918-USA). WITH Dorothy phillips, Erich von Stroheim. Directed by allen holubar. In 1917, America entered World War I. Erich von Stroheim, who had previously worked with D.W. Griffith as an actor, advisor and assistant director, began appearing in a series of films, cast as “The Man You Love to Hate”: a sarcastic, sadistic Prussian officer, the epitome of the stereotypically rigid Hun. One of his most infamous roles from this period is in The Heart of Humanity. The story opens in a peaceful Canadian village, just before the war. Among the town’s residents are Father Michael, the local priest; Nanette (Dorothy PhilÂlips), his young American niece; the widow Patricia, who’s happy in the love of her five sons; and the boys, each a strapping young fellow, john, the eldest, is betrothed to Nanette, and he returns from a trip in the company of a Prussian army lieutenant (von Stroheim), who’s travelling incognito. Not only does this heinous Hun espouse a philosophy that would make Adolph Hitler proud-he pronounces that “Strength needs no religion. It’s a religion upon itself and Might is right. There is no place in this world for weaknessÓ- but he lusts after the innocent Nanette. On the day in which she and John wed, war is declared. Britain takes up arms against the German invaders, and all Canadians-including the widow Patricia’s boys-are expected to join the fight. What follows is an intensely moving drama of patriotism, love and sacrifice. Oh, yes, this is the film in which von StroheimÕs Hun, eager to violate the defenseless Nanette, drops a baby out of a window! Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 133 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Melodrama