Trapped By The Mormons

1507. TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS (1922-ENGIAND). WITH evelyn brent, lewis Willoughby. This film may seem to have an ironic title: one doesn’t usually think Of Mormons as the sort who go around ensnaring and seducing innocent victimsÑand especially vulnerable, virginal girls. However, seventy years ago the followers Of Brigham Young were looked upon with much suspicion and disdain. As a result, a number cult melodramas purported to expose the perversions and overindulgences Of this religious sect. The point Of view in Trapped by the Mormons is made clear in the opening tides. The villain is one Isoldi Keene, who is “by means Of his mesmeric powers one Of the cleverest recruiters in the Mormon ranks.” He’s depicted as a sniveling hypocrite at his best, and almost satanic in his worst moments. His prey is Nora Prescott, “a flower deemed worthy Of his plucking.” Keene has been observing Nora from afar; he approaches her, and tells her that he’s come with message Of salvation. Nora is intrigued by Keene, and confides to a co-worker that he’s “divine,” and a “mot wonderful man.” Her infatuation seems destined to lead to Nora’s physical and spiritual defilement: this course is set when she lies to her invalid father about how some Mormon literature came into her possession. Quickly, the impressionable damsel finds herself “lured from her home into the Mormon net.” Trapped by the Mormons is a intense, well-acted story that is Of interest both as drama and propaganda. By the way, the Brooklyn-bred actress, Evelyn Brent, who appeared in a dozen European-made features between 1920 and 1922, starred in a follow-up titled Married to 3 Mormon, hopefully a less dastardly one! Silent film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 97 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Melodrama