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On a character-filled street in London's squalid Limehouse district, the love of vivacious dance hall hostess Gypsy Fair (Carol Dempster), is competed for by local bully Spike McFadden (Ralph Graves) and his sensitive composer brother Billy (Charles Emmet Mack). An evil Chinese gambling den operator (Edward Piel) also lusts after the girl, and when his attempt at seduction fails, he tries to frame her for the murder of one of his employees. This surreal silent film by producer-director D.W. Griffith is heavy on the symbolism, with characters each meant to represent some aspect of the human psyche: a street preacher symbolizes the conscience, a masked violinist represents temptation, the Chinese gambler represents evil, etc. Lots of hallucinatory moments and gauzy close-ups of Dempster's face work to make the film seem like a dream. The story is taken from the book LIMEHOUSE NIGHTS by Thomas Burke, from which Griffith also took the material for his much more successful BROKEN BLOSSOMS.

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CCV4033 Dream Street VHS (1921/D.W. Griffith) $39.99