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Chloe, Love Is Calling You

This film is part of a two-pack DVD, and I got the set for the other movie in the set: The Devil’s Daughter.

This looks even rougher than that movie. It looks like it’s been transferred to video (for TV broadcast?) and then to DVD?

This isn’t bad — it’s got nerve and fun performances. I’m not familiar with the director, Marshall Neilen, but he did 63 movies between 1916 and 1937 — with a sharp drop-off once talkies started. So I’m guessing he wasn’t well-funded, and this does look pretty cheap in parts.

It’s too bad this er “transfer” is so awful — it looks like they’re using the scenery in interesting ways. This looks like it’s been filmed in the middle of a jungle type of swamp or something. But it’s just hard to tell here.

Wow, that looked like he was actually fighting a live crocodile. (Or is it alligator? I forget.)

I guess this is in the public domain, so I guess there’s little chance of anybody doing a proper restoration of this (because where would the money be in that?), but this deserves better treatment than this. It’s kinda actually kinda good.

And interesting. It’s got voodoo stuff, and there’s also stuff about “passing”, and racism and stuff.

OK, it’s losing tension now, but it’s still… like nothing I’ve seen before. That guy to the left (who’s in love with Chloe (Olive Borden) who’s passing), has just told the other guy who’s in love with Chloe that she’s *gasp* got a Black mother!!!

And that her mother is a voodoo priestess!

I have absolutely no idea where this is going.

What!?! She’s the long-lost daughter of this white guy! She’s not Black at all! And this is the guy why lynched her Black (now apparently her adopted) father! Oh the tangled web!

I didn’t see that coming.

Sounds likely:

The Ohio board banned the film.

These women doubt that she’s really the long-lost daughter, because “she’s so dark”.

And whenever she steps out, Chloe suffers attempted rape by these two guys.

It’s a very strange film.

I’m not at all sure how to parse this movie. I mean, what they were trying to do. Were they pointing out the absurdities of the concept of “race”? Or was this a movie where the audience was supposed to be horrified that a nice white girl had been mistaken for not being white?

Anyway, it’s entertaining, so:

Chloe, Love Is Calling You. Marshall Neilan. 1934.

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