The Ocean Waif (1916)

Article 4053 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-8-2012
Directed by Alice Guy
Featuring Carlyle Blackwell, Doris Kenyon, Edgar Norton
Country: USA
What it is: Romantic drama

An orphan escapes from her abusive guardian and ends up in a relationship with a famous novelist.

Once again we have a movie which isn’t technically genre, but with touches of the fantastic in the subplot; the young couple meet at a supposedly haunted house, and the girl is initially mistaken for a female ghost. The movie doesn’t really play this up as horror, except in the mind of the writer’s butler. The latter is played by Edgar Norton in his first screen role; he would of course go on to play many more. The movie runs only forty minutes, but there’s enough plot to make it a full length feature. In fact, I suspect that the movie originally ran longer; there’s some jump cuts in the surviving print which makes me think that it’s not complete. The movie is entertaining enough, but since the horror element is minor, the movie remains marginal in terms of genre.


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