About the film
The Moment Before
Release Date: April 27, 1916
|Production Companies||:||Famous Players|
|Director||:||Robert G. Vignola|
|Writers||:||Israel Zangwill, Hugh Ford|
The film begins by presenting the elderly and elegant Duke and Duchess of Maldon, engaged in charitable acts in a Dickensian village. The following day, the duke falls off his horse and is mortally injured. Mourning the loss of her great love, the duchess collapses in church, and in the “moment before death” she reviews her own life. “It was in her youth that she had fractured practically all the Biblical commandments,” says the intertitle. In fact, when she was young, Madge the duchess was a seductive gypsy, engaged to the fiery gypsy John, but fascinated by Harold, the idle aristocratic son of the Maldons, who was prone to the family vice of excessive drinking. In love with the gypsy, Harold brings her home as a servant, scandalizing his older brother. A fight between the brothers and John’s jealousy lead to a fatal accident that forces both Harold and the gypsy couple to flee to Australia.