The Coward


Drama / History / War

IMDb Rating 6.1 10 200


Downloaded 5,454 times
September 4, 2019


720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
595.23 MB
23.976 fps
77 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.11 GB
23.976 fps
77 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dglink 7 / 10 / 10

Likable Early Silent with an Appealing, if Now Forgotten, Star

The simple and, by now, oft-told tale of a son who fears that he cannot live up to the high standards of his father may have been fresher in 1915 than it seems today. However, viewers of early silent films should put themselves into the perspective of the times and relish a Civil War story that was filmed while many in the audience could still remember the actual war. The Civil War took place only 50 years before "The Coward" was made, which is approximately the same time span between World War II and "Saving Private Ryan." A fresh-looking Charles Ray portrays Frank Winslow, the son of a proud and unyielding Southern gentleman, and his performance is the most naturalistic of the small cast. A handsome young man with an appropriately innocent demeanor, Ray manages to convey his ambivalence about resisting enlistment in the Confederate Army, a move that will alienate him from his stern father, who insists that his son uphold the family honor. Bowing to his father's orders and threats, the young man joins the army, where he makes a fateful decision. Although subsequent events play out as anyone could predict, viewer interest never lags because the film is tight and decently paced. Unfortunately, much of the cast, especially Frank Keenan as the father, are either stiff or overly emotive in their roles, which makes Ray that much more appealing in contrast. Characteristic of the times, white actors in black face play the two household slaves. While the condition of the print makes evaluation of the cinematography difficult, the interior scenes for the most part betray the flimsy sets that were used. However, the exterior shots, especially the brief battle scenes, are convincing and effective. "The Coward" is an amiable film with a well-worn plot and is likely typical of silent films that were produced prior to the 1920's. While neither a work of art nor even the best of its era, the film offers an interesting glimpse of what entertained moviegoers during the years before World War I.

Reviewed by lawprof 8 / 10 / 10

Give Me That Old Time Civil War Reconciliation Flick

"The Coward," a 1915 silent era Civil War flick, was designed, written and directed to be enjoyable North and South of Messrs. Mason and Dixon's line. Today it's a curiosity piece both as entertainment and as history (I'm showing it in a few weeks in my law school legal history seminar, "Slavery, the Constitution and the Civil War." Our un-hero is a finely turned out Southern lad, popular with the demure lassies and scion to the small but well-kept estate of a former colonel. The fellow lives with his parents and their two devoted slaves, a cook and a sort of valet-butler. The call to arms, to defend the South (the South was invaded?), comes and the boy heads to the recruiting station where his contemporaries are eagerly lining up to doff formal attire and don uniforms. He chickens out, goes home and confesses to Pa that's he's chicken. No, thunders dad, no member of our family can be a coward. Get thee back and sign up. He does so but at the first sign of danger, while on picket duty, he deserts and skedaddles home. Mommy embraces him, the slaves try to hide him and Pa has a royal fit when he finds his worthless, gutless offspring gulping down milk and cookies in the kitchen. Determined to salvage family honor, Pa enlists as a private, replacing his son. Meanwhile, Union officers have occupied the family home and a hiding in the attic deserter overhears their battle plans. Guess how the story develops from there. A tale of honor cravenly lost and then heroically redeemed, "The Coward" is the kind of satisfying melodrama that early moviegoers loved. The actors magnify their facial expressions to compensate for silently mouthed dialog. Southerners watching "The Coward" could bask in the family loyalty to the Confederacy and the pliant, loving submission of slaves. Northerners saw an honorable foe whose forces but not spirit could be beaten. A neat relic from the vaults of the silents. 8/10

Reviewed by wes-connors 8 / 10 / 10

Charles Ray Lights Up the Screen

In 1861, the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, Virginia's young men sign up by the hundreds to fight for the Confederacy. Plantation owner Frank Keenan (as Jefferson Beverly Winslow) wants to fight alongside handsome son Charles Ray (as Frank Winslow). Mr. Keenan is rejected as too old, but expects his son will enlist. Not so fast. Overcome with fear and dread, Mr. Ray gets cold feet at the recruiting station. Yes, he is "The Coward". So, disgraced war veteran father Keenan signs Ray up… at gunpoint! While on "picket duty" patrol, Ray is startled by wild animals, and goes AWOL. Running home to stately "Winslow Hall", he is comforted by gentle-mother Gertrude Claire (as Betty) and the family's domesticated slaves. When papa Keenan finds out his son has deserted the Confederate Army, he flies into a rage, exclaiming, "Why was I ever born to be the father of a coward?" while Ray shamefully sobs. Later, when Yankee soldiers invade his home, Ray gets a second chance to prove his mettle... With D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" (released earlier in 1915) setting box offices on fire, this shorter Civil War epic was made to order; it also resembled Griffith's "The Battle" (1911) and others. An acclaimed stage actor, Frank Kennan had his name above co-star Charles Ray. Both men became screen stars with "The Coward" - but Ray quickly shot past his illustrious elder. Ray's performance in "The Coward" is excellent, and was recalled as an example of the decade's best acting (it still is). Keenan (grandfather of character actor Keenan Wynn), Ms. Claire, and Patricia Palmer (as Amy) show degrees of "stagy". The "Quigley Poll" of top ten money-making stars for the year 1916 (which took "The Coward" into account) debuted Keenan at #10. In 1917, Ray debuted at #8, one above Keenan, who subsequently left the poll. From then on, Ray was found in the upper half of the exhibitors' list, complied by Quigley Publications from 1915 to the present. Ray was a million-dollar super-star until pouring his fortune into his own production company, which famously flopped with "The Courtship of Miles Standish" (1923). ******** The Coward (10/3/15) Thomas H. Ince : Reginald Barker ~ Charles Ray, Frank Kennan, Gertrude Claire, Margaret Gibson

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