This film is part of Free

Trapped by the London Sharks

Nefarious nightclub hosts blackmail a drunkard into fleecing their customers

Comedy 1916 83 mins Silent


An intertitle announcing "Zina replenishes the poison gas bracelet" leaves viewers in no doubt that they're in crime drama territory with this tale of murder and intrigue. We can expect sophisticated criminals bristling with gadgets for parting drunks and gamblers from their cash, pursued by a youthful detective with pure motives and forensic skill. The deliciously evil Zina is the brains, robbing banks and ditching inconvenient bodies in the Thames in this admirably efficient thriller.

Will Barker specialised in the production of these nicely made, if not wildly original crime dramas. He made great use of locations in the streets surrounding his Ealing studio and nearly always found an excuse for a river or canal scene. The structure of the dramas is pacy with the sparest use of intertitles – the hallmark of a well-made silent film.