May 23, 2005



I have to confess that now, having seen both the original version and the modern remake, I have to say that both disappointed me somewhat. Isoldi Keane, the Mormon mesmerist who lures attractive young girls to Salt Lake City and polygamous marriages is a decidely unmesmerizing mesmerist. In both films, as soon as young Nora discovers that the Mormon missionary already has one wife, she recoils in horror and decides to escape. How much more terrifying (in either version) would it be if, having learned of Keane's previous wife, the lovestruck Nora lost none of her ardor for Isoldi, and asked again how soon it would be until she would be his wife?

Then the pursuit of her mounted by her jilted, non-Mormon ex-betrothed would take on a tragic air; though he would have saved her from polygamy, he would have deprived her of Keane, who would be perhaps almost vampiric in his evil, rather than a duplicitious (and not very clever) bigamist. (In both versions, he introduces Nora to his first wife--his sister, he explaines--and makes sure they have adjoining rooms; predictably, jealous wife number one tells the comely Nora that Keane is already married...).

The modern version, by the way, is a lot of fun, although I wish I had seen it in a bigger group of friends, with a bit more alcohol in my system...

Posted by Ideofact at May 23, 2005 10:43 PM