in about 100 words or less
US 67m, B&W, silent
Director: Frank Powell; Cast: Theda Bara, Edward José, Mabel Frenyear, Runa Hodges, May Allison, Clifford Bruce
A Fool There Was is a melodrama based on a 1909 Broadway play that was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Vampire” which is featured via the intertitles throughout the film. Though not literally a “vampire”, Theda Bara’s character figuratively consumed men and their money for her own pleasure. Considered scandalous in its day, Bara’s character, while driving men to ruin, was firmly based in Victorian fashion, daringly lifting her long skirt to reveal her ankle to her next victim (Klaus Ming December 2016).