Adapted for the sheet from Paul Armstrong’s stage play, this isn’t a ‘vice picture’, though it does step into the below the line stuff now and then. The tale is hung upon one of those all-wrong families on the East Side where the all-wrongness runs from the father down to the dog, if there is one, In this case the family, real name Joyce, consists of a father, two sisters and a son. The film goes in the tenement house where they live to find misery, and gets nothing else. Even when Owen Moore, as the ambulance surgeon, later a practicing physician, tells May (Blanche Sweet), one of the daughters, he loves her, Owen does it with here’s-taking-a-chance look on his face, and May seems to look on the only love affair she has ever known the same as anything else.
It seems foolish to waste the ability and energy of an able director of the Griffith stamp upon a scenario like The Escape.