D.W. Griffith again symbolizes good and evil, meanwhile out-DeMilling DeMille in sets and Bacchanalian revels, plus liberal suggestiveness. For all of that, the picture is overshadowed in story and cast by its superb photography. Limited action comes very close to trying the patience more than once. There is the usual ruined young lady (Carol Dempster) after which comes the enticing of the poor lover (Ricardo Cortez) to the upper social stratum by Satan (Adolphe Menjou), masquerading as a fabulously wealthy prince, and later a broad display of passion by Lya De Putti when, as Princess Olga, she figuratively strips her soul before the prince.
And yet Harry Fischbeck’s work at the camera dominates the film, especially in the latter footage. Illumination of a mammoth staircase so that just the tops of the stairs are in relief, and down which the figures come only picked out by a ‘pin’ spot showing the last of the characters, rates as a great piece of work.