The Salvation Hunters
Traces of the decorative excess that marks Sternberg's later work can be glimpsed in his evocative use of veils, nets and billboards to layer the locations and sets in this unlikely, striking low-budget debut.
This 'Poverty Row' saga of a boy and girl who rescue an orphan and try to leave the "mud" behind them owes a debt to Erich von Stroheim's Greed.
Directed with dignity and perception, this film ensured Sternberg's discovery by Chaplin, Fairbanks and Pickford. 35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive.