Damaged Goods

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Damaged Goods is a remake of the 1914 "exploitation" film of the same name, which in turn was based on a controversial 1912 play by Eugene Brieux. In the best possible taste, the film expostulates on the dangers of syphilis-and more specifically, of the public's ignorance of the threat posed by social diseases. The hero, played by Douglas Walton, is a married man who makes the fatal mistake of cheating on his wife (Arlene Duncan). As a result, he infects his wife with syphilis, disastrously affecting the outcome of her pregnancy (small wonder that the young actress playing the child, Gretchen Thomas, is billed as "The Victim"). Adapted for the screen by Upton Sinclair, Damaged Goods was released at around the same time that the similarly themed Damaged Lives, completed in 1933, was finally taken off the shelf. Both films ran into censorship difficulties, though by modern standards both were mild medicine indeed.


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