Eyes of Envy was an unabashed morality play, populated almost exclusively by allegorical characters. Crane Wilbur played the central character, a young village blacksmith in the town of Sleepy Hollow. According to the film's subtitles, Sleepy Hollow is a stopover on the road to Success, and as such serves as a way station for several success-driven people. Among those "setting a spell" at Wilbur's blacksmith shop are a honeymooning couple known only as Avarice and Innocence. The hero expresses the wish that he were as wealthy as Avarice, if only to win the heart of a girl as beautiful as Innocence. In a twinkling, Wilbur gets his wish, and not expectedly suffers mightily as a result. Happily, the whole thing turns out to be a dream. In the tradition that would soon be adopted by such filmmakers of Cecil B. De Mille, The Eyes of Envy conveys its message by showing the pitfalls of immorality in lurid detail, which can be the only explanation for the scene in which a bevy of underdressed chorus girls shows up unannounced in Sleepy Hollow.
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