Having survived the real-life sinking of the <I>Lusitania</I> in 1915, French actress Rita Jolivet re-created this harrowing experience in her 1918 vehicle Lest We Forget. Produced by Jolivet's husband, Count Giuseppe de Cippico, the film was shot over a six-month period, with the all-important "sinking" scene lensed in the dead of winter, which was hardly conducive to the health of the actor. Not content with merely rebuilding and submerging the <I>Lusitania</I> (yes, there were James Cameron types even then), the producer and director contrived a propagandistic plotline in which actress Rita Herolt (Jolivet) is captured by the Germans and sentenced to the firing squad ("No blindfold, <I>s'il vous plait</I>.") She manages to escape this fate then conducts a search for her estranged fiance Harry Winslow (Hamilton Reveille), who has been led to believe that Rita is a German sympathizer. She offers dramatic proof that she is virulently anti-German in the final scene, when she strangles the nominal villain, a Prussian baron, with his own bedsheet. Critics lavished praised on the film's meticulous re-creation of the <I>Lusitania</I> disaster but felt that the hokey plot which followed was anti-climactic. Modern audiences may never know if this is true or not: Lest We Forget is considered a lost film.
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