In the early 1900s, the play +Les Avaries -- which dealt with the effects of syphilis -- caused a sensation in France. Eventually, it was brought to the screen as Damaged Goods, and even though the subject of venereal disease was extremely distasteful in the first few decades of the 20th century, a number of other films came out during the silent era which also broached the subject. This "social hygiene film" was one of the least successful of the bunch. The cast included little-known names like William Jefferson, Wesley Hunt, Mary Marceau, and Carl Fleming, and it concerned a country boy who wanted to see the big city. A doctor friend arranges things so that he can have fun without getting himself into too much trouble. When the film was first released in New York, it had men-only and women-only screenings. Moving Picture World approved of this approach, pointing out that "the treatment is quite sensational in places and will hardly do for a mixed assembly." In any case, the picture did not catch on and received only mild interest.
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