A blissful romance is a staple of cinema but it often doesn’t survive the wedding vows. Here’s one that does.Ivan Mosjoukine and Helene Darly start out as a couple of lovestruck kids in The House of Mystery. They marry, of course, and the romance deepens as the story progresses. The reason why the celluloid romance succeeds has much to do with the tiny touches that Mosjoukine and Darly add.
Mosjoukine’s character is a sweet guy but he needs looking after. He’s always a mess when Darly isn’t around to spruce him up. He particularly needs help with neckties as he is always forgetting, misplacing or messing them up. Here he is, on trial for murder (he’s innocent) and trying to be brave for his wife’s sake. She’s can’t fix his necktie herself when he’s in the dock so she walks him through the steps.
It’s so adorable and perfectly encapsulates the way the couple works as a unit. It’s also fresh, smart and funny and it says more about their romance than any extended kissing scene would.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love silent film.
Availability: The House of Mystery is available on DVD from Flicker Alley.