After a very long hiatus, video reviews are back! You have probably learned by now that I adore kitsch and I will be reviewing one of the zaniest, kitschiest films of the silent era: Cecil B. DeMille’s The Road to Yesterday.
It’s about two couples (William Boyd and Vera Reynolds, Joseph Schildkraut and Jetta Goudal) who discover that their modern problems are rooted in a distant past. There’s time travel, derring-do and some very quirky title cards. The plot is just nuts but that’s all the fun.
The Road to Yesterday is only available from bargain vendors, I’m afraid. It’s a shame as its madness would greatly benefit from a quality release.
The Autobiography of Cecil B. DeMille by Cecil B. DeMille (Department of Redundant Title Department)
Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille by Scott Eyman
My Father and I by Joseph Schildkraut
Hollywood, when Silents were Golden by Evelyn Scott (Scott is the daughter of the film’s screenwriter, Beulah Marie Dix. The book has lots of interesting details as the author grew up in Hollywood. For example, one of her classmates was a pre-platinum Jean Harlow)
American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929 by John T. Soister
As promised, here is the scorecard for the great Jetta Goudal/Joseph Schildkraut face-off. (Apparently, both had the same preferred side of their face and would take every opportunity to turn in that direction when they shared a scene.) I am using Schildkraut’s nickname, Pepi, because it’s cute and because Jetta’s name already begins with a J.