Buckles are swashed in a most lavish manner. Lewis Stone plays an Englishman who must take his look-alike cousin’s place in order to save the throne, etc. etc. but Ramon Novarro steals the show as a deranged dandy. It’s easy to see why this was his breakout role.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)”
Rex Ingram and company show us the French Revolution in style! Ramon Novarro (in an exceedingly fine performance) is a vengeful lawyer turned actor turned swordsman turned revolutionary. Busy fellow, yes? Lewis Stone is his wily aristocratic opponent and turns in one of the best performances of his career by playing against type.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Scaramouche (1923)”
Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer play young lovers divided by class in Ernst Lubitsch’s lavish operetta adaptation. Jean Hersholt steals the picture.
Welcome back! I’m cooking my way through Photoplay’s 1929 cookbook but I sometimes take detours. Today, I’ll be sampling a variation on a popular dip credited to one of Hollywood’s most charming leading men published in a Beverly Hills cookbook.
By all rights, the original (yes, original) 1925 Ben-Hur should have been a disaster but it somehow managed to survive and thrive despite budget woes, fascists, and fired directors, screenwriters and producers.
Religion. Politics. Chariot races. Pirates. Ben-Hur the novel has all the ingredients to make a great film. The 1959 version is the most famous but the 1925 film is the one that got it right. Big, beautiful and an epic’s epic, what’s not to love?
Continue reading “Ben-Hur (1925) A Silent Film Review”
Ramon Novarro and Enid Bennett– both best remembered for their unabashedly heroic roles– take a dip into some very dark waters with this Parisian drama. It’s all about an innocent young couple who are separated and slip into lives of crime, degradation, depression and hatred. If it sounds depressing, it is. However, it is also skillfully made (the gloom and decay are gloriously shot and the lighting is splendid) and Bennett’s acting is a revelation.
(You can read my full-length review here.)
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Novarro scorns Bennett but repents when she gets shot saving him from the police. He allows himself to be arrested and sent to prison, she goes to a convent to recover and both reunite later to begin a new life together.[/toggler]
If it were a dessert it would be:
Bitter Orange Creme Brulee. Not for kids and not exactly sweet but certainly worth your time.
Availability: Released to DVD by Warner Archive with a score that, I am not kidding, is one of the finest I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.
Enid Bennett and Ramon Novarro play a pair of young lovers who just want to get married. When they are separated in Paris, each begins a slide toward degradation and depravity. Will the unfortunate pair find one another again or are they too damaged to rekindle their love? Heavy stuff.
Featuring the famous opening line, “he was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad,” Scaramouche is the tale of Andre-Louis, a young lawyer (Ramon Novarro) who seeks to revenge the murder of his best friend at the hands a heartless aristocrat (Lewis Stone). To further his ends, Andre-Louis becomes an actor, a fencing master and, finally, an architect of the French Revolution.
Continue reading “Scaramouche (1923) A Silent Film Review”
Rudolf (Lewis Stone) is an Englishman on holiday in the unstable European kingdom of Ruritania. It turns out that he is a dead ringer for the soon-to-be-crowned king (also Lewis Stone). This comes in handy when the king is kidnapped by his evil brother and Rudolf must take his place to save the kingdom. A young Ramon Novarro has a star-making turn as the theatrical (and homicidal) Rupert of Hentzau.
He’s a sheik. She wears chic clothes. He lives in a tent. She lives in a manor. He fights enemy tribes. She fights hat hair. Getting a date with her is out of the question. Backup plan: Abduction. Obviously.Continue reading “The Sheik (1921) A Silent Film Review”