Silent Movie Rule #12: Ronald Colman cannot be held responsible for his actions

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Before sound movies revealed that, that, that voice*, Ronald Colman was a steady, likable (if unremarkable) lead in romantic comedies and dramas. In Her Night of Romance, Mr. Colman gets a snoot full and ends up returning to the house (and more importantly, the bedroom of the house) that he sold to Constance Talmadge. Of course, Connie forgives all. Wouldn’t you?

*Ronald Colman’s voice has been described as crushed velvet (why crushed?), just plain velvet, honeyed velvet (sounds sticky), smooth as silk, mellifluous, and the list goes on.

(You can read my full-length review here.)

Availability: Her Night of Romance received a high-quality DVD release from Kino as a double feature with another Connie/Colman collaboration, Her Sister from Paris.

Fun Size Review: The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926)

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A western. Starring Vilma Banky and Ronald Colman. Only in the silents, eh? This is the story of how water was brought to the Imperial Valley and it also concerns the romance of Vilma’s Barbara. She just can’t decide between Ronald Colman and Gary Cooper. Poor lamb. I am sure a large section of the audience would kill for that plight. Well-produced but rather bloated. The climactic flood is justly famous.

If it were a desert it would be:

(via Pillssbury)
(via Pillssbury)

Lemon Curd Jumbo Pie Cupcakes. Very bright, very yellow, a bit overdone but generally a good thing.

You can read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Ronald Colman, engineer for a soulless corporation, Animated GIF

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Ronald Colman is rather quick to confess his character’s motivation to Vilma Banky in The Winning of Barbara Worth. The title card made me stop because it seemed so jarringly modern. (Colman’s corporation is ever worse than he knows– they are building a dam out of low-quality materials that are sure to collapse.)

This confession, however, does not stop Vilma from choosing Mr. Colman over a very, very, very young Gary Cooper.

(Shakes head) Vilma, Vilma, Vilma…

In the Vaults #11: The Night of Love (1927)

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The Night of Love (1927)

Status: Samuel Goldwyn donated a print of this film to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1956, it is the only known copy in existence. The film has been shown at festivals and special screenings but has never been released to the general public.

The film was praised for its original plot but it sounds fairly generic to me. Ronald Colman is a Spanish gypsy whose bride is abducted by a despotic duke. Wanting to exact vengeance, Colman steals the duke’s new bride, Vilma Banky. Three guesses as to how this one turns out.

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However, what the plot lacks in originality, it seems to more than make up for in beauty and enthusiasm. Director George Fitzmaurice is best remembered for directing Miss Banky and Rudolph Valentino in Son of the Sheik, which was pretty similar material.

The Night of Love (1927 film)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motion Picture News liked what it saw:

There’s a fine costume love story on view in “The Night of Love,” which presents Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky again in the best film they’ve appeared since “The Dark Angel.” Marked with fine photography, gorgeous settings and compact and stirring action it is certain to move any spectator, no matter how hard-boiled, to remark: “Here’s a picture!” It has been staged with a lavish hand but its expenditure is perfectly in keeping with its story of rich adventure in old Spain. This is one instance where the background doesn’t run away with the plot. There are such tales as this — and a few have served as themes to attract light opera lovers. What is sauce for the stage is also sauce for the screen. What really matters is that it tells its story with- out making heavy footprints around Robin Hood’s barn and tells it with moving scenes and gripping suspense. There is a lecherous duke who kidnaps a gypsy’s bride on her wedding night. She kills herself to escape him, whereupon the rogue of the open road vows vengeance. He exacts it by stealing the duke’s newest spouse and winning her love. That ‘s all there is to it, but before the ending arrives the spectator is in for a display of rich scenes and much excitement.

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Photoplay was enthusiastic:

The Night of Love is full of beauty, emotional thrills, and good acting, and, praise be, it is a new story. Vilma Banky is ravishingly beautiful and Ronald Colman is the perfect gypsy hero. What a combination, those two. It’s a gypsy story of the seventeenth century, but do not let that stop you, for it grips you from the first foot of film until the last. It’s over all too soon. The tale is woven around the feudal right of the Duke of a Spanish province to hold all brides at his castle on their wedding day while the poor vassal groom gnashes his teeth in rage, and Montagu Love plays the Duke with such realism that you’re unhappy until the gypsy lover puts an end to his rascally life. George Fitzmaurice’s direction is exquisite. Don’t miss this.

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Here’s hoping that the film is made more widely available soon!

Recommended



The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) A Silent Film Review

Vilma Banky takes on the title role of this Western-set tale of settlers, dams, floods and legal shenanigans. Banky is the prettiest girl in Imperial county. Ronald Colman is the corporate raider from the east who falls for her. A very young Gary Cooper is the local boy who hopes to win her heart. So, just who does win Barbara Worth?
Continue reading “The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) A Silent Film Review”

The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) 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.

Continue reading “The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) A Silent Film Review”