Famed soprano Geraldine Farrar proves she doesn’t need her pipes to be an impressive Carmen. Wallace Reid, in an uncharacteristically dark role, expands his acting chops as a deranged Don Jose.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Carmen (1915)”
Wallace Reid and Harrison Ford (not that one) play road trip buddies who win a fortune in Monte Carlo and then end up getting involved in a Ruritanian revolution. If this sounds fun to you, let me burst your bubble. It’s for your own good.
Welcome back to the test kitchen! I am cooking my way through Photoplay’s 1929 cookbook but today, we’re taking a little detour. I’m going to be preparing a 1916 recipe inspired by one of the most popular leading men of the 1910s.
Cecil B. DeMille spent the first two-and-a-half years of his directing career overseeing westerns, romances, comedies, crime dramas and a couple of flicks set in Montenegro but Joan of Arc was the subject of his first true epic.
Wallace Reid and Harrison Ford team up as a pair of buddies trying to cross Central Europe with a satchel full of cash and a revolution brewing. Considerably less fun than it sounds, thanks to the protagonist’s xenophobia and a script peppered with morons.
Continue reading “Hawthorne of the U.S.A. (1919) A Silent Film Review”
Marriage proposals can be a challenge. Must it always be the man to pop the question? Should it be a formal affair, a crazy bit or creativity or just a casual, “Hey, you wanna get hitched?”
Or, you can always forget all that and just grab your love’s arm and demand that she marry you now, now, now. That was the approach adopted by Wallace Reid in the 1915 Cecil B. DeMille potboiler The Golden Chance. He didn’t even bother framing it as a question. He uses just plain future tense.
Shockingly, Cleo Ridgely turns him down. Even more shocking is the fact that it’s not due to his attitude. No, it’s because she’s married already.
According to DeMille’s memoirs, Ridgely was a last minute replacement in the film. The original leading lady showed up drunk to the set and Cleo stepped in when it was clear that the film could not be made with a non-functioning lead.
Availability: The Golden Chance was released on DVD by Image bundled with Don’t Change Your Husband. The disc is out-of-print but used copies do show up.
Cecil B. DeMille’s first historical epic takes on the life of Joan of Arc. An intriguing, uneven and thoroughly entertaining spectacle, the films stars operatic soprano Geraldine Farrar as the doomed Maid of Orleans and the tragic Wallace Reid as her chief antagonist and romancer-in-chief. What’s that? The real Joan didn’t have a romancer-in-chief? La la la la, not listening!
Continue reading “Joan the Woman (1916) A Silent Film Review”
When I first saw the 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal, it struck me that it was made a few decades too late. (A woman boss with a male secretary? The lady proposing? And she is older? Oh, I shall surely faint at this daring! But she just wants to be romanced by her young man. Awww.)
Cleo Ridgely is in the “repent at leisure” stage of her hasty marriage to a ne’er-do-well. Then she gets a chance to play Cinderella when her wealthy employers need a beautiful woman to keep would-be investor Wallace Reid hanging around.
Cinderella has ulterior motives in this early DeMille melodrama. Mary Denby is a judge’s daughter who married below her station. With her husband drinking away the household income, she applies for work as a seamstress. The new job puts her in contact with a rich family who decide to use her beauty and charm to their advantage in business dealings. Nice people.
Carmen may be best known as an opera but it made a successful silent debut for opera diva Geraldine Farrar. An early hit for Cecil B. DeMille, Carmen is a lively, sensual and surprisingly earthy adaptation of a familiar story. Farrar and Wallace Reid ignite the screen and have a grand time in the process.