Friday, February 5, 2010

Roy D'Arcy Double Feature! (and that other guy, too)

Bardelys the Magnificent (1926)

For many years, Bardelys was believed to be a lost film.  Then, in 2006, an almost complete print was discovered in France - and what a delightful find!  John Gilbert is at his charismatic best as Bardelys, gallant and dashing with all the ladies but actually falling for one (Roxalanne, played by Eleanor Boardman).  Roy D'Arcy is the menacing roadblock between the two.  This picture is a fun send-up of costumed swashbucklers a la Fairbanks, and the reconstruction of reel three using production stills is brilliantly seamless.  Recommended!

I give this one:

The Merry Widow (1925)

I came away from this picture with two thoughts: 1) von Stroheim was kinky, and 2) I NEED TO SEE MORE.  This was a level of sophistication unilke anything I've experienced in a silent film.  A dark romance thick with the seedy sludge of lust and revenge.  John Gilbert gives an ardent performance as Prince Danilo, the lovestruck "good" prince tortured by society over his love for dancer Sally O'Hara (an over-the-top Mae Murray)...but this picture was stolen by Roy D'Arcy as the sadistic, creepy, sardonic Prince Mirko, ready to destroy his cousin Danilo at every turn.  A film rife with sexual imagery, bitter jabs at social mores, and exquisitely directed.  Top-notch!
I give this one:



Lolita Kane said...

Oh, I have completely missed how cool this film seems. I love your short reviews, they are awesome. Oh, and von Stroheim reeaally was "the man you love to hate"!

Vintage Images said...

That is a great photo of Eleanor Boardman from Bardelys the Magnificent!