No, the problems of royalty are not worrying about revolution. Instead, in this movie, it is a lack of romance, which apparently does not exist when you get to dress well, eat decent food, sleep in clean, comfortable beds and marry pretty princesses who do not smell like they've been mucking out stables all day. This is directly contrary to the experience of anyone who has ever had to actually worry about how to stretch a dollar to make ends meet, but I suppose in 1916, it was thought that this mishmash of 'La Boheme', 'The Student Prince' and 'The Prince and the Pauper' would flatter the hoi polloi that made up the movie audience of the period.
Well, it will hardly surprise you to hear me say that it might have worked in 1916, but it doesn't today. What does work is the acting, which is fluid and natural looking, particularly the acting of H.B. Warner. We are used to seeing him in movies made thirty or forty years later, playing a senile druggist for Frank Capra or an ancient Egyptian prince for Cecil B. Demille. When he made this movie he was 41, and quite lively in his movements. He plays the prince with an air of bonhomie that is quite effective, and it is easy to see why he remained a favorite of directors into his eighties.
I cannot recommend this movie to someone with a casual interest in silent movies, but to those who wish to see how the esteemed character actor acquitted himself in his starring years, this is a fine example of a star carrying a bad picture.
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