MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 47,421 this week

When the Clouds Roll by (1919)

7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 550 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

Psychiatrist Dr. Ulrich Metz attempts to drive Daniel Brown to suicide.

Director:

Writer:

(scenario) (as T.J.G.)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 25 Dec 2012
 
a list of 9036 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 26 Jun 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 01 Jul 2013
 
a list of 469 titles
created 19 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: When the Clouds Roll by (1919)

When the Clouds Roll by (1919) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of When the Clouds Roll by.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Iron Mask (1929)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Belle Bennett, Marguerite De La Motte, Dorothy Revier
Way Down East (1920)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton
Stella Maris (1918)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Stella Maris is a beautiful, crippled girl, who is cared for by a rich family. They shield her from the harsh realities of the world, so that she has no idea of the cruel things that some ... See full summary »

Director: Marshall Neilan
Stars: Mary Pickford, Ida Waterman, Herbert Standing
The Squaw Man (1914)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A chivalrous British officer takes the blame for his cousin's embezzlement and journeys to the American West to start a new life on a cattle ranch.

Directors: Oscar Apfel, Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Dustin Farnum, Monroe Salisbury, Winifred Kingston
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When three thuggish men are responsible for the death of his father and the crippling of his brother, young David must choose between supporting his family or risking his life and exacting vengeance.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Gladys Hulette, Walter P. Lewis
The Gaucho (1927)
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A girl is saved by a miracle after she falls from a cliff in the Argentine Andes, and is blessed with healing powers. A shrine is built on the site, and a whole city grows around it, rich ... See full summary »

Director: F. Richard Jones
Stars: Lupe Velez, Joan Barclay, Eve Southern
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In sixteenth century Padua, Hortensio loves Bianca, the youngest daughter of Baptista. But Baptista will not allow the two to get married until his eldest daughter, the extremely headstrong... See full summary »

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Edwin Maxwell
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Bebe Daniels, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man pursues a young lady with the same energy he applies to his other obsession in life, auto racing.

Director: James Cruze
Stars: Wallace Reid, Ann Little, Theodore Roberts
Comedy | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A rich young Easterner who has always wanted to live in "the Wild West" plans to move to a Western town. Unknown to him, the town's "wild" days are long gone, and it is an orderly, ... See full summary »

Director: John Emerson
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Eileen Percy, Calvert Carter
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Between ranchers and sheepherders there is a feud. Jean Isbel and Ellen Jorth are in love. Unfortunately, each of them belongs to one of the parties. That complicates the live of both Ellen and Jean very much.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Richard Dix, Lois Wilson, Noah Beery
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Daniel Boone Brown
Albert MacQuarrie ...
Hobson
...
Lucette Bancroft
Frank Campeau ...
Mark Drake
Ralph Lewis ...
Curtis Brown
Herbert Grimwood ...
Dr. Ulrich Metz
Daisy Jefferson ...
Bobby De Vere
Bull Montana ...
The Nightmare
Victor Fleming ...
Himself
Thomas J. Geraghty ...
Himself (as T.J.G.)
William C. McGann ...
Himself
Harris Thorpe ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

The comfortable and amiable Daniel Boone Brown, a resident of New York's water front, becomes the victim of a mad scientist's psychological experiments. For days, Dr. Ulrich Metz messes up Daniel's life, bringing on failing health, restless sleep, a nervous and irritable disposition, tardiness for work, and superstitions that cause worry and fear. Several months into the ordeal, one of Metz's minions, hired as Daniel's livery, feeds him a midnight snack of spring onions, lobster, Welsh rarebit and mince pie. We see the contents of his stomach causing pain and distress; then he has vivid and surreal nightmares. Will Metz succeed in driving Daniel to suicide? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 December 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cheer Up  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(color toned)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Douglas Fairbanks flees his pursuers by entering a room and proceeds to run up a wall, across the ceiling, down the opposite wall, jump from walls to ceiling, etc.--a full 30 years before Fred Astaire did the same in Royal Wedding (1951). See more »

Crazy Credits

Louis Weadon's name is handwritten. See more »

Connections

Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.3 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the forgotten gems of the silent era
16 July 2006 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

It's a mystery why this delightful silent feature isn't better known and more widely appreciated. I've seen several of the comedies Douglas Fairbanks made prior to his switchover to swashbucklers and they're all great fun, but for my money When the Clouds Roll By is the best of the lot: it's funny, fast-paced, action-packed and highly original. To call it "original" is quite an understatement; this movie is absolutely off the wall and constantly surprising, even for buffs. The plot is convoluted enough to keep you guessing, and just when you think you know what's going to happen next, the filmmakers throw you another curve-ball. Speaking of originality, it's worth pointing out that a number of gags and bits of business found here were borrowed by others and used again in later years, so while this movie proved to be a rich source of inspiration for Fairbanks' colleagues who saw it in 1919, the source material itself seems to have been largely forgotten.

Much of the comedy derives from the screenplay's satirical jabs at the still new field of psychology. Doug plays a good-natured young man who is harshly victimized by a sinister psychologist named Metz, who lives nearby. Why the doctor has chosen to treat Doug worse than Pavlov's dog isn't explained until late in the story (and I won't reveal it here), but let it suffice to say that Doug is subjected to a distressing series of "Gaslight"-style mental manipulations intended to convince him that he's losing his mind. The evil Dr. Metz even contrives to invade the world of Doug's dreams by controlling his diet, and the ensuing nightmare is a surreal cinematic highlight, combining such techniques as slow motion, double-exposure, and the very same "wall-walking" stunt Fred Astaire would employ in Royal Wedding in 1951, performed more elaborately in this early rendition. The dream sequence begins inside Doug's body, where we witness a battle between the foodstuffs he's been eating at Metz' behest: an onion, a lobster, Welsh rarebit, a slice of mince pie, etc., each represented by actors dressed in the appropriate costume. They duke it out on a "stomach" stage set, an effect that is both bizarre and hilarious, and a throwback to the early cinematic style of Edwin S. Porter's Dream of a Rarebit Fiend, or the trick films of Georges Méliès. We're reminded of early cinema again later when our hero reaches a crisis and thinks he's finally lost his mind for real; the title card tells us that Doug's Reason is Tottering on Her Throne and his Sense of Humor has been defeated, while his mind is being assailed by Worry and Despair. This struggle is then enacted before our eyes by performers representing these traits, like some kind of Medieval morality pageant.

These quirky comic sequences are a real highlight, but meanwhile there's an earthbound plot involving Doug's relationship with a girl, his conflict with the girl's former suitor (a vulgar crook), and a scheme by the crook to defraud the girl's father. This story-line is more conventional, but greatly boosted by the surrounding craziness and further enhanced by a series of genuinely funny title cards that maintain just the right level of breezy insouciance. There's also a cute series of running gags concerning superstitions that both Doug and the girl believe in, not only still-familiar beliefs involving black cats, ladders, and the number 13, but also more obscure notions involving dropped knives and opal rings. The plot culminates in an impressive storm sequence combining miniature sets with large-scale action, all of which may remind buffs of the finale of Buster Keaton's classic Steamboat Bill, Jr. of 1928. Buster didn't use miniatures, but it looks like he and his crew might have borrowed a gag or two from Doug!

I was fortunate enough to see this film at a recent public screening at the Museum of the City of New York. There was much laughter throughout, and afterward a lot of people were saying "Why haven't I heard of this movie before?" Clearly, this is a silent comedy that deserves to be better known, a movie that cries out for full restoration, more public screenings, broadcasts on TCM and a DVD release.

P.S. December 2008: I'm pleased to add that this film is now available in the newly released Fairbanks DVD box set. Many thanks to the folks responsible!


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
2010 Alpha DVD jesse-macleod
What about the Wonders of Fleming's Work? IMDBcinephile
Discuss When the Clouds Roll by (1919) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?