Camille is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by marrying Armand, she acquiesces and leaves her lover. However, when poverty and terminal illness overwhelm her, Camille discovers that Armand has not lost his love for her. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The film contains many before their time innovations. These include: Marguerite's high "afro" wig in the theatre scene at the beginning, an open fire pit set in the middle of her living room, and doors that open automatically at approach. See more »
Nazimova truly is a creature like none other. Though born in the 1870's she is not of the nineteenth century nor of the roaring twenties. With her choppy afro and willowyeven anorexicbody, if she suggests any period at all, it is maybe the Andy Warhol disco seventies. But she's definitely watchable in this movie, even touchingshe has a rather cherubic face under her bizarre hairstyle which makes her believable as Camille, the dying courtesan whose last chance at happiness is destroyed when the father of her lover Armand Duval demands that she give him up. Armand, played by Rudolph Valentino, allegedly had much of his role reduced by Nazimova who could recognize a fellow scene stealer when she saw one (he is replaced by a book in the deathbed scene!), but he manages to make his impassioned, surly presence felt. Falling as quickly into resentment as he earlier did into love when he believes Nazimova has tired of him, he comes across as both sympathetic and shallow (and quite funny in the casino scenes when he tries a bit too hard to make Camille jealous by flirting with an unworthy tootsie who resembles Mae West). The art deco set design that still looks contemporary almost constitutes a character in itself.
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