When M. Beaucaire, a handsome barber, catches the Duke of Winterset cheating at gambling, Beaucaire exacts Winterset's cooperation in sneaking Beaucaire into a great ball, disguised as the ... See full summary »
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>
This much maligned movie is actually one of the best movies of the early twenties. Of course it's hard to not compare any "Camille" to the definitive Garbo film, but this is a magnificent example of a more flamboyant, but no less brilliant, performing style. Nazimova, considered one of the greatest actresses of her day, is superb as Magueritte - her passion and vitality are explosive. Her quieter moments, eg playing with the camellias after deciding to leave Armand, are heart-breaking. She also looks sensational, with huge hair and outrageous gowns. And Valentino, looking divine, matches her perfectly. Rarely was he so subtle and warm in his playing. He certainly out-classes Robert Taylor. Then there is the art direction of the soon to be Madame Valentino Natacha Rambova. She is usually blamed for nearly ruining her husband's career, but her set and costume designs here are nothing short of revolutionary. She brings a European like expressionism to the film that is unforgettable. I suspect she was a genius who was never allowed to truly fly.
I urge you to see this film - I think it should be revived theatrically. It was certainly ahead of its time.
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