In 1923, in the province of Shinshu, the widow and simple worker of a silk factory Tsune Nonomiya (O-Tsune) decides to send her only son to Tokyo for having a better education. Thirteen ... See full summary »
Love, duty, and the scent of narcissus. Theodora, a young and penniless aristocrat, marries a much older man, self-made millionaire grocer Josiah Brown, so that her father and spinster sisters can live comfortably. Soon after the wedding, she finds herself falling in love with Hector, the Tenth Earl of Bracondale, a playboy she encounters on the social circuit of the very rich -- in the Swiss Alps, Paris, London, and the English countryside. Hector is attracted to her as well. Theodora must choose between love and duty, and then Josiah and Hector must make choices of their own. Written by
Lost for many decades since its original release, a copy of this film was discovered in April 2003 in Haarlem (The Netherlands) in a private collection. It was restored by the Nederlands Film Museum and the Hagheflim Conservation and was screened in 2005, complete with English dialogue screens in place of the original Dutch, at the Cannes film festival. It made its television debut on May 21, 2006, on Turner Classic Movies as part of a nine-film tribute to Rudolph Valentino. See more »
When Husein Ben Ali and his men are being chased away by the soldiers, a crew member steps in front of the camera during the wide shot of the scene. See more »
It's great to have this film back after 84 years! It's only a pity it couldn't have been rediscovered while Gloria Swanson was still alive (in her autobiography she named it as one of the three films of hers the "loss" of which she regretted most, along with "Madame Sans-Gêne" and the last reel of "Sadie Thompson"). Elinor Glyn's story is horribly contrived I can't think of another movie until the Beatles' "Help!" that moved its characters so extensively around the world to so little effect and the love scenes are a bit disappointing (Swanson recalled that the Fatty Arbuckle and William Desmond Taylor scandals both broke just before this film started shooting, with the result that the script was given a last-minute rewrite to tone down the adulterous passions of her and Valentino's characters) but what makes this movie truly great is the marvelously understated acting. This is the film to show someone who thinks all silent-film actors swooned, waved their arms like windmills and reacted to traumas like the Statue of Liberty collapsing in an earthquake: the people in "Beyond the Rocks" use simple, economical gestures and facial expressions to get their emotions across. I credit director Sam Wood who made the transition to sound quite successfully and had a long career in the talkies with getting these marvelously realistic performances from his cast. Henny Vrienten's musical score for the restored print is somber and effective, though I could have done without the sound effects and crowd noises and it seems odd to watch a silent film with music whose primary instruments are a flute and a Miles Davis-style trumpet.
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