Lorna is a young noble girl who meets a young farmer boy named John Ridd. They immediately become infatuated with each other, but Lorna is kidnapped by the Doones, a group of bandits, and she is taken back to their village and raised as one of them. She is protected from the others by Sir Ensor Doone, the group's leader, because he has grown attached to her. After many years he becomes very ill and an upstart named Carver decides that he wants Lorna as his wife. Sir Ensor is powerless to protect her, so she must contact John to rescue her. Written by
lyric by Arthur A. Penn, music by Frederick W. Vanderpool, c. 1922
'suggested by Maurice Tourneur's picturization of "Lorna Doone" produced at the studios of Thos. H. Ince Corporation with Madge Bellamy in the role of "Lorna Doone" A First National Attraction' See more »
Watching Maurice Tourneur's "Lorna Doone " is very much like visiting an art gallery; it is so filled with gorgeous images, expertly photographed by Henry Sharp. Interestingly, Mr. Tourneur uses the camera to tell a simpler, less stylized story than previously. This time, it's the simple, but everlasting love of soul-mated Madge Bellamy (as Lorna Doone) and John Bowers (as John Ridd).
The intimate-looking location scenes are a highlight: for example, note how Tourneur stages the lovers' introduction, as children, with young Mae Giraci drawn to young Charles Hatton as he is pumping water to wash his hair. (Tourneur directs children and water beautifully, as a rule.) Later, watch for the "farewell" scene after Ms. Bellamy's "true identity" is revealed. Mr. Bowers' body language, even when in the background, is revealing. Also, the "bridge" they have crossed, moves over to the left of the screen, with the carriage door opening, and a hand reaching out to take Bellamy away...
On the downside, the story takes turns, and introduces characters that are difficult to understand. In the early scenes, it appears "Lorna" is abducted by the evil "Doone" family (by the way, both she and "John" appear old enough to know what's going on). Later, that event becomes more complicated. A check with the original novel's plot, and a second viewing, doesn't exactly help.
******** Lorna Doone (1922) Maurice Tourneur ~ John Bowers, Madge Bellamy, Donald MacDonald
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