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 »
Cineasts jaded and cynical as I might be surprised by the enjoyable nature of this recently restored silent film -- the decision to watch spurred more by the interest in seeing otherwise forgotten John Bowers whose suicide has punctuated many a Hollywood allegory. Imagine my thrill, then, at seeing an overlooked treasure that, while certainly not a classic, demonstrates many of the long unappreciated qualities of early filmmaking.
Filled as it is with the wild gesticulations, grimaces and posturing that define early films, "Doone" also has excellent direction, a swift pace that only occasionally lags, and good performances by the cast. One can easily understand Bowers' rapid rise to fame (making his suicide all the more difficult to understand) with his brooding presence and oddly-handsome face that stands antithetical to the "pretty boys" who were his contemporaries.
If one can overlook the oddities in this film that are a natural part of such early films (the overuse of makeup, the odd lapses in continuity) "Lorna Doone" will certainly hold one's interest as a seldom seem tale that deserves more attention than it has received.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?