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Jean and Marise, two young lovers, are forced from their homes by disapproving parents. To escape the oppression in their homes, the couple flees to Paris. When they arrive, Jean leaves Marise briefly to arrange their wedding when he is arrested for theft from his own father. The couple is irrevocably separated, and their lives deviate into the slums and hard labor of low-class French society. All the while, the two desperately search for their lost love. Written by
Joshua Wadlin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The IMDb credited cast list is based on the 2005 alternate version. That print's credits, however, may have been modified to include Rosita Marstini and Sidney Franklin, both of whom were omitted in the published cast list in The New York Times review of 29 September 1924. See more »
Young French lovers Ramon Novarro (as Jean Leonnec) and Enid Bennett (as Marise La Noue) are separated by all manner of silent melodramatic conventions, on their way to the alter. A wealthy gentleman, Mr. Novarro becomes a prisoner and thief. Meanwhile, lovely and virginal Ms. Bennett becomes an increasingly haggard Parisian prostitute known as "The Red Lily". Eventually, the duo (and you) are meant to discover whether (or not) love conquers all...
The film's real lesson is on the importance of being an attractive woman, considering Novarro's various reactions to Bennett.
Novarro, and supporting castmate Wallace Beery (as Bo-Bo) are fine actors, but this time Bennett steals the show, especially in her destitute state. "The Red Lily" isn't one of the all-time best-looking silent films, but the Paris bars, sewers, sleek hospital, and beautiful outdoors are artful. It was directed by Fred Niblo (Bennett's husband) and photographed by Victor Milner. Turner Classic Movies shows a beautifully tinted print, nicely scored by Scott Salinas.
****** The Red Lily (9/8/24) Fred Niblo ~ Enid Bennett, Ramon Novarro, Wallace Beery, Frank Currier
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