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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 »
In a small French village, the mayor's son and the cobbler's daughter hope to someday be married but instead are separated following her father's untimely death; she's farmed-out to abusive relatives and escapes, eloping to Paris with her young man, who is then arrested by his own father. Sad-sack romantic tragedy: a compelling silent, though one which is riddled with self-pity and masochistic sentiment. Famed silent-screen producer-director Fred Niblo also worked on the screenplay, and some of the writing has a tartness which is still surprising today. There are some interesting parallels to Dennis Potter's "Pennies From Heaven"--and when Enid Bennett falls on hard times, she nearly resembles Bette Davis in the final throes of "Of Human Bondage". Bennett, actually, seems too mature to be cast as a virginal Cinderella, though leading man Ramon Novarro goes through a dramatic range of emotions with considerable skill. Novarro is occasionally melodramatic (with wild gestures), yet he manages to break through the mercilessly-contrived scenario to create a complicated character. Niblo has a good eye for heart-rending imagery (such as the shoes melted by the fireplace), though Bennett's suffering and sacrifice are tough to take. The finale ties in beautifully with an earlier scene, and Wallace Beery is amusing in wily role as a safecracker. ** from ****
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