In a masked ball in Paris, Manuel Robledo, a young Argentinian architect, meets Elena, the Marquess of Torre Blanca. Later, the young woman is rightly accused causing the misfortune and loss of wealth of Fontenoy, a man who fell for her charms. To escape social criticism, the Marquis of Torre Blanca transfers his residence to Argentina. There, Elena meets again Manuel, when he is building a river's dam. Manos Duras, a thug, harasses Elena, and when Manuel intervenes, he defies him to a whip duel. The duel is long and vicious, both men suffering many cuts on their faces and naked chests, but in the end, the thug is vanquished and humiliated. Manos Duras sets up an ambush to murder Manuel, but the Marquis of Torre Blanca is killed instead. Now, there only two men in love for Elena, the eternal temptress^Å Written by
"The Temptress" has a lot going for it, but it begins so sloooowly, and contains far too many intertitles.
I couldn't help thinking how much better it could have been with, maybe, Ernst Lubitsch or D.W. Griffith directing. This is supposedly a MOTION PICTURE, not a novel.
Still the directors gave us some wonderful shots and angles.
One particular sequence is told with a shadow! Superb.
And some running shots, with horses and a wagon, are worthy of the best of John Ford.
Then one particular action scene, a duel, is as exciting, and surprisingly graphic, especially for 1926, as one could hope for.
Still, overall, the story is somewhat dull and it's told often dully.
If it weren't for the chance to watch movie history, including early Garbo, and the action scenes, and the often interesting direction and photography, it might not be worth watching.
But it is, especially the new version at Turner Classic Movies, with a new score by young Michael Picton. Maestro Picton might well turn out to be a new Elmer Bernstein, who has -- it pains me to say -- passed on, but who was one of the greatest composers of the last 100 years.
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