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Gorgeous Marguerite De La Motte

8/10
Author: kidboots from Australia
7 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Grant Withers had many jobs before he started in films - even a used car salesman where, maybe, he got his brash confidence that came through in his early film years. This is quite an early one and he has the male lead opposite the beautiful Marguerite De La Motte. After appearing in "The Mark of Zorro" she was taken under the wing by Doug and Mary and also having the reputation of being a great beauty didn't hurt her career. "The Final Extra" combined those two essential 1920's themes - back stage drama with the power of the press. Being a silent movie didn't stop studios from exploring the emotive world of Broadway's bright lights.

Pat Riley (Withers) may have been big on the Harvard football field but on the Daily Tribune he is "Cholly Meadowbrook" - King of the "pink tea and society" pages. He is desperate to have a go at cracking "The Shadow" story - a mysterious, elusive Mr. Big who is boss of the rum runners, but he is still happy to take on the assignment of reviewing the new Gaiety Show, literally falling head over heels for promising chorus girl Ruth Collins (Motte). Pat finds out that Ruth's dad is Tom Collins, legendary Tribune reporter who is so close to breaking the racketeering story. He is gunned down on his birthday but as Ruth mourns there is someone else around to help her pick up the pieces - it is dapper Broadway producer and man about town, Mervin Le Roy(really interesting - almost the same name as a later director) (John Miljan) who dazzles her with his understanding and patronage. When Pat, now back on the social columns, is sent to cover an event at Le Roy's country house, he is shocked to find Ruth dancing at this questionable party!!

Motte had trained as a dancer, apparently under Anna Pavlova and her dancing in this was graceful and skilled, also helped by the choreography of Larry Ceballos who would become famous for some sparkling routines from early talkie musicals. It is a pretty nifty film where chorus cuties hob nob with the underworld - as the other reviewer states, it's not hard to figure out who the elusive "Shadow" is, even though the director goes to great lengths to make sure he is filmed only in shadowy silhouette. There is plenty of fighting action as Withers has two big fisticuff scenes. In fact the only thing standing in the way of this being 1st class is the pretty shoddy print.

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Familiar but well done!

7/10
Author: JohnHowardReid
15 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just by reading the cast list on IMDb, you can see at a glance what's wrong with this movie. Of course, if you are familiar with the actors, you don't need to watch the movie at all! But even if everyone in the cast line-up seems totally unfamiliar, you will experience no trouble in sorting out every strand in the plot by the end of the first reel. So all you have to sustain you throughout the rest of the film is the charm, charisma and/or potency of the players on the screen. Fortunately, they stand that test rather well. Grant Withers makes a surprisingly charismatic hero. Marguerite De La Motte, of course is as beautiful as they come, while John Miljan's sneering impresario comes across as nastily as ever. In fact, if anything, Miljan overdoes it! Nevertheless, there are quite a few potent set pieces for the interaction of players and plot that are made more menacing by Ray June's noirish photography. As for me, I can't say that I ever lost all interest in the movie, the plot or the players, even though they seemed as familiar to me as the buttons on my overcoat. Available on a very good Grapevine DVD.

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