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The Vasquez family are one of the oldest families in San Francisco, but their day of glory is past and now all that remains of them are an old man and his granddaughter, the innocent Dolores. The villainous Chris Buckwell wants to steal their land and ranch from them, even using unfair means to get his hands on it. One of his employees' has a nephew who falls for Dolores, however, and together they make plans to save the ranch. Unfortunately for them, Buckwell has a secret and discovering it might prove dangerous. Written by
The original credits include a music score, conductor and orchestra, despite the film being a silent film. The Vitaphone Symphony Orchestra played at the first-run performance in New York, and the credit was also in printed programs distributed to the audience. See more »
[threatening the heroine, via subtitles, just before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire]
You are the last of your line, my dear. Who will save a Vasquez now?
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This movie was probably a little stale when it was first released in 1927. Dolores Costello is beautiful, but doesn't seem to really be trying to act (from this effort, you can't tell whether she was a good or a bad actress). Oland is sinister but he is only going through the motions of his basic "sinister act". Charles Mack is a typical perky 1920's leading man, but appears just average and generic for the times.
In contrast, the old actor who portrays Costello's grandfather does a great job of overcoming the general flatness of the production and the other stars (in addition to being a very competent actor, he is really trying to emote and you can see the good result). His strong acting contrasts with Costello's no-effort, pretty-smile stroll and makes their scenes together noticeably out of sync for me.
The production values are as good as any high-quality "costume drama" of the era but somehow the writing and the general production has a staleness and lack of originality. Also, the racial slurs are uncomfortable to watch.
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