The husband and wife acting team of Mae Feather and Julian Gordon is torn apart when he discovers she is having an affair with the screen comedian Andy Wilks. Mae hatches a plot to kill her... See full summary »
The husband and wife acting team of Mae Feather and Julian Gordon is torn apart when he discovers she is having an affair with the screen comedian Andy Wilks. Mae hatches a plot to kill her husband by putting a real bullet in the prop gun which will be fired at him during the making of their new film, 'Prairie Love'. Written by
This was the first full-length silent film I saw and I must say it took me quite by surprise. For a start it does not feel like it was made almost eighty years ago. The technical staff of the 'film-within-a-film' would not look out of place in the '40s and '50s. The leading players are rather heavily made up with the lips in particular looking rather odd, especially on the male characters. Brian Aherne looks almost contemporary but one could that down to his classical good looks (he is rather reminiscent of Matthew McConnaughey). The acting, too, was a surprise. Being a silent film you have to expect a certain amount of gesturing with the hands to make up for the lack of dialogue; the actors must have some means of expression. In close-ups, however, the acting is good. When Julian discovers his wife's adultery, and when he watches himself in the cinema, his reactions are fabulous to behold. The film's theme is an age-old one: the love triangle. When one of these three is a murderously ambitious wife it becomes heady stuff. Personally I think the coda should have been omitted, despite the fact that Mae's slow walk off the set is one of the best shots in the entire film. Considering the basic technical and narrative advances that have been made since 1928 are few it is remarkable that this film was made only 30-odd years after film had really been invented.
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