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Olivia de Havilland,
Edward Everett Horton
Fabien des Grieux, a divinity student, comes to the rescue of a beautiful girl, Manon Lescaut, when her brother tries to "sell" her to the lecherous Comte Guillot de Morfontaine. Fabien and Manon fall in love and he abandons his priestly ambitions. But de Morfontaine has no intention of giving up his desire to possess Manon. She again falls into his clutches. Fabien, borrowing on his father's wealth, transforms himself into a gentleman gambler and moves into court society. But there he discovers that Manon is endangered not only by the cruel de Morfontaine, but by the King of France himself. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was restored jointly by the UCLA Film and Television Archive (which had a copy of the print and soundtrack) and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film (which provided some picture elements). It was shown on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel in 2006 and has a running time of 111 minutes plus another minute for restoration credits. See more »
Noble Johnson's character is termed "An Apache," a French word which would imply he was a brutal pimp. That term did not come into use until the early 20th Century. See more »
Director Alan Crosland and star John Barrymore attempt to recapture the the success of their previous effort, THE BELOVED ROGUE, with this story of debauchery and all-conquering love in the ancien regime, from the novel MANON LESCAUT. It was a popular story, made into a couple of ballets and an opera by Puccini. But despite the sumptuous sets and stuntwork, it lacks the essential verve and generosity of Barrymore's performance in the earlier movie -- but this movie is not about him. The star of the picture is Dolores Costello, who would marry Barrymore a year later. The modern moviegoer should be able to recognize her easily enough. Their grand daughter, Drew Barrymore, has her eyes.
At first it seemed to me that Barrymore was too old for the role -- a young man studying for the priesthood in his forties? But the very real chemistry of the two stars more than makes up for that.
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