The idle son of a rich businessman joins the army when the U.S.A. enters World War One. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with two working-class soldiers. He also falls in love... See full summary »
George W. Hill
Leila Porter comes to dislike her husband James, a glue king who is always eating onions and looking sloppy. But after she divorces him and marries two-timing playboy Schuyler Van Sutphen the now-reformed James looks pretty good.
Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.
Farmer turned WWI hero Leslie returns home hoping to reunite with his wife Rose, but it turns out her parents had the unconsummated marriage annulled so she could wed the rich Lon Henderson. Rose throws herself at Leslie, itching for an affair due to her husband's penchant for infidelity, but he spurns her, marrying a young French immigrant named Catherine to get her off his back. When one of Lon's lovers commits suicide after he has cast her aside, he pins it all on Les and has his KKK-inspired group take action against him... Written by
Although the story takes place immediately after World War I (1918-1919), all of Evelyn Brent's and Helen Foster's clothes are strictly in the 1928 short skirt mode, completely out of place in the time frame of the story. See more »
A soldier (Thomas Meighan) returns from the war to find that his secret marriage has been annulled and his sweetheart has re-married. That doesn't stop the ex-wife (Evelyn Brent) from directing her attentions toward him while her current husband sees other women. But these associations with a married woman get the soldier in trouble with the local Ku Klux-type Order.
THE MATING CALL (1928) really is a solid silent film. I watched it on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. TCM host Robert Osborne assured viewers that James Cruze was a top-tier director of the silent era, and his direction here is solid. This is one of the rare Howard Hughes- produced silent films that had been considered lost before turning up in Hughes's private collection in recent years. The restoration looks great, the photography crisp and clear.
The lovely Evelyn Brent is terrific as the town belle turned vamp. What a screen presence! I recall seeing her with William Powell in HIGH PRESSURE (1932), but she really makes an impression with this sexy, seductive performance. She has a real charisma on screen. There's also a great scene where a bitter Meighan, unmoved by her advances, forcibly removes Brent from his home as she battles back.
Renée Adorée is very cute as an immigrant girl and reluctant bride. Her sweet and innocent character is in stark contrast to Brent's character and gives the film a love story. There's a scandalous skinny dipping scene, but the distant nudity is innocuous enough.
The masked Order pose a dangerous threat and add a darker drama to the tangled web of small-town romance. The performances and the underlying darkness (including an eerie riverside discovery) raise this movie above other, more soapy melodramas and make THE MATING CALL one to check out.
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