Capra clicks, Fairbanks shines, but Mildred steals the show!
Frank Capra's fast-paced "The Power of the Press" is even more dazzling in its 66-minutes (cut from 72) Kodascope version. Young Douglas Fairbanks plays it just right as the go-getter hero, taking care that his brashness is always cleverly tempered. His delightful interpretation of an always-laughing bootlegger is highly amusing. It's also good to see Jobyna Ralston as the in-peril heroine, Robert Edeson as the cigar-chewing editor, Dell Henderson as a blob of a reporter and Wheeler Oakman as the crook's chief accomplice, but it's blonde Mildred Harris who manages to steal the movie from all of them and that's before you realize who she actually is, none other than the Mildred Harris who married Chaplin and then flitted around high society after her divorce in 1921, had a running affair for years with the Prince of Wales, married a gent named Everett McGovern, divorced him in 1930, and that some year introduced the Prince to another high-flying socialite, Mrs Wallis Simpson. She was only 42 when she died of pneumonia in Hollywood in 1944. Of her 134 movies, only a few survive. "The Power of the Press" was her last starring role. But what a role!
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