Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Three Sinners (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Pola Negri, Warner Baxter, Paul Lukas
Men (1924)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Dimitri Buchowetzki
Stars: Pola Negri, Robert Frazer, Robert Edeson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lighthouse keeper's wife shelters her fugitive lover.

Director: Paul Czinner
Stars: Pola Negri, Warwick Ward, Hans Rehmann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A story of a woman who committed a murder. In a French court room her life is retold by long flashbacks of her testimony and life.

Director: Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Pola Negri, Einar Hanson, Arnold Kent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Pola Negri, Nils Asther, Mary McAllister
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Paul Bern
Stars: Pola Negri, Joseph J. Dowling, Youcca Troubetzkov
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ludwig Berger
Stars: Pola Negri, Norman Kerry, Lawrence Grant
The Charmer (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Sidney Olcott
Stars: Pola Negri, Wallace MacDonald, Robert Frazer


Cast overview:
Kenneth Thomson ...
Christian J. Frank ...
George Kuwa ...
Ah Gee
George Periolat ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance




Release Date:

4 February 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beggars of Love  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is based on the Broadway production of "They Knew What They Wanted" by Sidney Howard opened on November 24, 1924 at the Garrick Theater, ran for 192 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1925. See more »


Remade as They Knew What They Wanted (1940) See more »


The Beggar
words by Francis Wheeler and Irving Kahal
music by Ted Snyder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Orange juice sorry
27 September 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

"The Secret Hour" is the first film version of Sidney Howard's 1925 play "They Knew what They Wanted", which was remade twice and later became the basis for Frank Loesser's most ambitious Broadway musical, "The Most Happy Fella", which - criminally - has never been filmed at all.

This silent version - spiced up with an irrelevant new title - features some interesting changes from Howard's play, apparently to make it less earthy. As the play is well known, I'll just state the premise. Jean Hersholt plays Tony, the coarse and ugly Italian immigrant owner of a successful orange ranch in California. In a visit to a lunchroom, he spots a simple and very beautiful waitress named Annie (Pola Negri). Tony is infatuated instantly, but he senses that such a beautiful and refined-looking girl would never be attracted to him. Tony is a hard-working man but he's barely literate and can hardly speak English. (Some of Hersholt's "mama mia" dialogue is quite painful to read off the title cards.) Apparently inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac, Tony asks his handsome and well-spoken young foreman Joe to write a letter to Annie, proposing marriage, and signing Tony's name. Tony intends to slip a snapshot of himself into the envelope. But, at the last moment, he glances at his ugly face in the mirror and has a sudden failure of nerve. He puts a photo of Joe into the envelope instead, and mails it off ... hoping that Annie will correspond with him by post, rather than come to see him in person. Of course, Annie shows up in person. Of course, Joe and Annie fall in love. The plot thickens. The oranges ripen. (They were grapes in the original play.)

Pola Negri is remembered as one of the dark-eyed vamps of the silent era, usually mentioned in the same breath as Theda Bara. She's utterly fascinating here, in a good-girl role, without the slinky costumes and vampy make-up that she usually wore. Rowland V. Lee, an under-rated director, does one of his better jobs here. Well done all round, but Howard's play worked better as a sound film ... and best of all as Frank Loesser's delightfully operatic musical.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Secret Hour (1928) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: