After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Even when Diana, Neville and David played together as children, Diana knew that she loved Nevs. But Morton, Nevs' father, did not like any Merrick. Since Nevs did not have any money, Morton sent him off to Egypt to work and also talked him out of marrying Diana before he left. Diana waited two years and then married David, who Jeffry thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. While in Paris, David jumps to his death when the cops come after him and Diana lies about the reason for the sake of Jeffry. Of course Jeffry, who has been a drunk all his life, cuts all ties with Diana. While Nevs still loves Diana, she does not return to England for seven years - just 3 days before Nevs' wedding to Constance. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The film was based on a notorious novel called 'The Green Hat' but the Hays Office wouldn't allow the book to be filmed because it featured the use of heroin and a man kills himself on his wedding night because he's suffering from syphilis, neither of which could be touched on at that time. M.G.M. thought it would be a gold mine once past the censors but by the time the title and character names had been changed and the story line altered it bore little resemblance to the book. The bridegroom now kills himself because of his embezzling. While drinking on screen was forbidden because of prohibition Jeffry's hardly seen without a whisky glass in his hand but the fact that drink finally kills him plus the fact that the film was set in England is probably what persuaded the censors let that by. See more »
This is a beautifully crafted melodrama, well acted and with high MGM production values, but with moral values that nowadays may well be seen as belonging to another planet. Nevertheless once the historical perspective is in place this is still a simple timeless classic, one I've now seen a dozen times over the years.
Very honourable woman falls in love with equally honourable man, much to his even more honourable father's disfavour. You might notice that understanding "Honor" is the key to understanding this film! Garbo and Gilbert were perfect for the roles (making this a lovely bookend for Flesh And The Devil) and both never looked more gleaming beautiful, although Garbo had a few odd costumes along the way. They had a couple of languid clinches, but this time the plot got in the way of these scenes becoming "hot". Lewis Stone had already dropped into his avuncular stereotype here, his was a marvellously hammy but key performance. Everyone undulates their way to a fitting climax and conclusion (although didn't Neville come back into the room to Constance rather fast after Diana told him ---- ?)
All in all one of my favourite silent melodramas, strangely neglected nowadays - or is there no honour left?
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