Don Francisco Delfina, a nobleman of Southern California in 1848, disguises himself as El Puma and leads a revolt against the tyrannical land agent and politician Peter Harkness. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. See more »
This film is very well crafted for an early talkie from 1930. Unlike so many stage-locked productions of this time, the film takes advantage of the rustic California settings of old California. There are few long static takes with people standing around the hidden microphone. Beautifully photographed, the shots change often and the camera movement is fluid throughout. (Makes you wonder what director Tod Browning's excuse was for painfully static "Dracua".) The outside scenes start the film out at a good pace. However, once the obligatory and talky love story kicks in, the story slows down to a crawl. Perhaps as off-putting is the poor quality of the print being shown on TMC. "The Lash" has clearly not been restored or cleaned, pock-marked throughout and with such deep contrast that some scenes are tough to make out. Towards the end of each reel, the film noise is so loud it almost drowns out dialog and music. This would be a film for a fan of early talkies to check out, but otherwise, it might be a tough go.
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