This silent movie is based on Melville's classic Moby Dick. Ahab and his brother compete for the affections of minister's daughter Esther. But the great white whale has been eluding the ... See full summary »
Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »
A charming and very daring thief known as Arsene Lupin is terrorizing the wealthy of Paris, he even goes so far as to threaten the Mona Lisa. But the police, led by the great Guerchard, ... See full summary »
In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »
The model for the character of Princess Natasha in the movie was Princess Irina Romanoff Youssoupoff. She filed a lawsuit against Thalberg and MGM, claiming invasion of privacy and libel in portraying her as a mistress and, later, a rape victim of Grigory Rasputin. She won an award of $127,373 in an English court and an out-of-court settlement in New York with MGM, reportedly $1 million. As a result of the success of Princess Youssoupoff's lawsuit against MGM over this movie, Hollywood studios began inserting the disclaimer "This motion picture is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental" in the credits of virtually every film released since. See more »
Although considered to be a mystic, Rasputin was neither a monk and nor was he unmarried. He had left behind a wife and several children in his native village on the outskirts of Russia. See more »
The only film featuring all three Barrymores preserves an acting style that was once considered top-line and now looks rather over-emphatic. Certainly Lionel is the biggest ham, looking like Alec Guinness in "Oliver Twist" and rolling his eyes, laughing maniacally, and all but twirling his cape as the contemptible, going-mad Rasputin. By contrast, Ethel is stately as the Empress Alexandra, but also rather uninteresting, mainly emphasizing womanly dignity and reserve, as she so often did. Often she and Diana Wynyard seem to be in a contest to see who can employ a more highfalutin pronunciation style. So it falls to John to give the best performance: He's comparatively naturalistic and understated, and seems most comfortable in front of a camera. The director, Richard Boleslawski, goes in for needlessly arty compositions and drags out the playing time, and Herbert Stothart, the composer, seems the hardest worker: so much Russian-cliché music, and so loud. Charles MacArthur's screenplay is literate but wordy and inaccurate (and resulted in an expensive lawsuit against MGM). But as a distillation of the Barrymore acting style in miniature, it's a valuable artifact, and pretty entertaining on its own terms.
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