Vera Blaine, a young woman in the deep South, is passionate and romantic. So, she's easy prey for José Dalmarez, a novelist visiting from Brazil. Vera refuses a proposal from Hugh, her upright guardian, thinking she will marry Dalmarez. She writes him love letters and inscribes a book to him with loving words. When she learns that his intentions do not include marriage, she spurns him, and he returns to Brazil. Several years pass, with his behavior unchanged: he courts a local beauty, Inez, to the ire of her brother. Work then takes Dalmarez back to the States, where he encounters a now-married Vera and sets out to blackmail her. Will he have his foul way? Written by
The film was originally a vehicle for Marguerite Namara. After Valentino achieved stardom, the film was cut by approximately half its original running time with the new edit favoring Valentino. Only the edited version is known to exist. The film had its American television debut on Turner Classic Movies on May 22, 2006. See more »
Since the only surviving footage of this film is 3 reels long out of an original 6-reel movie, the listing of the cast credits and the crew credits are taken from the AFI Catalogue. The print itself follows the cast listing closely, with only the butler Arthur Earle not identified in the intertitles. There are no crew credits listed in the surviving print. See more »
This was Valentino's last film before he appeared in Rex Ingram's THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, the film that made him a star -- so great a star that the original six reels of this movie were cut down to three and edited to make his role more important.
It's a fairly old-fashioned movie for 1920: a still camera, mostly one- and two-shots and the frame is frequently irised in to provide a specific composition, a technique that Hollywood had largely abandoned by this time, preferring to let the objects and people provide their own compositions. The story is also old-fashioned and the entire thing was done to showcase the female lead, Margeurite Namara. Who was she? Someone who was a show-biz celebrity at the time. Really, the only talent connected with this picture whose name has survived well is Valentino and perhaps Gene Gauthier.
Although his next picture would make him a star, Valentino is clearly a very talented motion picture actor by this time. He understands how to pace his movements and how to indicate his character -- and even his nationality -- by how he moves. Here he is clearly European. In the previous year's DELICIOUS LITTLE DEVIL, no one could have acted more American. Here was a man who earned his stardom. Take a look at this and other performances and see it.
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